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Project KUMA – a learning and recruitment game for KLM Care Team volunteers

Dur­ing the sec­ond half of 2014 and the first half of 2015 we worked on a project code­named KUMA. We helped KLM Busi­ness Cam­pus under­stand and explore the poten­tial of game-based learn­ing for the pur­pos­es of recruit­ing and train­ing KLM Care Team vol­un­teers. Care Team sup­ports vic­tims and their next of kin in the case of an incident.

The cen­tral ques­tion explored in this project was if and how games could help poten­tial vol­un­teers under­stand what the work of a Care Team mem­ber entails and why they should con­sid­er sign­ing up.

In this project we cre­at­ed a brief, a con­cept port­fo­lio and a pro­duc­tion plan. Sub­se­quent­ly, we cre­at­ed sto­ry­boards and mock­ups for one game con­cept select­ed from the port­fo­lio. Our efforts helped KLM Busi­ness Cam­pus make informed deci­sions about how to best make game-based learn­ing a part of their broad range of learn­ing tech­nol­o­gy inno­va­tion initiatives.


Our approach was high­ly col­lab­o­ra­tive. We were not just con­cerned with cre­at­ing high qual­i­ty deliv­er­ables but also with max­imis­ing knowl­edge trans­fer from us to the KLM Busi­ness Cam­pus team. To this end we organ­ised a num­ber of work­shops at our Utrecht stu­dio. Each work­shop had a spe­cif­ic focus, rang­ing from under­stand­ing applied game design fun­da­men­tals, through gen­er­at­ing game ideas, all the way to plan­ning a game devel­op­ment roadmap.

The work­shops were lead by our prin­ci­pals but we brought in help from our asso­ciate Sebas­t­ian Deter­d­ing and from illus­tra­tor Agnes Loon­stra. Sebas­tian’s deep exper­tise in game-based learn­ing proved invalu­able as he he cri­tiqued our deliv­er­ables and pro­vid­ed valu­able input. Agnes joined us for the work­shops to rapid­ly visu­alise game ideas as they emerged.

Workshop under way

One of a series of game idea visualisations by Agnes Loonstra

One of a series of game idea visualisations by Agnes Loonstra


After com­plet­ing the work­shops and deliv­er­ing the brief, con­cept port­fo­lio and pro­duc­tion plan we went on to select one con­cept and devel­op its design fur­ther through sto­ry­boards and mock­ups. We invit­ed artist Tim Hengeveld to join us for this effort.

We out­lined the sto­ry we want­ed to be able to tell using the mock­ups, sto­ry­board­ed it and final­ly pro­duced high­ly detailed screens. In par­al­lel we wrote the copy to be used in the screens. At every step we spent time with KLM Busi­ness Cam­pus to review and refine the work at hand.

One of a series of game design concept mockups by Tim Hengeveld

A play­er is invit­ed to expe­ri­ence what it is like to work as a Care Team member.

One of a series of game design concept mockups by Tim Hengeveld

The play­er must observe the liv­ing sit­u­a­tion of a cus­tomer close­ly to pro­vide them with the right support.

One of a series of game design concept mockups by Tim Hengeveld

The sat­is­fac­tion of Care Team work is derived from real­ly being able to help peo­ple. We want­ed to get this across in the game.

The out­comes of the work­shops and the visu­alised game con­cept togeth­er huge­ly increased KLM Busi­ness Cam­pus’s under­stand­ing of game-based learn­ing. After work­ing with us, they were able to con­fi­dent­ly make impor­tant deci­sions about the mix of learn­ing tech­nolo­gies they would employ for the train­ing of KLM Care Team going for­ward. And they had acquired skills and knowl­edge enabling them to start devel­op­ing game-based learn­ing solu­tions in-house.

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