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GDC 2009: Hospitality Game From PC To PSP

Via: Game Developer Conference 2009 - Serious Games Summit Track

SGS Session: Hilton Ultimate Team Play for the PSP
Speaker: David Kervella (Manager, Brand Education, Hilton Hotels Corporation)

In 2008, Hilton Garden Inn developed a training game for Sony's PlayStation Portable Platform.

The game called Ultimate Team Play puts the player in control of key Hilton Garden Inn hotel roles including front desk, housekeeping, maintenance and food service.

As players roam the virtual hotel they interact with guests as they would in the real world seeking to perform their jobs in specific ways to improve customer service scores using a unique scoring system that drives all brand service assessment for hotels that are part of Hilton Hotels Corporation.

Hilton Garden Inn is leveraging the competitive advantage of Hilton Honors Points & Miles. The brand currently has more than 600 hotels open, under construction or in development throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Central America.

During David's session, he will detail how the game project was developed, demo the game, and provide insight into the rollout of both the game and the hardware across all its hotels around the world.

The Project Background

Hilton Garden Inn, the award-winning mid-priced hotel brand with locations throughout North America and Europe, has established itself as the hospitality leader in employee training thanks to the use of an interactive game-based technology training called Ultimate Team Play, representing its ongoing commitment to understanding the special needs of its guests (for further details, please find my prior posts
Serious Games For Hospitality Training and Serious Games For Hospitality Training - Update).

The result was a benchmark in interactive training in the hospitality industry created especially for Hilton Garden Inn by
Virtual Heroes, Inc -- a graphically-intense, 3-D, first-person video game built featuring an immersive player experience.

In addition to providing employees with one of the most realistic guest simulation experiences in the industry, Hilton Garden Inn will use the new program to aggressively recruit next-generation team members grounded in technology, the Internet, entertainment and video games.

From PC (beta test of HGI Ultimate Team Play) to Sony PlayStation Portable

Business Wire

Hilton Garden Inn® Makes Innovative Employee Training Program Available on PSP® Handheld Entertainment System

Late September, Hilton Garden Inn announced that it would become the world's first hotel brand to offer an intensive, interactive employee training program designed and created specifically for use on Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PSP (PlayStation Portable) handheld entertainment system and its vibrant widescreen LCD.

"We're thrilled to take our game-based employee training program to a whole new level, or, in this case, a whole new gaming platform that is also portable, to create some of the most advanced, realistic and interactive training anywhere," said Adrian Kurre, senior vice president - brand management for Hilton Garden Inn, who credits David Kervella, head of Hilton Garden Inn training, for spearheading the enhanced program.

"Ultimate Team Play is part of our ongoing commitment to making employee training compelling and relevant, which are our two most important criteria for ensuring long-term customer service success."

The overall goal of the new program, titled HGI Ultimate Team Play for PSP, is to show hotel team members how their actions have an impact on the hotel and on the guest's mood, which in turn drives the brand's Satisfaction and Loyalty Tracking (SALT) scores higher or lower.


The game puts team members in a 3-D, graphically-intensive virtual Hilton Garden Inn hotel where they must respond to a number of different guest-related requests by a specific deadline.

The appropriateness, level and speed of their response directly affect the simulated guest's satisfaction as well as the hotel's SALT scores.

SALT is the real-world survey tool used by Hilton Garden Inn to measure and track guest loyalty, satisfaction and overall experience at a particular hotel, as well as guest thoughts on the brand in general.

Surveys are sent via e-mail to guests who have recently stayed at a hotel and the results of the surveys generate the SALT scores. Each survey asks the guest to rank their satisfaction on a variety of amenities and aspects of their stay.

The initial interactive training game has already been beta-tested in select Hilton Garden Inn locations in which team members have played the role of a front desk service agent.

The full interactive game version is set to launch at all Hilton Garden Inn locations in January 2009 and will include positions in housekeeping, food and beverage, engineering/maintenance as well as front desk.

The approximate cost of rolling out HGI Ultimate Team Play to the more than 400 Hilton Garden Inn locations throughout North America and Europe is approximately $1M USD.

About Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Garden Inn continually strives to ensure today's busy travelers have everything they need to be most productive on the road -- from complimentary wired and Wi-Fi Internet access in all guestrooms and remote printing to the hotel's complimentary 24-hour business center to one of the most comfortable beds you will ever experience with the Garden Sleep System. So whether on the road for personal or business reasons, Hilton Garden Inn offers the amenities and services for travelers to sleep deep, stay fit, eat well, work smart and treat themselves while away from home.

To find out more about Hilton Garden Inn locations across North America and Europe or to find your next getaway, visit

About Hilton Hotels Corporation

Hilton Garden Inn is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, a leading global hospitality company, with more than 3,000 hotels and 500,000 rooms in 74 countries, with more than 135,000 team members worldwide.

The company owns, manages or franchises some of the best known and highly regarded hotel brands including Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton and The Waldorf-Astoria Collection.