Custom Game Sessions

Organise game sessions by inviting players with a game code

Written by Gamoteca Support
Updated over a week ago

Once you have designed a game, you can publish it for learners to play. There’s two ways to publish games:

1. Custom Sessions: You are able to organise game sessions by inviting players with a game code. You can choose the exact team and role configuration, and when to start the game session.

When to use: Custom sessions allow you to organise teams of learners to play at the same time, e.g. if you are running an in-person or virtual training workshop and you want all the players to play at the same time. As a facilitator you can track in real time all the teams. A virtual leaderboard is also visible to you and the teams.

2. Instant Sessions: Learners are able to self-join via a game link or through a learning management system (LMS) integration. If a game has multiple roles players can invite their own teammates to join the game and play with them.

When to use: Instant sessions are useful when you want players to self-join, self-invite their teammates and self-start the games. Players can join the game at any time through a link, and will need to invite their own teammates.

This article focuses on Custom Sessions, you can read more about Instant Sessions here.

Custom sessions are great when you want to facilitate a session in a live workshop setting (in person or virtual) with a limited number of players and in a specific time frame. The facilitator of the session will be able to:

  • Use a game code to invite players beforehand or in real-time

  • Create teams and assign roles for those who have joined, e.g. chose the exact grouping of players

  • Choose a specific moment to start the game session

  • Monitor gameplay (and provide inputs if required) simultaneously for the multiple teams and view a leaderboard

Remember a game has to be Published before sharing it, let’s take a look at how to do it:

  1. On the game description, click the ‘Play game’ button

2. On the next screen, click on the ‘Publish to play’ button.

3. Once published, click the ‘Play game’ button again, or if you're on the Designs tab click on the Play button.

4. Click on the ‘Create Session’ button, this will take you to the ‘New Game Session’ page.

5. On the ‘New Game Session’ page fill in the details of the session, when you’re done click the ‘Save’ button.

  • Title: Title of the game session that users will see when joining, e.g. Coaching game for pilot group’

  • Description: Description of the game session, e.g. First pilot for the game

  • Location: Location where the game will be played, Online, etc.

  • Organiser name and email

6. After you click ‘Save’, the ‘Players and Teams’ section will become visible. In this section, there are three options described in the points below.

7. Enable session joining: If you tick this option this means that players are able to join this session via a game code or URL. Leave it unticked if you want users to join the session at a later time.

8. There are two ways of inviting players to the game session: sharing a game URL or sharing a Game Code.

Copy invite link: When you click this button, the Custom Session link for the game is copied to your clipboard. You can share the game link with learners through email, message, etc, or post to a website or a learning management system (LMS).

When the learners click on the link you shared, they will be redirected to the Gamoteca mobile app (or the browser app, and they can pick a role and join the game session. The players will be prompted to Sign In or Register. The game does not start for the players until the facilitator starts it.

Note: The player can indicate preference for a role, but this can be overridden by the facilitator.

Copy game code: Similar to the link, you can share the unique game code with the players you want to invite to this session.

The Player can then join the game by simply entering the game code on the player app using the “Join with Game Code” button (see instructions here).

9. Once players start to join the session, you will see them appear below the ‘Players & Teams’ section.

  • The players will be automatically grouped into teams. Change the name of the team by clicking on the pencil icon next to ‘Team 1’.

  • Delete a team by clicking on the trashcan icon next to the ‘Team 1’

10. If you want players to be assigned different roles to the ones they choose or to different teams than the ones they are assigned by default, click on the arrow down next to the player name. You can also delete a user if you don’t want them to participate in a session.

Note: The ‘Start game’ button is disabled till all the teams are “balanced”, i.e. you need an equal number of players in all roles. The players have to be distributed across the roles. In the example below, the session can’t start because there can’t be two players on the Role for Player B.

12. Once players have their assigned roles and teams, the game can be started by clicking the ‘Start game’ button.

Alternately, you can save and close to allow more time for the players to join the session. For example, you send the link or game code a day before the workshop or session, so everyone has time to join and you have time to choose the team configurations. You can then start the session during a live workshop or session.

Players will receive an email notification and in-app mobile notification once the game starts.

13. Immediately after you click the ‘Start game’ button you will see a live view of your game. You will be able to monitor in real-time the player progress as well as the user-generated content they create during gameplay. Depending on the game design, you may also be able to provide closed or open feedback to the various teams simultaneously.

14. Editing Custom Sessions

Players are able to keep on joining on a session that has already started and you are also able to move them around in roles

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