Architecting a real-time gaming platform for on-demand learning experiences

Wharton Interactive came to us with a big challenge: to build the next generation of simulation-based learning. They envisioned a scalable, scriptable, gaming platform played by students through familiar web interfaces. Games written for this custom platform, Alternate Reality Courseware (ARC), would be played by executives from leading companies and students around the globe. These games would be highly interactive and could vary radically in appearance, from business suite software to spaceship command interfaces. Players engaging with ARC would work together, against one another, or solo across an endless number of scenarios.

Our product team designed an end-to-end solution to meet these needs. This included everything from theming flagship games to handling scaling challenges unique to large massive multiplayer online games (MMOGs).

Players participate in games through interactive, real-time interfaces. Here are a few examples:

  • A messaging system is used to simulate email or present threaded information
  • A slideshow builder allows players to build custom presentations or solve puzzles using a series of cards
  • Players may engage in a simulated video conference with non-playable characters, selecting responses which may impact their game
  • Voting and decision making systems designed to allow teams of players to take collective action

We delivered a full suite of tools for managing assets and game logic so developers and writers could easily craft ARC-based games. This management system allowed Wharton Interactive to run reports, version and export games, manage player and game assets, and handle the occasional abuse violation. As the project grew, this management layer would expand to become a significant sub-project, with its own users and issues completely independent of gameplay. Additionally, we created slimmed-down, consumer-facing version of this interface for customers to configure their own games, empowering Wharton Interactive to sell on-off experiences via their marketplace.

ARC is open to the public and Wharton Interactive provides free-to-play games.

Lincoln Loop are thought partners with their clients at every stage of the innovation process. They’re a group of really clever and creative technologists, who make building wildly complex ideas for clients like Wharton Interactive look simple.

Photo of Sarah Toms

Sarah Toms Executive Director & Cofounder, Wharton Interactive

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