Our team is the heart of who we are as an agency. Blending our unique characteristics and capabilities together, our quirky culture enriches the office environment. So, team building is very important to us, particularly as we bring more ducks on board. This year, my Quack Hack team created Duck Duck Guess: a simple, fun game, meant to bring us all even closer.
At Cyber-Duck, we fiercely protect and nurture our creative, collaborative culture. We love how everyone brings a different set of skills, experience and interests to the table. Working together on exciting projects, we can grow our role and expertise by learning things from each other, even across different departments. Supporting the growth of our supportive, close-knit team is important to us.
For this year’s Quack Hack, my team wanted to create a tool that could enhance team engagement further: helping each individual learn new and interesting things about their colleagues in a fun way, which seamlessly fits with their busy day-to-day schedules.
This is becoming more and more important. As we celebrated our 10th birthday this year, our agency continues to grow rapidly. We wanted new ducks to join our pond in the most warm and welcoming way possible. So, the tool should also help new recruits settle in their new roles, and quickly feel comfortable with the team.
Combined, this inspired the concept behind Duck Duck Guess. It’s no secret that gamification is incredibly effective for learning; building motivation to learn with competition, offering rewards for completing challenges. With notes from the classic ‘Duck Duck Goose’ and ‘Guess Who’, a game would help the team have fun while learning about their colleagues, and hope to find new common interests that go beyond their day-to-day work.
Before building, we carried out preliminary competitor analysis: picking out similar games (and tools) already on the market, and analysing strengths and weaknesses. Findings were fed into our brainstorming session to explore potential features. After this, Cristina explored our main personas (HR and participants), and created a playful design, drawing on our main theme. I concentrated on creating an overview marketing plan: outlining potential promotion tactics for before, during and after launch.
Meanwhile, our developers opted for a one page architecture to make the application feel more like a game. AngularJS handled our client (device) side logic, powering the user interactions alongside other features, like playing sounds. For the underlying game logic, Laravel was used to store all persistent data (such as colleague information) as well as supplying the data needed to the AngularJS app. Defining all the logic on the server-side means the game is much more secure than storing everything on the client-side where someone a little tech savvy could change the data. With the front-end we utilised many techniques such as CSS transforms and HTML5 sounds to make the game feel as immersive as possible.
Final Game: Duck Duck Guess
To gather the data needed, each team member must register, and answer a series of questions about themselves. Then, the player is presented with around 30 cards, with photos and names of their colleagues. Using as few clues as possible, the player must guess which colleague the game is describing. Players who guess correctly with the least amount of clues within the fastest time win, and are crowned a true duck in our pond.
Examples of clues include:
- Craziest laugh in the office
- Has been to Brazil
- Loves any dishes that involve chicken
- Owns an iPhone
- Loves chocolate
- Has climbed Mount Everest
- Can speak more than 3 languages
By the end of the Hackathon, we had a great first version of our team-building game – and came a very respectable 4th. Polishing and launching the game for a pilot run within the Cyber-Duck team is next up for us. But, we’d love to know if the game would be useful for other companies! To build on our current feature list, we’re exploring the potential of new ideas, including multi-player and colleague ‘matchmaking’: notifying those with common interests and suggesting recreational activities.
In the future, we’d like to explore adding more team-building activities: becoming the go-to tool for our HR department to add related information and events. Like what you hear about our agency? Check out our careers page – we’re hiring! – or read more about our Quack Hack projects.