"We're going to create the best Zoom workshop experience that brings to life the intersection between technology, innovation and storytelling, empowering and enabling learning and development in a whole new way."
A Virtual Escape Room That Relies On Global Teamwork
The Missing Patient is a highly immersive virtual learning and development experience that begins with a mysterious package showing up in attendee's physical mailbox, teasing them with a designated time and meeting place to show up at. The only peculiar thing is, the coordinates given are for a location online. A seemingly ordinary Zoom meeting with people dialing in from multiple countries lead participants into the scene of a macabre crime, sending groups scouring for answers across the web to locate the culprit, before time runs out.
The objective was to present a series of complex healthcare, communication and business problems under a tight 45-minute timeline, all in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic where attendees could not learn in person at a live workshop. Designed as a first-person perspective through the lens of a multi-layered escape room, the game prototypes new ways of running virtual workshops combining creativity and adult learning via methods never explored before.
Our client wanted their first-ever virtual sales rep workshop to 'wow' attendees in a way that makes them rethink what a medical patient journey could look like, while reinforcing key sales tactics along the way. We aimed at designing a holistic training experience that combines education, entertainment and competition, integrating technology and physical props as part of the complete experiential package.
What We Set Out To Do:
We are speaking to a discerning audience that has seen everything, and been everywhere when it comes to attending live workshops. What about virtual or reality blended events?
Well, that is new territory. We needed to impress attendees in a way that makes them rethink what it means to walk in the shoes of a patient struggling with medical pre-conditions, a complex interpersonal relationship with healthcare providers, and the onset of a new illness.
What are the clues this patient might leave behind? It was through this lens that we developed this murder mystery narrative. All of us take on the persona of a detective, on a quest to trace the steps that this missing patient took, from the apartment, to the doctor's office to the pharmacy, in order for us to learn more about how we can save this person.
Having established a 'whodunnit' lens to the experience, we turned to the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Sherlock Holmes for artistic, audio and visual inspiration. Ensuring an inquisitive pursuit of discovery lay at the heart of the audience journey, we set out to build an entire virtual world fictitiously set in the town of Oak Creek.
The world came complete with twelve characters, an ominous night time setting and a dramatic audio soundscape. Spaces in the virtual world included a town square, detective office, hospital, apartment building, a dubious speakeasy, pharmacy, pharmaceutical offices and a derelict bunker.
We commenced the process by returning to the roots of the brief. It's about retracing the medical history of the missing patient. Rather than looking for a fresh hook, we placed this patient's medical journey into the center of the experience. We considered the three core training pillars of 'motivation', 'discovery' and 'teamwork' as we envisioned the virtual event space.
The final design took the form of a 90 minute adrenaline infused experience that came complete with a direct mailer that arrived at participant's homes with clear instructions of how and when to open a top secret envelope. The event kicked off with a personality assessment icebreaker, a 45 minute gaming experience, the unlocking of a collaborative worksheet and finally an assessment of how attendees worked as a team.
The 'Oak Creek' 360 virtual interface component allowed attendees to log on at their own pace over Google Chrome browser, click around and explore approximately 250 clues marked by red magnifying glasses and collaborate in real time over Zoom with their fellow teammates to solve the murder mystery. Finally, attendees are directed to a collaborative real-time software where they can work in teams on a worksheet to score points and answer technical questions.
Workshop facilitators stand by to observe interactions between participants as well as to grade answers on the final worksheet.
This multi-purpose virtual experience has been staged to critical acclaim over 60 times in 2020, with attendees dialing in all across the United States, South America, Asia and Europe. Each session hosts about 16 attendees and over 800 people have taken part in the activity worldwide.
It continues to be utilized as a virtual team building activity and sets a unique standard for customer journey strategic workshops.
Game Concept, Environmental Design, Music Direction, Visual & Creative Direction: Lee Changzhi
Venue: Zoom platform
Project date: 2020 - Ongoing