What is a Business Game?

The term "business game" refers to an interactive simulation that immerses participants in the world of business management. Designed as a pedagogical tool, it relies on realistic scenarios to provide a fun and effective learning environment for professionals and students.

Throughout the management simulation scenario, participants face practical cases where they must make strategic decisions that will impact the achievement of objectives. These scenarios might simulate bringing a new product or service to market, creating a new production line, or opening an office in a new country... These are just some of the situations that could potentially arise in the professional world.

Accessible in academic settings as well as in businesses, the business game is a simulation game that proves to be an interactive learning tool that promotes collaboration and stimulates professional development.

Creating a Business Game with VTS Editor
Example of a Business Game created with VTS Editor

What are the benefits of Business Games?

The "business game" is considered a very powerful pedagogical tool for developing both technical skills (hard skills) and interpersonal skills (soft skills) in individuals, whether professionals or students.

This active pedagogical methodology is based on an immersive approach that engages participants in developing and practicing their skills and behaviors through an interactive, professional serious game.

This approach promotes lasting memorization of knowledge and skill development through practice and experience. By directly involving themselves in the simulation and management games, participants retain the acquired knowledge more effectively compared to traditional teaching methods in preparatory classes, business schools, or even in‑house training in companies.

Facing failure and uncertainty is an essential aspect of skill development. While failure can be hard to accept, it is also a powerful learning driver. Business Games offer a safe space where participants are free to make mistakes, allowing them to draw concrete lessons that are directly transferable to real‑life professional situations in diverse sectors such as finance, management, entrepreneurship, supply chain, or management control for skills acquisition, career transition, or career advancement.

How to create Business Games?

Now that you have an overview of the foundations and benefits of a Business Game, you might want to create your own. The design of a Business Game is a relatively complex process as it involves many skills and specializations:

  • Expertise in the processes to simulate
  • Knowledge of Game Design for game balance and difficulty management
  • Game design knowledge for graphics and programming.

In terms of design, our 9‑step method, developed through hundreds of projects, can greatly help you structure the creation of your Business Game.

You will find all the details of this method by downloading our white paper dedicated to this method.

The 9 steps of the Juicy Learning method

1. Define the pedagogical objective, target, and concept First and foremost, it is important to clearly define why and for whom you are creating your Business Game: recent graduates, operational engineers, faculty, international students, executives in luxury commerce... and an infinite number of possible profiles. It is therefore important to ask yourself the right questions before starting.

So start by answering these 3 questions:
  • What is the pedagogical objective of the game‑based management simulator? (example: implementing a marketing strategy)
  • Who is your target? (example: students in a business school)
  • What is the main concept of your Business Game? (example: the Ebike company has developed a new urban electric bike, you will need to define the marketing strategy and manage your budget)
2. Identify the key skills Just like a training module where you would identify the key messages, a business game aims to put into practice already acquired skills. This step consists of defining which skills will be implemented to achieve the game objectives and what "parameters" participants can act on to vary the scenario.
3. Construct the architecture At this stage, you have defined the outlines of your project. It's now time to design its contours.
The important thing here is to set the different key stages of your Business Game. This is the step where you will think about your story development.
What pace do you want to give your story? Who will be the characters involved and what are their personas? In which environments does the story take place?
4. Distribute the key skillsIn this pedagogical design step, the goal is to efficiently distribute the skills that have been identified in step 2.
This is the stage where you will define the different actions that must be performed by the participants and which skills these actions will call upon.
5. Write the ideal scenarioThe ideal path represents the most effective journey, where the learner makes all the right choices. For this stage, it is essential to build this path without yet worrying about writing the incorrect choices; the goal is to put in writing the complete ideal narrative of the learning experience. It is also advisable not to dwell too much on the creation of interactions or staging at this stage. The priority remains to record the complete sequence of events in the scenario.
6. Create alternativesNow that the ideal narrative is established, it is time to tackle the writing of the various alternative branches of the scenario. This phase involves thinking about the different ways to test the learner, the consequences of their mistakes, and their influence on the continuation of the scenario. The goal here is to be able to map the pedagogical progression of the learner throughout the learning experience.
7. Evaluate with scores and debriefingAfter having developed a playable scenario from start to finish, it is essential to move on to the step aiming to provide the learner with constructive feedback. The goal is to help them understand how they can improve and learn from their mistakes. You can imagine different levels of difficulty where explanations of errors are more or less present.
8. Give your experience the Juiciness it deservesYour Business Game is now complete from a pedagogical and narrative point of view. The next step is to make it captivating and engaging by making it "Juicy". For that, two aspects must be considered with care: sound design and graphics.
8. Give your experience the Juiciness it deservesYour Business Game is now complete from a pedagogical and narrative point of view. The next step is to make it captivating and engaging by making it "Juicy". For that, two aspects must be considered with care: sound design and graphics.
9. Proofread and deployTake the necessary time for people who did not participate in the design of your project to test your game. If you have the opportunity to conduct user testing, take it; objective feedback will help you identify errors and problems you would not pay attention to, such as typos or residual bugs. It is also important to adjust the pace and difficulty of the game based on this feedback.

Once the content has been meticulously reviewed, validated, and all quality checks have been performed, you are ready to publish your experience. This is the moment to disseminate your project and share it with your target audience.

What tools to create Business Games?

A business game can take many forms:

  • card game, board game, or other physical medium (example Legos) that will be animated by a “game master”.
  • use of a digital application which has the advantage of guiding users in the unfolding of the scenario and in the calculations of the impacts of actions depending on the nature of the professional or educational project.
  • Are you looking for an all‑in‑one tool to create digital Business Games efficiently and without coding? Look no further!
We created VTS Editor, a tool for creating interactive content that brings together everything you need to create high‑quality Business Games.

Need help creating your Business Game?

Since 2007, Serious Factory has been transforming your training into more engaging and memorable experiences.
We support you in succeeding your training strategy by providing solutions that enable the acquisition, development, and assessment of skills.

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