The end of March signifies the end of the 1st quarter of 2022 and as we emerge blinking into the bright light of a brave new world post-restrictions, it’s time to look back at the output of the studio these last three months.
March is also the two year anniversary of COVID lockdown restrictions, when we as a studio switched from FT in-house to being mostly fully remote working from home. We’ve written a separate blog post about what impact this has had on the studio, the team, trends we’ve seen with our clients and the types of projects we deploy.
Overall it’s a lighter-than-usual quarterly review but this is typical for the start of the calendar year. Many plates are spinning and we have a lot going on, just not necessarily things we can talk about or share just right now…
As we focus on continued growth and many new people joining the team, we’ve started recognising and remembering individual team members anniversaries of joining Make Real. It’s only a little thing but goes a long way to improving culture, a sense of belonging and achievement. We welcomed many new starters over 2021 and 2022 started off no different.
Carla joined us as People + Talent Manager to help continue our dedicated focus on studio and individual growth, performance and development. Katrina joined our business development team to bolster our ability to respond and react to leads and opportunities as they arise, but also provide some extra brainpower to the sales strategy team in new areas as part of our continued growth, development and maturity as a studio.
Steve came on board to work with Michelle and Zoe to increase our production management pipelines and capabilities, bringing extensive knowledge of more traditional training organisation project delivery but with a thirst to create more impactful, meaningful content. Finally Izarbe joined us as Admin Assistant to work with Clare and Nisha to make sure the studio operates smoothly in the background and the financials continue to be taken care of as the number and scope of projects increase.
We mustn’t forget the wider crew of specialist freelancers and contractors who work with us when we need to flex capabilities or projects require additional skills we haven’t necessarily got in-house, and this quarter we’ve had the delight of engaging with, or continuing to work with Ross, Ryan, Paul, Laurence, Chris, Nico, Rob, Zillah, Clare, Anita and Lynda!
As part of our ongoing desire to educate and inform those of you interested in the immersive learning and technology industry, we published more of our monthly “Reality Check” newsletters, for February and March (having taken a break in Jan). If you haven’t signed up to receive the best curated monthly news in your inbox, you can do so here.
After updating our Studio > About page to include more information about life at the studio and listing all the awards we have been nominated for and won, we were very happy to be able to make ‘The Learning Awards – Learning Technologies Award – Make Real & Keltbray KXR’ entry bold, to show we had been selected as winners of the bronze award for SkillShield.
In the before times, February and March would typically signal the start of events season. Whilst we were able to attend the physical event DCW’21 back in November, we were expecting to be kicking off 2022 with Learning Technologies in February this year as normal. Due to the rise in omicron variant at the time, this was sensibly postpone and rescheduled to May 4th & 5th at ExCeL London.
Physical events are still of key importance to us as a studio as a way to engage with clients old, new and prospective. Whilst we’ve taken part in a few virtual events over the past couple of years, sometimes a good bit of face-to-face is necessary, especially when it comes to getting people into immersive learning experiences. So we look forward to seeing you at LT22 in May, where we will have a seminar talk from Sophie and Lynda, looking at the results of academic research we’ve had carried out for one of our projects with impressive results, as well as being able to unveil our biggest, bestest booth for any event to date.
In 2022 however we have introduced internal events and have been inviting special guests to come speak to the team each month, about interesting and challenging topics related to our work. So far we have had the pleasure of hosting Donald ‘Plan B’ Clark talking about immersive learning design. In February, author Tom Ffiske joined us to talk about everything metaverse. At the end of March Dr Panagiotis Fotaris discussed escape room design for learning and training scenarios. These have proved to be popular with the team, generating a lot of discussion during and after, helping us keep our minds fresh on a Wednesday morning.
2021 saw one of our most productive years in terms of delivered projects and output, with many projects wrapping in time for the end of the year. 2022 started with a fresh batch of follow-up projects for existing clients and new developments underway. Whilst this quarter has seen lower than usual number of finalised projects delivered, the overall depth and scale of learning outcomes is increasing, therefore we expect Q2’22 to be a bumper crop.
Lloyds Banking Group – Commercial Banking Fundamentals : Browser-based immersive learning experience, with three inter-linked character scenarios depicted by video clips operating within an interactive 3D city, to help Lloyds Commercial Banking employees understand how the different business areas within the bank operate and interact, to better serve their business customers.
Network Rail – Signalling Power Supplies : Blended immersive learning solution covering training materials, knowledge-transfer and assessment delivered virtually and offline to new E&P and S&T team members. Created using the Make Real Frameworks tool to provide branching learning narrative outcomes.
Frameworks : Unity development tool for rapid creation of immersive learning content for browser-based experiences. With realtime updates displayed from a suite of screen and interactions types, it provides the power to enable clients to design, develop and deliver their own innovative training content at reduced costs.
Loco Dojo Unleashed : Our multiplayer social VR game for Quest and Quest 2, continues to do well, featuring in the Lunar Sale and a Duo Pack earlier this year. We are currently busy working on our first update to the title to bring more multiplayer options and additional features, which will be announced in due course as we prepare for launch.
That wraps up the first quarterly review of 2022. As we continue into the rest of the year, many of our clients have matured beyond the pilot, proof-of-concept stage to test innovation in L&D with immersive technologies. Many are now working with us to enable innovation to become business-as-usual operations for them to control with our frameworks tool. We’ll be on-stage in Theatre 11 (handily located behind our booth) talking about the independent academic research carried out on one of our projects for Lloyds Banking Group. Be sure to visit our booth at Learning Technologies 2022 (L10) to talk to us and find out more and gain access to the full research paper for free.
We’re always happy to talk to you about how immersive technologies can engage your employees and customers. If you have a learning objective in mind, or simply want to know more about VR, send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.