DBS – Build, Defend, Fortify

Gamifying Teambuilding


We worked with DBS Bank’s Group Technology & Operations to develop a bespoke team building game at their annual leadership conference for 200+ senior leaders. 

The core objectives are as follows: 

  1. Engage the participants meaningfully in the 2.5hr experience
  2. Create an experience that focuses on getting different internal teams to work and collaborate together for a higher cause. 
  3. Create a frame where the DBS organising team can cascade the bank’s key to the senior leaders.


With the core objectives in mind, the team developed bespoke gameplay with the following features:

  1. Use of Tangram as a base mechanic
  • Tangram – a 7-piece puzzle that when arranged differently form various shapes, was used as a core mechanic for the teams to navigate through. Tangram puzzles have varying difficulties and we intentionally designed for the difficulty to scale over time, giving players a sense of confidence and mastery over time. 
  • All Tangram puzzles can be assembled from the same pool of component shapes. That allowed us to distribute each piece as a resource via different channels. We set up activity stations around the ballroom for participants to gather more components for their teams. 
  • Back in their bases, gathered pieces are given to ‘builders’ to help complete the Tangram puzzles. This creates a base level of busywork that all participants can partake in while managing the crowd flow in the ballroom.

Team Success vs Our Collective Success

  • The key tension we created in the gameplay experience was to provide opportunities for all teams to focus either on gaining more points for themselves, or to contribute in fending off global attacks.
  • Teams were also encouraged to trade information and resources with one another, to point towards the need for collaboration in their workplace.
  • Station Activities had a combination of competitive and collaborative challenges. Competitive challenges encouraged participants to do their best individually against the other teams, whereas collaborative challenges required participants of different teams to work together successfully in order to score more resources for their own teams respectively.
  1. Multiple Roles in Each Team
  • We gave teams the ability to designate 1 of 3 different roles (builders, engineers, miners) to each player.
  • This gave players autonomy to decide how they want to approach the game. Oftentimes, players would leverage their strengths (i.e. if a player is good at physical hand-eye coordination, they gravitate towards the Miner role that takes part in Physical challenges to earn more resources for their teams).
  • This mimics real-world teams where different members contributed to the team’s success based on their individual skills and specialisation.

Game Phases

There are 5 game rounds in total.

In each round:

  • The Stage Facilitator announces the presence of Threats (if any) on the horizon. 
  • Teams will discuss their strategies and designate roles to each player.
  • The Stage Facilitator will announce the start of the round. 
  • Players assume their roles, and head to their respective stations (if necessary).
  • At the end of the round (end of countdown timer), all players need to return to their respective teams, bringing back resources, information or both.
  • Facilitators will evaluate the outcome of the Threat: 
    • If Threat is neutralised, the next round begins. 
    • If Threat is not neutralised, negative effects will apply to ALL teams.

Our Work

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