One company officially made the record of all new users this season. They started creating their own games with Loquiz in summer 2016 . But creating first questions and running the very first game was done just in 2 days. If you are using Loquiz you know the system allows you to toss together a game in half an hour but from most companies it takes minimum week or two to create questions and afterwards their first client game.
Getting started quickly was the initial reason why we decided to ask a couple of questions from Uldis Žimants. He creates and runs events and drives forward innovation in Luzumpunkts, Latvia. It turned out to be an interesting conversation about corporate event games involving some great examples.
Good games start from a good content. How creative turned out your first questions and how much time did it take from you?
We have done a lot of games before with other solutions and methods, so it was easy to use the content as we had our set of ideas of team challenges and questions. So it was more focused on what system allowed us to do with these questions further. The first game was an 1-hour game in a small area.
We started using Loquiz after having experienced it from another organizers` event and we were motivated to create a game with a better content. We wanted to use a lot of location based questions- something in and about the environment at that place. We didn’t want people play the game and answer general questions about the history. Now looking back to the event the game was still very simple.
Clients often suggest company based questions for the game. Did you get special question requests from the client?
No, the first client didn’t request any company related info into the game. The client only knew that the game was one of the activities out of five others. The other activities were an outdoor escape game, indoors quiz, high obstacle course with ropes activities, and a big catapult building and shooting it.
How much time did it take from you to set up the game from the scratch?
Two days before the event we went to check the area to set the locations for the questions. There were a lot of location based questions and it took 2-3 hours to create about 40 them. Then it took from us around 2 hours in the office to construct the game and 2 hours to test it.
When creating location based questions you can take notes of the locations by taking pictures, with handheld GPS or just visiting the location- still you have to test later. It is so easy to create a game online that there is a temptation not to test. Just the overall impression is that it is so easy. But we always test, because in real life it acts and feels different than just looking at the location on the map. Google maps is not always accurate. Everything might change in real life- like you have a question about a graffiti on the wall and it might have changed.
There are things during the game that might change and you can do nothing about and correct the question. For example, in another event we hung a melon on the tree and the task was about the fruit in that location. One of the teams or local people snatched it, so rest of the teams couldn’t answer. This type of locations and questions are riskier.
How was the event wrapped up, was sorting out the winner important?
Every team gathered points from all five activities. We had a bonus point system in addition to the game with facilitators judging the activities and choosing out the best photos. I actually don’t know what the prizes were because the company itself awarded the participants some valuable prizes.
How many participants were in the game? Did they use their own devices? How many people were in your team running the game?
200 people played in teams. They used our devices and we provided tablets which were set up for them. From our side it was actually two people running the game and one of them was idle most of the time. More focus was on both of them when we needed to choose the best photos and give points and recharge the used devices. Running a game like this almost makes you feel bad if you don’t do anything as an instructor 😀
What was the best part of the game that you liked and what seemed to bring out the best emotion from the participants?
A bad thing happened with my favorite task. We thought out a new question in the morning of the game with flag poles. There were two flag poles and one of them was empty. Every team was given their team flag. So the task was that every team had to raise their flag and take a picture of it waving up high. Well, how often could you raise a flag- so it was a fun task. Unfortunately, the second team tore the flagpole rope. So other teams could not take their pictures and we had to change the task on the spot.
One task that raised the excitement of the participants was to go to a rope course activity and take the picture of the whole team in action there.
The most exciting tasks are always the ones that involve taking photos. You can have a simple task like “Take a picture where the team is standing in a row from the tallest to the smallest” and add time limit 1 minute. It is often that one person takes lead in the team and runs to the location before the others. Although we instruct the teams to stay together so they can perform tasks in the best way. But people still spread. Now what happens is that the team leader arrives first, the question opens and precious time to complete team task starts running. This possibility of sudden twists makes even simple tasks exciting.
While creating first games what felt like the most logical and what the most illogical feature? What was easier than a thought and what was tougher?
For me it was not easier than I expected it to be but it was just click -click- click and the game was ready. It was a “wow” moment for my colleague though she didn’t know anything about the system and thought it was just for managing questions. So when we completed thinking out the location based questions she was surprised at the moment when she saw that locations could be put on a map online. She thought you still had to draw your own treasure map in Illustrator. So setting locations on the map and viewing the game on a smart device takes the designing hassle away.
The most complex thing for me was rearranging the question order in “Locations” view and how these questions were attached to pins. We needed questions grouped by the theme and as soon as you changed the order in the question list it changed on pins also- that was logically hard to understand.
How do you overall feel- do companies buy the tech for their occasions?
I personally don’t do much sales but I have heard from the colleagues that at the moment it is very new for outdoor activities. People are excited to play games. Some companies are a bit afraid whether their employees have the skills and are able to manage the tech. But if you can present that event can be made this way and you show how the upcoming game could look like, then we have not seen a company who would be afraid of taking the game on.
What advice would you give to other event professionals when they start to run games on smart devices?
Don’t put using smart device games out as something really special in itself. It is a tool, just a new one and increases the interactivity within the event. It is a component of the game and there are many tech solutions – choose one that matches your way of your doing business. Be innovative all the time and try different options. My suggestion is that don’t drop a solution after trying once. Give any tool a go for a couple of times. You have to work with tech and find out whether there are features that match your needs for the game. Don’t be scared of tech and test your games.