We partnered with a world-leading luxury fashion brand to develop a gamified learning and development platform that uses social gaming and AI to connect people, engage brand ambassadors to learn more about the company and meet real-life KPIs.
Increasing engagement via game-based breakthroughs
Despite the recent buzz around gamification as a crucial educational tool, games have always stimulated creativity, competition, and learning.
By combining this age-old learning technique with cutting-edge technology, we partnered with a world-renowned luxury fashion brand to create an immensely captivating social learning and development game.
Our team developed, coded and designed the game internally using Artificial Intelligence (AI), allowing for an exceptionally immersive learning experience.
The game, deployed in several boutiques across European countries, focuses on crafting strategic player engagement and dynamic gameplay, implementing in-game collective intelligence for brand ambassadors to promote healthy competition and real-world experience sharing.
The game uses client iconography to build a shared community in a virtual world linked to real-world KPIs and offers ecosystem management for sustained engagement and achievement.
How AI is changing the game
Learning and gaming are intertwined methods of gaining knowledge and expertise, incorporating abstract goals into fun and challenging environments, and acquiring and mastering new skills. Games such as Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit or the plethora of classic computer and video games are drive a desire for understanding and improvement.
Through technological advancements, gaming has become a ubiquitous part of the culture, with online and mobile platforms proliferating access and diversifying the medium, resulting in a game to suit almost everyone.
Over 3 billion of us are gaming each year on various platforms, and now AI is transforming the gaming landscape and unlocking the potential to propel human intelligence.
AI is applied to deliver dynamic adaptations to player behaviour and skill level and accelerate the development, design, and enhance the generative capabilities of in-game play for a personalised experience.
While core gaming remains an enjoyable and challenging pastime undertaken purely for fun, companies, institutions, and brands harness the true power of gaming as an immersive and engaging learning tool – but finding the right balance is not always straightforward.
Social gaming enables new ways of learning
With participants frequently playing for points or rewards rather than something motivating, corporate L&D has traditionally been a very formal endeavour, which lacked engagement and learning efficiency.
Similarly, 'serious games' that use real-life situations can be highly effective but are proven to lack a sense of enthrallment with the game or subject. In contrast, if done well, social gaming harmonises enjoyment and efficacy of learning through collective action, healthy and competition and incorporates the game into an educative process. Social gaming’s ability to connect people drives efficiency via collective learning, guiding players to understand, acquire, and monitor new skills together with knowledge and skills sharing. Gamified learning offers a unique opportunity for collaboration, enabling businesses to unlock their collective intelligence and tap into the power of shared knowledge.
By aligning teams around shared goals, gamified L&D encourages effective dialogue, knowledge sharing, team dynamics, and conflict resolution. Through this collaborative approach, businesses can engage more with real-life targets and produce accurate results while enhancing problem-solving skills and generating innovative ideas.
With shared responsibility for tasks and decision-making, companies can achieve greater efficiency and continuous improvement, learning from one another and adapting to new information.
Connectivity is forever in style
Taking this revolutionary concept of learning to the next level, our team built a challenging runner game with non-stop gameplay. Set in Paris, the game follows the trials and tribulations of a bird as it navigates the mysteries and dangers of the city of love. Players then answer a daily quiz based on the client's canons and codes, with different boutiques competing to be top of the leaderboard.
The game executes communication strategies to energise the community through active participation, promotes problem-solving skills with hands-on experiences, and offers adaptive challenges and personalised learning experiences at the player's pace. It is designed to provide immediate feedback to help learners identify strengths and weaknesses and adapt their strategies.
It fosters collaboration and interpersonal skills through multiplayer interactions, sparking sustained engagement with compelling narratives and rewards. It also encourages cross-disciplinary learning, promoting connections between different subjects for comprehensive understanding.
Key elements to a successful game
We had to strike the optimal combination for learning game activation, bringing together fun, challenge, and design. All to achieve the desired level of engagement from participants, become a successful conduit for learning, and deliver tangible results to our client.
Comprising an enjoyable experience into the game is critical to captivating participants; by installing a reward and gifting system linked to in-game and real-world performance, we compelled players to move up the rankings, competing to be best amongst the wider community, which in turn releases dopamine and secures investment of participant time.
Similarly, an element of surprise thrills players, keeping them guessing, entertained, and in anticipation of what’s to come next. By adding unpredictability into the experience, gamers play on, seeking to discover which future scenarios and obstacles are on the horizon, but most importantly, gain pleasure from solving such quandaries – even after the possibility of multiple failures.
Teamwork and belonging are integral to ensuring a fun playing experience, employing familiar references and social conventions to develop bonds and loyalty amongst participants and further instilling a connection to the brand. Finally, our team wrote a series of stimulating narratives executed beautifully in an incredibly creative world, developing a sense of truth and compassion to pursue objectives in a fantastical setting.
The ultimate gamified L&D experience requires a seamless flow into total learning immersion. This state of flow postulates achieving a subtle balance between social engagement, the challenge of the game itself, and the skills needed to advance in the game.
For example, if the game is too complex, it will induce anxiety in players. Conversely, players will quickly become bored if it is too easy. Here, to ensure success and connection with the content, our team employed 'the secret sauce', which combines how players socialise within the game, the game aspect itself, and the capability to connect participants through 'snackable content'.
Affirming each person's place within a team and promoting collaboration throughout the game encourages players to share their capabilities; the more they do so, the more they can assist and push their team towards accomplishing goals.
In this way, the gamification must also drive and maintain players' focus, making a powerful tool for teaching through characteristics like the daily quiz after the run and varying monthly themes. The 'snackable content' – short, bite-sized learning content of no more than 30 seconds – often used a 1st-person perspective and included repetitions, subtitles, voiceovers and music.
Game design has an enormous impact on the realisation of a game and is an essential aspect of pampering the brain and teaching new concepts effectively.
Elevating the gaming and learning experience from visuals to user interaction, we imbued the game with a colourful, immersive and highly aesthetic textural design and offered almost limitless options for avatar personalisation via skins and digital versions of real-life brand accessories won through play.
Additionally, animation and music significantly brought the game to life and lifted the overall experience. We used AI to create automatically generated paths with five layers of graphic and depth effects, elevating gamers into an exciting and compelling world.
Using AI to increase productivity
We moved away from traditional methods of game building to go beyond the client's expectations and deliver an unequivocally exceptional solution, employing AI to drive the development process and combining it with in-house skillsets and expertise.
Our team was divided into two subsets throughout the project: one team work in a traditional way to ensure that schedules were met. The other explored and developed assets using AI and generative game development to empower developers, artists, and designers. This was done by streamlining workflows, automating various tasks, and enhancing creativity for more immersive, personalised experiences and innovation of game design.
Through procedural content generation (PCG), we were able to unlock new possibilities in gaming, generate diverse and dynamic game worlds, levels and assets, ensure infinite playability with constantly evolving environments.
We also streamlined asset creation, including characters, textures and scenery, offering players 60,000-character personalisation possibilities and 1,500 different runs so that participants never play the same game.
This could also be applied to the game design; using just one asset helps to develop the entire in-game world; for example, one season of the year can be used to create the other three.
AI also allowed opportunities for real-time adaptation and personalisation, dynamic adjustment of difficulty based on player skill levels and using data sets to craft personalised game narratives, character interactions, and adaptive gaming, and learning sessions through analysis of player behaviour.
We utilised AI-driven agents for automated game testing for quality assurance and express identification and resolution of bugs and glitches, optimising gameplay balance and overall performance and implementing rapid prototyping with AI-generated assets and design elements.
The ability to automatically test the plethora of runs was not only a significant time saver, but a cost-effective and scalable solution. This minimise the need for large development teams and the reduction of the manual workload, allowing our designers to focus on complex tasks and enhancing the overall gaming experience.
Improving interactive learning
The possibilities of AI in game development do not end at productivity and efficiency; they also extend into the educative process, becoming the teacher and coach to participants, crafting personalised learning scenarios and interactions.
By asking open questions to all the players, our team was able to develop a collective intelligence effect in which players' answers could be fed into different models that structure and push the most relevant content. This also helped analyse answers to create new learning sessions relevant to daily business life.
AI could also prepare personalised coaching interactions by analysing learner data and preferences, tailoring learning paths to interests or learning goals. Moreover, this approach also enabled us to enhance the AI coach's responses for deeper connections and a practical learning experience so that HQ and all subsidiaries can learn more effectively.
Teamwork is integral to the success of any company as there is a constant reliance on one another. In this sense, the use of AI in social gaming outlines group capabilities rather than solely that of the individual. This resulted in more informed decisions, effective problem-solving and accelerated innovation and alters how it is possible to teach a group. Within this structure, AI-centered communal learning supported a high level of learning efficiency and the opportunity to boost collective intelligence by synthesising data from multiple sources, producing new insights, promoting cooperation, responsibility, and connections amongst individuals.
Artificial Imagination: how AI transfers game asset creation and beyond
Despite the wondrously vivid imagination of artificial intelligence to create a new world and everything in it, our team ensured that it remained within the client's brand universe.
To maintain control over the output, we combined completion models in tandem with GPT-4. Applying a specific methodology to these models, such as few-shot learning, which gives context directly to the prompt, and finetuning, which involves showing a custom data set to give a hint to the model, gives firm control over the output.
This can also be achieved with GPT-4 by playing carefully with parameters such as temperatures, which control the randomness and Top P, which controls the diversity via cumulative probability.
A frequency penalty can also be applied to determine how much to penalise a generated token based on its existing frequency in the text, and a presence penalty, to determine how much to penalise a word if it has already appeared. The higher this is set, the greater the probability that the model will address new topics.
AI encourages creativity and pushes boundaries. It is shifting the paradigm of how you can teach, creating a profusion of possibilities within minutes and a fantastic acceleration of all the processes used in L&D, social learning and game design.
Our partnership with this world-leading luxury fashion brand helped them develop a solution that connected their learning process and business, increasing the engagement levels of staff and brand ambassadors.
After just one month of use, the client saw high rates of personal and team completion, exponential successes in knowledge sharing, and a greater number of people connected in the game than what can be seen in other apps.
At Metyis, we are poised to guide clients in harnessing collective intelligence, L&D and social learning through the fusion of creativity, game design and Artificial Intelligence. Our team of experts at Metyis is happy to help you implement AI to drive value and positively transform your business outcome. To discover more about our AI capabilities, please feel free to contact us.
About the author behind the article
Henri d'Anterroches is an entrepreneur and Metyis Partner based in Paris, France. Henri's expertise in design and technology has been honed over many years of experience in the field and the launch of several businesses.