At the initial work meetings, both teams (the team of the leading sports news website and Whiz) defined the project goals, taking into account the requirements of the sports news website. The ball was in our court - we had to decide on the best approach and give 100% of ourselves. Our work began with research and analysis of the most successful online trivia games in the world. We also drew inspiration from our personal experience as developers and gamers. Our aim was to give sports fans the first world-class trivia game in Bulgaria and make it more than entertaining. Since people play such games to test their knowledge, we had to give them a motivating intellectual challenge. During the brainstorming sessions, our team members, who were greatly inspired by this idea, gave many suggestions on the game’s structure, dynamics and design and the overall user experience. After an honest and thorough evaluation of all suggestions, we picked the best ones.
Our team created the game concept including the rules, the point system, the battles and all other major components. We prepared an action plan and began our meticulous work on the software development of Quiz.
A Quick Start with a Few Clicks
We had envisioned the creation of a complete platform for the sports trivia game which would be highly interactive and integrated with the social networks so that it could reach and captivate the target audience easily and quickly. Everyone can play after creating their own profile. This is a quick and simple process. Players can sign up using their social account on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.
No matter how players enter the game, they can share a link to it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ with the touch of a button. This is an incredibly quick way for gathering a group of friends-slash-rivals to play with. It also helps the game go viral on the social networks. The news about it is reaching an ever larger number of people without the use of traditional marketing methods such as targeted advertising.
A Competition with Direct Battles
To make the game as interesting and enthralling as possible, we provided for rivalry in a unique way. Each player gets into a direct battle with another one. They both have to answer one and the same questions on a sports topic in real time. There are only 10 seconds for answering each question, so there’s no way to cheat using Google. Points are awarded for correct answers only. The more quickly a question is answered, the more points it brings. The winner of the battle is the player who has more points.
The “Play” button hints users what to expect thanks to its crossed swords and red color. Players can choose their opponent for the battle or be chosen by someone else. With the “Challenge” button, they can “throw their glove” before a specific participant. When you click on this button, you see a list of all players who are online. You can arrange the list in line with your preferences using different sort options. The names of your friends participating in the competition can be found in a separate list. Both lists and the section “Who’s online?” can be used for running intelligence by checking rival profiles, which contain their full battle history and an exhaustive list of their achievements. We also included a special search feature for finding specific adversaries within the game.
What’s a Battle Like?
We made the user interface highly intuitive to help players focus entirely on the game. During a battle, the avatars of the rivals are on both sides of the stopwatch which shows how many seconds remain before the question is closed. The correct and incorrect answers of the players are marked in green and red respectively, just like the penalty shots during a football game broadcast. Each of the four possible answers to a given question appears on a separate clickable card and we purposefully chose a large font. With these design solutions, we help players answer the questions more quickly. This brings them extra points, if the answer is correct, of course. The game is equally dynamic and fun when played on desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Just like in sports, we wanted players to run analysis after the end of each battle. You can check how many points you’ve earned for each correct answer and not only. The questions with the possible answers are displayed in their original form, with the answers of both rivals being marked. The correct answer is marked in green, regardless of whether it has been given by any of the players. This is a great way for all sports fans to grow their knowledge and to gain higher ranking in the Quiz game too.
Recognizing Achievements with Fantastic Badges
What would a game be like without prizes? Participants are fighting to reach the ultimate goal - taking one of the prize-winning places in the final rankings. In addition to this, we decided to use a proven formula for marking achievements, which gives players greater satisfaction and motivation. Relying on our creative talent and experience as gamers, we created four achievement categories. For the first three (“Number of played battles”, “Number of won battles” and “Reached level”), we set four different levels. The more people play and the further they advance, the higher achievements they unlock. With the fourth category, we honor truly remarkable accomplishments like winning three battles in a row (“Hat-trick”) and earning 50 points in a single battle (“Domination”).
For each individual achievement, our designers created a special badge with a stylized symbol and a distinctive color. We gave badges fun names too. For example, after playing 50 battles, the player receives the “Got the Hang of It” badge. Reaching level 5 makes you a “Private”, while at level 60 you are “General”.
Virtual Life in the Game
Upon entering the competition, users create their own profile. Any kind of image can be set up as avatar. It’s possible to place your social network profile photo directly, if you have used your account to sign up for the game. Players can access their in-game profile, achievements and battle history at any time by clicking on the icon with their avatar in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. While viewing their detailed battle history, players can challenge a rival directly to get revenge using the specially designed button. The fun never ends!
The drop-down profile menu offers other options like challenging a rival, checking friends in the game and sending a question as well. The last option gives sports fans the opportunity to send their own question to be included in the game. When this happens, they win 500 points automatically. Players can also suggest new achievements to be added. We wanted to ensure that everyone would feel at home and be part of the adventure.
In their profile, players can adjust the settings at any time. They can change their avatar, profile background and personal information easily and quickly. Personalizing the gameplay takes just a few seconds.
The Social Element
The Quiz players are rivals, but we also gave them the opportunity to become friends, given the passion for sports which they share. It is easy to add any participant to your group of friends. There is a special button for this which appears on the screen when you check someone’s profile. There’s more at stake in the battles with friends and this makes them more exciting.
Social network sharing is an integral part of the game. Players can share not only a link to the game, but also their results and achievements on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter using the “Share” button. There’s nothing better than celebrating your success with friends. The social network interactions work effectively for engaging existing players and attracting new ones. They help to create awareness not only for the game, but for the brand behind it too.
The Notification System
With this system, we intended to make the participation in the game even easier, more pleasant and more fun. In the upper right-hand corner, there’s a bell notifying players that something important has happened. The number of new notifications is shown in red.
The system-generated messages contain not only useful information, but also calls to action. The welcome message, for instance, encourages players to begin their first battle or to learn the rules of the game. This approach works excellently for keeping the attention and interest of participants at all times.
A Detailed Tutorial
It’s easy to start playing upon entering Quiz thanks to the intuitive user interface. At the same time, we also wanted to give players a detailed gameplay tutorial. The FAQ format was just right for it. The tutorial is easily accessible from a short menu, which makes social sharing and the profile settings quick to reach too. Players can also leave feedback, which is invaluable for the teams of Whiz and our client when it comes to the game’s expansion.
Tens of thousands of players are already taking part in the Quiz battles on their desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets. They have lots of fun, learn new things about their favorite sports, reach remarkable achievements and make new friends.
A Premium Advertising Channel with Lots of Options
The Quiz game gives businesses the opportunity to take advantage of one of the most innovative and successful marketing tactics - gamification. The idea is to use gameplay for getting people engaged with the brand and converting them into customers. Our team developed various attractive ad formats which we integrated into the game. Advertisers can take full advantage of them, depending on their specific goals.
Branding is a fundamental method for attracting the attention of players. Different attributes of the advertiser’s brand such as its logo or a stylized image of a specific product can be set as background for the battles in the game. We make the web page design elegant and attractive and the ad elements fit perfectly into the game’s style.
The notifications with ad messages are among the innovative forms of advertising which we added to Quiz. The notification system presents players with a great offer, which is just one click away. The notifications containing ads are generated in the same way as the system ones and are listed together with them. The result is full integration of advertising with the rhythm of the gameplay. The ad messages can be personalized and include a greeting with the player’s name. Advertisers can also add an attention-grabbing image to the powerful text.
The game design allows for the use of different types of banner positions. The banner ads and their places on the screen are well known to people and they automatically look at them. With a beautiful design and a tempting ad message, banners can work excellently for converting players into customers.
Native advertising is part of the game (gamification in its purest form) and works impeccably. In a Quiz battle, one of the questions is related to the advertiser’s brand or to one of their products. Whether players give the correct answer or not, their interest in the brand or product has been sparked. They will certainly want to learn more. It is possible to create entire Quiz games dedicated to the advertiser’s brand or to a specific product.
The custom ad system which we built especially for the game provides excellent opportunities for target marketing based on gender, age, location and interests. Each ad, regardless of its form, can target a specific group of players segmented on the basis of one or more of these characteristics. For example, a store for sports goods in Sofia, Bulgaria, can choose to focus on men between the ages of 18 and 35 who live in the city to promote its retail range of football cleats. Target marketing has proven to be effective for sales increase and is known for yielding a high return on investment. In addition to the ad system, which we created for Quiz, we offer the option of integrating 3rd party ad systems like SmartAdServer for monetization purposes.