We were asked to develop the online version of a unique ethics based board game used as a business training and certification tool. The end result is an interesting blend of a multi-player board game and online chat system.
The game is based on question cards which are drawn at random based on a dice roll and which board squares are landed on. The players discuss the ethical dilemmas on the cards, and points are awarded or deducted along the way. Our first job was to build a database for the card data, making changes where necessary to allow for the subtle differences between online and offline play.
Next we set up a socket server to handle the data transfer and real time gameplay and chat. While we did consder SmartFox as an option, we eventually decided on Electroserver as the right choice, and hosted it on the excellent Joyent cloud based virtual servers.
As the game play relies so heavily on discussion of the scenarios, we built the online version around a real time chat system. Players can chat in the lobby as if it were a regular chat room, but once they set up or enter a game room they take on the persona of one of the game’s characters (with names like Ms.Gossipmonger, and Mr. Snitch!) and the game is played with users rolling the dice in turn, discussing the scenarios, and voting on whether to award of deduct points.
Finally, there is a debriefing period at the end of the game where players are asked to answer questions about the game and how they performed, before being given the option of printing a certificate of completion, and the chat log of the entire exercise.
The client was extremely happy with the game, and we are already in dicussion on future upgrades and added features.
Click the link below to see the game yourself!