Real Deal Bridge is an online bridge platform with easy to use voice call functions to make socialisation easier for senior citizens.
Due to COVID, seniors, one of the most impacted groups by the pandemic, needed a new way to socialise. Bridge games were previously one of the demographic’s major avenues for socialisation, leading to a need for an online bridge platform.
Working with a collection of bridge players and club managers, we developed Real Deal Bridge, an online bridge playing platform that is designed with a focus on keeping the experience social and easy to use for technically challenged older players.
In game, players are able to schedule sessions to play with their friends, and jump into a natural experience of socialising and relaxing to a game. With both built-in bridge functionality and voice chat, Real Deal Bridge became an invaluable platform for our target audience.
Bridge is a complex game, and it has so many specific systems and idiosyncrasies that have been developed by those who play it. As a result, there were a lot of implicit assumptions we made as game developers that didn’t hold up! Whilst our team had experience in building both cross platform experiences, and multiplayer experiences, the unique player base for Real Deal Bridge presented some unique challenges for us to overcome.
To make the layered and complicated system of Real Deal Bridge work, we had to do all kinds of design, backend implementation and front-end implementation. It meant that we had to be a fairly high performance and integrated team.
Unlike a straightforward bridge game, our focus for Real Deal Bridge was on community and engagement, meaning we needed to build out a range of supporting systems such as scheduled sessions, a clubs/guild style system, and even designing innovative engagement systems such as the “Golden Ticket” system. The end product involves a number of different services, a cross platform Unity front-end, and a backend server.
Fortunately, we developed it to all work in concert, leading to a platform that in the first few months since its launch has started seeing over 100 players per day! Besides that, Real Deal Bridge was used as the platform for the Australian Grand National Novice Pairs in 2021!
Watching the first streamer who live-streamed Real Deal Bridge, and had a great time! That was a real relief, after spending so long making such a complex system.