Talent Chess

A web-based game for senior executives and HR professionals. The game represents an organisation, the game pieces represent members of the organisation who have a potential value that can be managed to maximise the organisation's value.

talent chess game banner
What we did
Research and Planning
UX Research & Design
UI Design
Development

The Brief

Our Client Jeffay Consulting Group is an Atlanta-based Independent Consulting firm specialising in People Strategies, Organisation Design and Talent Management.

As part of their consulting practice, our Client had created a board game to play with the organisations they consult. However, once the pandemic hit, they had to adapt and convert this game into an online version quickly.

They created a rudimentary online game on Google Slides that achieved the purpose of the teams playing the game; however, there was a tedious manual process to set the game up for every "decision" and "move" a team had to make. Finally, with the effectiveness and growing popularity of the game, they were ready to invest in a web-based game that made setting up and playing the game seamless, automated and effortless.

Discovery, Research and Planning

As designers and developers, we must first understand the game's objective, process, and outcome. Therefore, we spent several sessions with the Client virtually.

Our sessions included deep-diving into the following:

  • Play the game as users
  • Understand the game logic in the current state - the strategy behind every action, the scoring mechanism, the desired outcomes
  • Understand the process and effort required by the Admin to set up a game and identify gaps and opportunities
  • Understand the user's (the player's) actions, commonly asked questions asked previously, and understand the emotional journey of the teams while playing the game
  • Understand the desired output once the game goes digital
  • Define the game's logic to work digitally, and strategize the new features and outcomes for both the Teams and the Admin.
talent chess goal 1talent chess goal 2tc-goal-3

Design Research

With the objective of the game defined, we focused our research on the principles of game design, a user's psychology while playing games, and design inspiration for various aspects of the games. With no competitor in this space and this being our first game design, this step was crucial for the project's success.

talent chess research

Design Process

UX Design and Planning

We created user personas, empathy maps, user task flows, and user journeys to define the steps taken by both the Front End Users and the Admin Users. These aided us in creating a detailed user flow for the game.

Wireframes represented every negative and positive scenario a user would experience while playing the game. A blueprint for every screen that followed an action selection, every dice roll and outcome were laid out, discussed, iterated, and finalised.

The detailed user flow and wireframes helped the development team create their back-end architecture and database structure.

In parallel, the design team created a list of assets we needed to design, including but not limited to the main board, action cards, dice, spinners and other elements required to achieve the game's objective.

talent chess user journeytalent chess wireframes
character sketches
talent chess character design

UI Design

Keeping the end-users (senior corporate executives) and the context of the game in mind, the strategy for the design was to make the overall look & feel more corporate than casual. The brand colours also needed to be retained to align with our Client's identity.

Strategic UI Decisions

  • Recreate an office environment to set the tone and context of the game
  • To design the character ("The Game Pieces") to be gender-neutral, race-neutral, and age-neutral
  • "Take An Action" to be the main focus of the game
  • Action cards

Admin Panel for Setting the GameWe took in all our Client's pain points for the admin area and created an easy-to-set-up game creation flow.

In addition, we provided the Client with a place in the back-end where they can control the game while in progress. For example, they could add more time to the game, stop a game or even end a game prematurely.

talent chess admin screens

Execution

After finalising the Tech Requirement Document, the entire process was divided into a module-based agile approach. Wireframes for the user journeys helped with the Database Structure.

We followed an MVC architecture for developing the web application. Finally, we created an admin panel for the game creation and control; and a scoring logic was built for a seamless user experience while playing the game. We conceptualised and executed animations and sounds for every action played.

We love challenges and the opportunity to work on something we have never worked on before. So even though it was the first game we created, we followed our process, and with meticulous planning and rigorous testing, we could execute the final product successfully. The real-time synchronisation of the card played, and various teams' scores are this game's USP.

We are working on phase 2 of the game, with newer features and improvements.

playing on the computer
playing on a tablet