Working with a charitable organisation, Waverley developed a cross-platform, cross-browser CMS-based web application, enabling kids in hospitals access to different kind of media content provided by the partners.
GameChanger: Web-Based eLearning Platform For Charity
Was founded in 2007 by entrepreneur Jim Carol after his son Taylor was diagnosed with leukemia at age 11. After witnessing how the proper online content helped during his son’s treatment and recovery, Jim dedicated his life to philanthropy and created GameChanger so that he could positively impact lives across the world. GameChanger focuses on improving the quality of life for children, their families and caregivers by delivering educational and entertaining content and offering meaningful services directly to patients and staff in hospitals.
Referenced by a previous client, Gamechanger reached out to Waverley to develop a solution enabling kids in hospitals access to different types of content by partners such as Amazon, Twitch, Mineplex and others. They needed a reliable software partner to build a web portal with a CMS, which had to be completely customizable by the hospital staff and unique to each child if necessary. Since the application was the first of its kind, charity of the new generation, providing free content with a centralized control, the project required a lot of experimenting and prototyping.
In order to make the content easily accessible, we built a cross-browser and cross-platform web application. Our lean startup approach allowed to prioritize the tasks and assign budgets to developing the demanded functionality. Thanks to the short development cycles, we were soon able to present results to the end-users (kids in hospitals). Although, compatibility with mobile platforms was not mentioned in the initial requirements, we foresaw this opportunity, so that when the need occurred, we managed to quickly fulfill it.
Waverley owned the full development lifecycle, in which UI/UX was one of the critical points. Design was extremely important for the workflow of the distributed team, as its concepts and principles allowed to visualize the discussions and made it easier to communicate ideas to the clients. The design we developed gave base to the correct evaluation of development time and cost per feature. Waverley UI/UX experts managed to fully match GameChanger brand, logo and colors and further develop the brand for new platforms and integrations.
A specific web-portal that we developed is accessible only from hospitals. It was built to be available on any device via the web browser. Currently 6 types of content are provided: TV & Movies, Games, Videos (YouTube), Education (Videos and other types of files), Music, Live Streams (integration with Twitch), Chat for kids, Calendar with offline & online events for kids. It acts as a cross-browser and cross-platform web-aggregator and integrator. The CMS allows to carefully manage and moderate the media content provided, enabling admins to select content from the general database of the donated content. It also supports live streams, there is a chat, where users can discuss the ongoing events, online system of hosting online-offline events. Scalable architecture we created enables support for mobile, TV, desktop – without any special changes.
Integrates with partners (e.g. playing Minecraft kids are entering a separate world created for GameChanger). The number of partners keeps growing. Converts uploaded video to mp4 format. CMS contains 2 types of admins: superadmins and local (hospital admins). Super Admins are able to upload and manage content on the server, and open/close access for hospitals. Local admins provide kids with access to the specific content based on the kids’ needs. The media content is of different kinds – links and files that we upload and spread. The app also needed limited access to the system – only from hospitals. That was ensured by SSL protection and limiting access by whitelisted IP-addresses. Waverley turned to third-party security company to check our security measures and received a certificate and an excellent feedback about the level of security we provided.
The project is implemented in a series of fixed-length (2 weeks) iterations – sprints. At the beginning of each sprint the team provides sprint planning that determines what to implement in the coming sprint. Every day during the sprint the team has daily stand-up meetings to sync all internal activities. Project Owner speaks with the team 3 days per week, discussing the current progress.At the end of each sprint the team provides Sprint Demo where the team shows what they delivered in that sprint.During the sprint retrospective the team reviews all that went well and bad and plans next actions.
The QA engineer ensured that all bugs are reported in the bug tracking system (Pivotal) and assigned as soon as they are found. Some functional modules are covered by the automation tests implemented and monitored by the QA engineer. The QA engineer also takes part in daily stand-up and planning meetings of the development team. For GameChanger we also performed security testing, since the content is subject to copyright and it was specifically requested by the client.
The application is in production. Waverley still does the testing and ongoing backup of the base and files. After a year of development, GameChangerTV was successfully presented to selected hospitals and charity organizations all over US. We are working on extending our integrations to VR, voice control devices (Amazon Echo, VR glasses). Waverley provides technical assistance for GameChanger in negotiations with new partners (such as LionsGate). We also took part in a ChartyBuzz – a charitable auction, donating a product MVP development and forwarding the earned sum to GameChanger.