Yrityskylä is a learning environment for pupils in their sixth and ninth years of education, covering the topics of society, finances, working life and entrepreneurship. Yrityskylä has been named the world’s best education innovation. Yrityskylä provides municipalities and schools with a high-quality learning entity, bringing the joy of learning to pupils while following the school curriculum.
In line with the upper-school concept, upper-school pupils visit the Yrityskylä learning environment via a digital game system. On the game day, pupils split up into teams and manage companies operating on global markets. The game also steers pupils towards interactions. Digia was tasked with advancing the development of the Yrityskylä game system.
Agile development enabled new features to be deployed rapidly
The further development project encompassed approximately 100 employee-days of work, and it aimed to transform the prototype into a ready-made production version and ensure that the game was scalable. One aim was to improve the game experience and create the opportunity to commercialise the game by branding it in accordance with the visual appearances of partners.
The project got off to a quick start only a few weeks after the decision was made. Digia’s soon got to grips with the prototype and what needed to be done to it, and the first features were complete just a few weeks after the project began. The development work took place in the form of agile sprints.
A special challenge was to ensure that a functional, playable version of the game was constantly available, even though new features were being deployed on the fly, in line with the principles of agile development.
A clear vision helped development
The project encompassed significant improvements to the user experience of the game, as well as improvements to make the game more reminiscent of the operations of a company.
The outcome of the project was a genuinely entertaining and educational game, in which teams compete with each other to succeed on global markets. The winner of the game is the team whose earnings place it in the top three teams and whose reputation score is the best of the three. Victory requires a successful strategy and interaction within the team.
“The cooperation was highly agile and easy, and communication with the development team was proactive. The developers have a very solution-oriented approach and a lot of suggestions. It was good to see the Digia employees testing the game on their team-building day. The outcome was what we ordered, and we are thoroughly satisfied with the game. The real-time status graphs are worthy of a special mention – these are the most significant improvement to the game experience in comparison with the previous version. In the prototype, the data was contained in Excel spreadsheets, making it difficult to access,” says Minna Ala-Outinen, Product Manager at Yrityskylä.
“Although the project was started by a different supplier, we got to grips with it quickly as Minna, the product owner, was active and very knowledgeable. She also had a clear vision of what we were doing, and she answered all our questions quickly. It was clearly apparent how important it is when the customer knows what they are buying. The smooth start to the project was also down to the fact that the technologies were modern, well suited to the project and familiar to Digia’s team,” says Mikko Alander, the Technical Lead on the project.