This game sounds so much more than I expected! Bias triggers are an amazing idea, when you started describing it “socioeconomic research” popped into my mind, before you even mentioned academic research. In this form I don’t think the Scrum training institutions would employ your game in their curriculum, I’d think they are playing it much more “safe”.
For example the fact that different individuals deliver at a different speed and quality fundamentally challenges the practice of simply measuring the difficulty of any task with story points. Also the race / gender / age bias part might be too controversial for these companies (although things are changing rapidly…).
Listening to your description of the game a couple of ideas came to mind:
1. Did you think about implementing the concept of off-days? For example you could send a burnt-out top performer on vacation for one or two days to boost their morale. Or some people might just randomly fall sick and miss a day at work, halting their branch.
2. When I listened to the effects of working from home I though that this might only be true for people who are already performing well. For example a junior developer might prefer working in the office (constantly slowing down their peers) and forcing them to work from home might negatively impact their performance. But maybe this is not true in the first place and second a stupid idea for the game anyway 🙂 I think the getting sick / taking a day off to improve morale idea is still worth considering.
Looking forward to this!
I agree: bias-triggers might be too scary for training institutions, but since it’s a feature that can be toggled off and on by design, it can be turned off for anyone who doesn’t want it. I’ll be posting screenshots of what it looks like when I post my blog article, and the difference it makes is stark.
I had originally de-scoped off/vacation days so that I could get the engine done, but I just looked at the code and it’s easy to implement in the current design. I think it would add another neat aspect to gameplay with little effort, so I’m going to take your suggestion and put it back in.
I definitely feel that I have under-modeled working from home, just like I think I under-modeled soft-skill upgrades. My current thinking is that those are going to be areas that will need to be balanced and enhanced during the beta phase as we iterate towards something that is the right mix of fun and challenge.
Keep the ideas coming! Getting it right will be a community effort.