Service Catalyst’s Escape the Room Game – How We Built It

The challenge for any company on the floor at Knowledge (or any tech show, for that matter) is how to stand out memorably amidst a sea of vendors and specialists, each attempting to share their message as though it were the most essential one at the conference. There’s the traditional “swag” option, where toys, pens, USB adapters, and other branded merchandise are doled out to passers-by willing to put up with a 30-second pitch, in order to build up a kitschy collection for their kids. The implicit message behind this kind of marketing is that that there is no better representation for a company’s unique take on Change Management than a dancing plastic hamster. Videos and live demos are also all too common, but require that any viewer must have either specific curiosity about the subject matter, or an abundance of time to kill before their next session.

Enter the Service Catalyst Escape the Room game! By leveraging our in-house mastery of the Service Portal and many of the underlying technologies that comprise the ServiceNow platform, we were able to quickly implement and run a competitive game powered entirely by ServiceNow. With a quick scan, one to a hundred (or more) curious players could immediately challenge each other, using their smartphones as game controllers without the need to download additional apps. In lieu of yet another take on a classic ITSM topic, we built an application that highlights both utility and ease of use in a pretty entertaining way. We’ve learned over the years that the mark of a good process is one that’s so flawlessly intuitive that users don’t even feel like they’re being made to follow it. With that philosophy in mind, we created a trivia game in Service Portal that is so effortlessly enjoyable to play, attendees wouldn’t even feel like we were trying to woo them. We hope you enjoyed playing it, because we genuinely enjoyed designing and building it.

The Escape the Room app is a real-time state based game, that relies on a lot of cool Service Portal features as well as ServiceNow platform capabilities. Let’s look at some of the technologies used:

  1. Scoped application: We leveraged a scoped app to take advantage of EcmaScript5, Git source control, and studio. These features can only be leveraged within a scoped app.
  2. Assessments: The platform already has a way of storing questions, and answers for a given record, this was the perfect fit for our game’s data.
  3. Record Watch and Presence: What would a live state-based game be, if we couldn’t see who is playing? Our state is synchronized via record watch for the players and the host.
  4. Service Portal: We exposed all of this via Service Portal, which allowed us to use SCSS, Angular, and the ServiceNow REST API.
  5. Custom REST API: For some of our methods, we build a custom REST API, using ServiceNow script, and our custom game logic.
  6. Mobile App: Service Portal and the ServiceNow hybrid app work together, and in unison we can leverage native mobile features using Service Portal.
  7. QR Codes: Using a prebuilt Angular library, we allowed for players to scan our QR code to join our game, using the ServiceNow Knowledge app.
  8. Performance Analytics and Reporting: We staged metrics enabled by using a combination of automated indicators and performance analytics and the out of box reporting engine. We then built dashboards with widgets using both technologies and a mobile app homepage showing these indicators so we could monitor on the move at the conference.

This was incredibly fun for us.  But imagine how the power of this platform, when you have the vision and the skill to exploit it, can be pivotal in addressing your business needs.  If you would like to discuss the use of ServiceNow and any combination of these exciting technologies to automate your business processes, please contact us at… Together we can have (almost) as much fun on your automation project as we did building and playing our Escape Room Game.

2018-06-19T20:04:39+00:00