Pixel Farm Digital Chooses WebORB for .NET to Deploy Live Multi-player Business Simulation Games

Pixel Farm Digital  (PFD) has created a wide variety of custom business simulation games meant to emulate real-world decision-making environments for participants.  Past sims have included sales dialogs, collaborative process engineering, project management, leadership skills and more.  While single-learner LMS-access to SCORM-compliant courses is a frequent deployment option used by their clients, PFD also co-facilitates live training events.  These events stage business simulations as a cornerstone live training event that is formatted somewhere between a gameshow and a business-oriented LAN party. (Download PDF)

Participants are broken into teams that pit against each other in a real-time struggle to work within their team to prove that they’ve got what it takes to stay ahead of their competition. In many cases, the winners take home prizes.  “We aim to transform what’s ordinarily a passive keynote or powerpoint experience into an energized, interactive exercise that puts the fun first and hides the training inside,” says PFD Technology Director, Matt Weier.  “We love to see the way that participants work together and are driven by the element of competition.”

To manage the game state and ensure that the faciliitator can control players’ screens and access to the simulation at any time, the game clients’ Flash Actionscript codebase must communicate with a central game server’s SQL database via Microsoft .NET.   The game server is also responsible for tracking all participant game data and driving the game leaderboard.  PFD’s simulation backbone has always been .NET, but required a layer of XML encapsulation in order to communicate complex game data between Flash and the server via SOAP requests.

Says Weier, “With WebORB for .NET, we no longer need to parse in or out of XML.  All of our Flash objects can be sent as native serialized Flash objects.  This saves a huge amount of development time.  We’ve evaluated other remoting solutions including AMF and Flash Media Server, but  Midnight Coders’ WebORB for .NET has by far provided the most accelerated workflow we’ve found.”  

A business unit of Pixel Farm, PFD was created in response to the growing consumer demand for transparency, authenticity, and creativity in both advertising and internal training/communications.  PFD offers a unique culture that fuses technology and creativity to build high-value solutions that connect people to the brands they love.

PFD also holds a leadership position in the digital training and human resources community, working with clients in industries ranging from medical device manufacturing to retail and financial services.  Capabilities include HR, eLearning, Production and Post Production, Branding, Integrated Campaigns, Branded Content and Social Media.

Founded in 1995, Pixel Farm is the Midwest’s premier full service, post-production studio specializing in visual effects, finishing, animation, design, film transfer, color correction and music.

Pixel Farm Digital: http://www.pixelfarmdigital.com 

Pixel Farm: http://www.pixelfarm.com