8 January 2024 - News

Buro Curious | Leveling up

Greetings from the creative minds at Buro Curious! In this newsletter, we’re diving into the exciting world of gamification and how it goes beyond entertainment. At Buro Curious we believe that tailored experiences with gaming elements offer a dynamic approach to understanding and empowering individuals within your organization. Dodging standard business events, team-building exercises, and company celebrations, we instead pave the way to create interactive experiences that are both educational and exciting for companies, all with our curious, playful wink.

A great collaboration of this past year is the game we got to design for Booking.com. For their ‘Morpheus S4 Summer Launch Event’, we’ve created a playful game to let their finance staff indulge in this important moment. At the same time we ensured they were developing new, valuable qualities that they would need due to the challenges posed by the company’s new tool ‘Morpheus S4’. We sprinkled a bit of magic dust on mundane words, turning them into sparkly gems in our game. Via clues, the players collected information to get to the solution. Our game ensured that every participant had a clear role, emphasizing collaboration over competition. An intervention that sparkled playfulness within a challenging topic and left a smile on their face.  

We recognize that seeing the human side of people in your organization is essential. To strengthen this, we create games that investigate matters and questions within companies. By close collaboration with the organizations we work for, together we find out what the subject of the game will be. 

Motivaction, a marketing research agency from Amsterdam, approached us to customize an interactive and content driven game to introduce their rebranding to their own team. We’ve created 5 interactive routes through the Jordaan area of Amsterdam with each route embodying a specific value. Our crew guided the 15 groups from the control room, posing as the A.I. character Saira. Speaking with them using whatsapp text, clips and pictures to guide them on their scavenger hunt.

At Buro Curious, we’re not just about games; we’re about transforming experiences, unlocking the full potential of individuals and teams and seeing every single employee as an individual that can make a difference. To get to know more about the world of games and puzzle making, we speak with puzzle maker Leon van Oldenborgh

Interview with game maker Leon

For this newsletter we asked Leon van Oldenborgh, interaction and game designer, to tell us a little bit about this process. We worked together with Leon on The Box Game project for Santander

Could you describe what it is that you do? 

I studied game design at HKU, and since then, I have been designing games and puzzles for artistic purposes or to apply them to businesses and organizations. What I do is design puzzles where I create certain thought patterns. 

How does that work?

You can see any game as a collection of rules wherein a player is given a certain goal and then they interpret these rules and try to navigate towards the goal. As a game designer you create both the rules and the goal in a certain way so that a specific takeaway is reached. This takeaway, crafted together by the designer and client, is often hidden in the strategy that players need to solve the puzzle or win the game.

What is your work process like?

Shapes and ways that puzzles can work, are already in my head. From a puzzle design perspective I work with interactions that people already know, like using audiofragments or a jigsaw puzzle. The trickiest bit? Unraveling what a client really wants to convey is. A company has certain focus points or themes they’d like to convey to their employees. We embark on a quest to pinpoint specific focus points and spin them into a concept. This concept is presented to the client in a clear roadmap including a step-by-step explanation of the puzzles, with the goal behind it. To make this super concrete, I write down where, in every step of the game, the takeaways are hidden. With every meeting it gets more clear to both the client and us designers, what needs to be achieved and what will be the most successful and fun way of doing so. 

Could you provide an example of how your unique skill set has impacted the Santander project?

In the game we created for Santander, a collaboration between Sherlocked and Buro Curious, one of the companies focus points was to see people as individuals and to highlight that the bank is there to help its clients realize their dreams. How we incorporated this into the game was to create a puzzle for example, in which players had to listen to audio fragments where fictional clients voiced their wishes. However, this information was incomplete and to be replenished by the employees. This way clients really had to be understood in order for the employees to move forward in the game. It enforced a way of thinking that the company wanted to highlight.  

WHAT TO EXPERIENCE

Each edition we make a selection of experiences we wouldn’t want to miss. This time around we asked Floris, our intern here at Buro Curious, what’s cool in the world of gamification? 

Floris van Kouwen | Student Communication & Multimedia Design and Intern at Buro Curious

Baldur’s Gate 3 | Larian Studios

In a gaming landscape increasingly driven by profit, Baldur’s Gate 3 takes a different approach. It seamlessly translates the rich world of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) tabletop gaming into a captivating video game experience. Perfect for those who’ve always wanted to try D&D but struggle to schedule sessions with friends.

HealthyGamerGG | Dr. K

Revolutionizing therapy through gamification on their YouTube channel, HealthyGamerGG, led by Dr. K, a psychiatrist, integrates gaming with mental health. Through in-depth interviews with popular streamers, the channel makes psychological concepts accessible by using gaming language and culture.

Habitica

Habitica, a habit tracker app, embraces gamification to motivate users in developing positive habits. The app assists in habit formation by allowing users to create a game for their avatars. Users can embark on quests, defeat monsters, and earn rewards for completed tasks. Daily tasks, habits, and to-dos transform into challenges. This creates a visual representation of the user’s growth, making the pursuit of goals more enjoyable and engaging.