App-based versus Online Virtual Games
At Wildly Different, all of our virtual games are led by a live Game Master and assistant that get people excited and informed about what their experience will be. After the kick-off which can be done on our Zoom OR your organization’s preferred meeting platform (such as Microsoft teams or WebEx), your group is broken up into teams, and players can then access the games in one of two ways – via an App, or via a website. Trying to decide which will work best for you? Read on to find out more!
What’s the difference between App-based vs. Online games?
App-based virtual games require players to download a free app onto their phone or tablet (iOS and Android devices) – it will not work on a computer – to play the game. Our app is very non-intrusive, asking for only two permissions. The first is access to a microphone, so players can record videos if the game includes “make a video” challenges. The second is access to the camera, so players can take photos if the game includes “take a photo” challenges and/or scan items, such as images in a dossier to open IR (image recognition) tasks that enhance the game.
Online virtual games require participants to visit a website address using a computer to play the game. They are the opposite of App-based virtual games in that a phone or tablet cannot be used to access the virtual experience!
Why should I choose an App-based virtual game?
In an app-based game…
- Players on the same team are all linked together with everyone’s points going towards one overall score. Players are instructed to work together on challenges. As these are fed in order to players, it’s easy for them to work together as a team without confusion/trying to figure out who is working on what challenge.
- Game Masters can monitor the progress of teams as they play via the backend. There’s no need for our Game Masters to “hang out” in each team’s breakout room, which is ideal because team dynamics change when a stranger is watching them – people may feel uncomfortable and they tend to “give up” quicker, asking Game Masters for help vs. working through a challenge on their own. That being said, our Game Masters are available for help and by simply sending a request through in-game Messaging. Game Masters can also check in on teams that seem to be lagging behind.
3. Custom content can be included. Clients often choose to add on a company logo and weave in a selection of company questions to our “standard” games as an affordable personalization option. Whereas others have had us create a completely custom game to spotlight their message and meeting objectives!
4. Answers are tracked. This can be especially helpful to groups who are participating in a custom game. For instance, if company information is being tested, post-game your organization can provide coaching on challenges that people got wrong and/or evaluate how the information is presented.
5. There are a number of features online games don’t have, such as a live scoreboard that delivers instant results and the ability for players to take photos/create videos that are immediately shown to all players at the end of the game in a fun wrap-up!
Why should I choose an online virtual game?
With an online virtual game…
- There is no reason to download an app. Two reasons this is a big deal for some clients:
- Sometimes companies have strong guidelines on what can and cannot be downloaded onto company devices, making an online game a no-brainer. That being said, you do still have to ensure the website used to access the virtual game isn’t blocked by your company’s firewall, but this is usually an easy fix, by simply providing the web address to your IT team to unblock it in advance.
- If your group is not very tech-savvy, this is a less intimidating method to access a game!
2. players get the sense of “being there” as they can “walk around” in the game. I.e., in our Online Virtual Escape Rooms, guests can rotate 360 degrees around actual rooms they enter virtually to explore the area for clues. However, when they find one, there’s no need for a conversation with a Game Master about what they found as players are able to enter answers and access information on their own. In Timeline, they get to go back to the 1980s to explore their grandfather’s garage and father’s bedroom in an effort to save the world. And in the Order of Illusionists, they get to experience Houdini’s museum to conjure up clues and escape, just like the great magician.
3. players are encouraged to divide and conquer to find and complete challenges. Although a Team Captain is elected to wrangle everyone’s answers together, everyone has access to view all of the Virtual Escape Room clues all at once. While this may seem to be a minus, it can actually be a plus, as it forces teams to communicate more in-depth. At the end, it can provide ample fodder for a self-debrief as you ask people to share if they worked in silos or shared the information they found, how they approached the tasks at hand, etc.