After a meeting at a Digital Catapult Breakfast event earlier this year, Terzo Digital performed some high level consultancy work for Ben Williams IP. Ben Williams is a freelance IP consultant and patent attorney and has been providing services to the patent profession, SMEs and academic institutions for a number of years. Part of Ben's work has been helping to educate students and professionals about the intricacies of Patent Law and IP protection. He has done this through the use of a game, IP Quest which enables participants to learn about IP in a fun and memorable way, a breath of fresh air for what some may consider dry subject material.

The current IP Quest board game

The game is a board game which pits a small number of teams against each other with an overall facilitator helping game play and ensuring that the appropriate knowledge is made available to the teams. Each team consists of a small number of players who act as a fictitious company attempting to protect their intellectual property through prudent selection of various IP protection measures such as copyright, trademarks or patents. The current game play can withstand up to around 20 users before communications can become less efficient. It also requires the skills of a trained facilitator who must have a strong working knowledge of the various IP protection laws and mechanisms; this places a natural brake on how far and wide the game can be adopted.

In an effort to address these issues, Ben was considering how to move the game from a board based game to a digital format. This could allow more people to be involved in each game and also increase the ability to deploy the game to wider audiences, something Ben was keen to do to bring the game to more people. A digital version of the game could also introduce aspects of game play that would not have been possible in manual game play, permitting users to have a more individual experience through accessing information to assist them in decision making. This would also allow them to utilise the full range of digital media techniques to improve their experience.

Terzo Digital offered Ben high level software consultancy to assist in this. This included consideration of project management issues, costing issues and how to engage with the software industry. We discussed the breakdown of the project into realistic steps, how those might be accomplished and the relationship between selected technologies and the companies selected to deliver the digital game. We aimed to give Ben a good foundation on which to build his digital game and act as an independent advisor, allowing him to bounce ideas off us.

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