AtHand winnaar Dutch Game Award 2014 Serious Game AtHand winnaar E-learning award 2014
AtHand winnaar San Accent


“Are AtHand games suitable for older, more serious target audiences too?”

Yes. Each game has a clear and generally accepted goal, focuses on the improvement of expertise and allows for a certain amount of autonomy in terms of the means by which players reach their goals. Add to this the recognition that players receive and the fun they have playing the game and the success formula is clear, regardless of player profile or age. The format and ‘game play’ can both be aligned to the target audience in question. Relevant content and the game goals are an absolute precondition.

“Can I opt for a competition-driven approach, but without creating losers?”

In his Taxonomy of Player Types, the English professor Richard Bartle describes the preferred actions of different types of players. Not everyone is competitive like a ‘killer’, driven by the need for interaction like a ‘socializer’ or is inquisitive like an ‘explorer’. This is exactly why AtHand games offer clients a variety of game themes, game play and different looks and feels. Ultimately, we want each player to experience each game as an opportunity to deliver unique performance, a little like completing a marathon or climbing a mountain. It inspires you and you’re happy and proud that you have reached your goals, whether you were the best or not. So, there aren’t any losers.

“What do you mean when you say that ‘a game is a learning sprint’?”

As Johan Huizinga says: “A game is a different version of reality”. With this in mind, we here at AtHand are convinced that it’s vital for gamification processes to have a start and an end. A football match usually lasts 90 minutes and the most important football match of them all anywhere in the world is played just once every four years. So, it’s important for gamification to be short enough to stay special, but long enough to have a structural impact. Based on brain-central-learning and practical experience, we believe that a six-week period of intensive playing, changing and learning is ideal in most cases. This ‘learning sprint’ can be repeated after several months, but then with different content, game play and goals. This is what makes gamification a learning and performance turbo that can be used on a structural basis.

‘Is gamification ALWAYS a success?’

The simple answer to this question is “no”. Just like the turbo on your car, this ‘learning and performance turbo’ helps you accelerate provided you have the right basis in place. The systems required need to work, your people need to have mastered the basic process and they need to ‘feel safe’ too. We don’t believe that it’s wise to introduce a Performance Game if the company has just announced a reorganisation and people are uncertain about their jobs. Once the dust has settled and everyone is clear where they stand and what their roles are, the climate could be right for gamification, helping people quickly make a maximum contribution to the success of the new organisation. The success of a gamification process depends on the presence of intrinsic motivation. We will help you to boost this, identify preconditions for the successful use of gamification and then work with you to establish the best timing possible. Here at AtHand, we only launch projects when we are convinced that measurable success is possible for both our clients and us. Only then will the project contribute to the achievement our mission: to ensure that gamification is used on a structural basis and is given the recognition it deserves.

“Will I use a game to focus solely on the consolidation of knowledge?”

Here at AtHand, we prefer games to focus on the achievement of a combination of the employee knowledge, skills, behaviour and performance envisaged. The extent to which each feature can be included varies from one game to another. In this way, we adhere as much as possible to the 70-20-10 model, according to which people primarily learn by doing. With this in mind, the demonstration of behaviour and skills is usually rewarded more than the demonstration of knowledge in our games. However, knowledge is sometimes a goal in its own right. For example, supporting regular training or conveying product or compliance knowledge. The WFT Game, which helps employees to attain a WFT (Financial Supervision Act) certificate faster, is another great example of a specific knowledge game.

“If a game usually lasts just six weeks, how do I use gamification on a structural basis?”

The introduction of focus periods is the best way to ensure that people learn and develop. This is reflected in the structure of education programmes and the training of top athletes. Play strengthens this focus and creates a common goal, mindset and energy. Just as the atmosphere in a country changes during the Olympic Games or World Cup, a gamification process strengthens the focus on collective improvement or the achievement of a goal. AtHand helps companies to deploy this ‘learning and performance turbo’ on a structural basis. Our ACE! Platform makes it possible to continually vary game play, content and goals.

“How does gamification fit in with our existing knowledge, audit and coaching systems?”

AtHand games do not replace existing systems, but strengthen their use and effect. The use of a knowledge base is given a huge qualitative and quantitative boost by setting up a Performance Game here. An e-learning platform with 150 different modules becomes adaptive and will be used far more and, most importantly of all, more effectively by linking it to a Rookie Game or Leadership Game. The results obtained from your existing audits, mystery shopping or quality monitoring will gain increased significance when converted into game points. Something that is usually experienced as a check suddenly becomes an opportunity to gain points and have fun with others. The proper guidance of managers, helping them to achieve more proactive, specific and positive coaching via gamification strengthens the long-term effect.

“You record a lot of data about our employees. Will this affect their privacy?”

AtHand maintains high standards in relation to privacy, security and data protection. The following three pieces of information are recorded on our servers for most of our games: name, e-mail address and XP. XP stands for eXperience Points, being the points gained by playing the game. This is an abstract figure that is difficult to link to actual performance on the work floor. To convert KPIs into game points, the Game Manager is provided with all of the KPIs to be processed via an extra secure server connection. All data is saved in an encrypted format during a game and is destroyed once the game is over.

“What technical impact does starting a game have?”

AtHand games are cloud-based. Besides an internet connection, the only other thing you will need is an URL. The Game Master is responsible for distribution of this URL and the corresponding and personal activation code. AtHand develops links with existing reporting systems, e-learning platforms or a so-called Single Sign On for some clients. In general, these are customised projects that are possible to complete within just several weeks.

“How about online security?”

The ACE! Platform has been developed and is monitored subject to the international OWASP Top 10 Standard. This covers the most important and most well-known international safety risks. So-called penetration tests are used to test our security standard on a regular basis.

“Can you play AtHand Games on a mobile too?”

Definitely. ACE! has been optimised for use with all popular browsers for desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles. The mobile experience has been developed in the form of an app. However, from a technical point of view, we ‘just’ use the mobile browser. This keeps use low-threshold and guarantees maximum reach and an optimal user experience.

“Is the ACE! Platform updated often?”

The ACE! Platform is maintained and optimised on a structural basis. New functionalities are added a number of times a year. Users of ACE! and AtHand Games receive an explanation and demonstration of the updates available once every quarter. AtHand also adds at least one new game-theme to ACE! every year.

“In which languages are AtHand Games available?”

The ACE! Platform is able to support a number of different languages. Most AtHand games are available in Dutch, English, French and Italian. A clear picture is possible of the costs involved and the time necessary to deliver a game in another language.