A while ago, the Customer Solutions team hosted their own game day. The day was built around a competition in which the teams needed to create their own game in the Power Platform. As well as having some fun playing games together throughout the day.
Our teams were split based on our skillsets so that it was mostly even across the board, but allowed a lot of diversity in the end products. Some teams had strengths in their technical skills, graphic skills, design skills and other facets of game development.
We established a set of rules at the start of the day:
- Your game needed to be developed in the Power Platform, this promoted out of the box thinking in an environment we are all familiar with.
- You were assigned a random theme on the day that you needed to stick to: Retro, Strategy, Board/Card Games, Sports and others were randomly assigned to our teams.
Before getting into the details of the day, including our amazing games that were created, I think it’s important to highlight why we chose this format and competition.
Our Customer Solutions team has a day every month where we try get together to; see each other and interact, inspire new ideas in our day to day work, invoke some team spirit, and most importantly have fun as a group.
The competition is not unique, in fact this one was inspired by something called “Ludem Dare” – a very similar competition and something a few of our colleagues have participated in.
With all of this in mind, we highlighted one important topic we would like to focus the day around – out of the box thinking. This is something that is often used in our day to day work. How can I take a limiting set of principles (goals, challenges, technology) and come up with the best solution for it? Usually we don’t get to work on something as lighthearted as a game, but the concepts between business application development and game development are quite similar. In addition to inspiring creativity amongst our teams, its always fun to test our metal against each other as well to see who comes up with the best solutions!
The day started with some nice cakes, biscuits and a coffee for those that wanted to join early. A 9:30 start suited most, but people could come and go as they pleased throughout the day depending on what they needed to get done.
We introduced the group to the competition, split up into equal teams, explained the rules and randomly selected some themes from a jar. All the teams were assigned rooms for them to work in, and in usual Dynamic People fashion some treats and lunch were available to keep us going.
We gave the teams a sheet for some inspiration on how they can get involved on the day:
By the time we were ready to start, we had 3 teams all with a theme selected:
– Team Copenhagen – Retro Game
– Team Oslo – Board/Card Game
– Team Stockholm/Helsinki – Strategy Game
We did not want to impose any technical rules on the teams to ensure the most creative solutions in the end. The only rule we had was to stick within the Power Platform and Azure group of technologies and to not use standard tables were possible.
All the teams spent some time brainstorming, designing, developing and testing in a very high pace, but fun environment. Some spying was done throughout the day but having a mixture of themes ensured some unique outcomes in the end.
As the day came to a close and the 15:30 deadline loomed over us, teams were frantically trying to push last minute features and prepare their presentations.
All the teams had their chance to show off their game, along with a live demo and a presentation to tell the story of their day. Keeping it lighthearted, all the teams had a lot of fun with their presentation, telling jokes and showing off the details of their games.
In the end, Team Copenhagen managed to take home the victory, but ultimately all the teams did extremely well. A lot of fun was had on the day, new skills were learned and the goal of thinking outside the box was definitely achieved.
I don’t think Dynamic People will move into the Game Development market any time soon – so none of the games will be officially released, but if anyone would like to learn the skills to try implement something like this in their own company, I highly recommend you join the future App in a Day sessions we host!
We look forward to the next Customer Solutions Game Day to see what creative concepts our teams can come up with, a big thank you to all those who participated!