Learning to lead

An immersive scenario game


I developed this scenario-based game on leadership for a Canadian Student Federation.

The problem: what the client initially wanted

When they initially contacted me, the client requested a simple quiz, or “Jeopardy-style game”.
Their online course was quite long and they wanted to break it up with “some fun games and quizzes”.
I was provided with the course materials: a 200 pages PDF that felt like an endless presentation.

The course, a training about leadership delivered messages like “be fair”, “ask good questions”, and “be mindful of your body-language”, but with no indication of how to apply these principles.

However, all was not lost. Delving into the content, it seemed they already knew they wanted to evaluate their learners decision making processes in real life situations, but didn’t know how to implement this, instead defaulting to requesting a “quiz”.

The solution: what the client really needed

We discussed best practices for teaching soft skills. I then helped the client identify a solution that met their needs: a challenging scenario game. Instead of asking people to recall information, we would instead require them to use course information to make decisions in realistic situations.


After brainstorming activity ideas, I created a rough prototype of the game.
Together with the Subject Matter Expert, we identified several challenging situations student leaders often face. Her insight helped me outline possible responses, and narrow down options until we were able to write several compelling scenarios.

I then took that outline and wrote the full content of the activity. I used a mind-mapping tool, mindmeister, to get feedback from the SME.

Several rounds of feedback and edits were needed to make sure the situations were believable and that the consequences were helpful to the learner. We also had to make sure the options we presented were challenging enough. Adding details, both relevant and distracting, allowed us to reach an ideal level of difficulty for each question.

Design and Development Process

I created a prototype with basic layouts and design and submitted it to the client.

I then refined the design, using Adobe XD.

I developed the game in Storyline 360. No xAPI could be implemented as the client wanted to host it on a platform that didn’t support Tin Can.