First place goes to two students for a mobile game using artificial intelligence

May 9, 2017

Marc-Antoine Hébert and Audrey Taillefer wowed the representatives of video game developer Gameloft with their concept for an intelligent mobile game, earning them first place in the mobile game design category at the HEC Business Game, held in France last month. The team also accumulated a stunning overall score, putting them in the top 5 among 84 teams from universities and business schools around the globe.

The two Master’s students from HEC Montréal took part on April 7 and 8 in the international case study competition organized by HEC Paris in the Paris suburb of Jouy-en-Josas. They earned the top honours for their Sherlock Play, a game concept inspired by the popularity of the recent TV series Sherlock Holmes, where users would have to solve different mysteries alongside the famous detective. Marc-Antoine and Audrey imagined an interactive universe integrating augmented reality. The game would adapt to users’ personalities, interests and habits, making for a highly personalized experience. In addition, the young designers came up with a monetization plan that could turn their game into a revenue-generating product.

The game design category was the only one that competitors were allowed to prepare ahead of time. In addition to mobile game design, 4 other disciplines featured in the HEC Business Game, i.e. strategy, corporate social responsibility, risk capital and marketing. Within the categories, competitors were grouped into teams of 6 and given 3 hours to solve a case, each presented by a different company. They were exhausting days, to be sure, but highly worthwhile, according to both competitors. “I learned a lot about team leadership. They’re situations where not just two of you can perform. Everyone has to participate,” says Audrey. “It taught us about resolving human strategies,” Marc-Antoine adds.

Might their win eventually lead to collaboration with Gameloft? They don’t know yet, but the mobile game giant has expressed an interest in meeting them in Montreal. Marc-Antoine just finished his Master of Science (MSc) – International Business, while Audrey still has one year left to go in her maîtrise en gestion (M. Sc.) – stratégie.

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