Designing a socially immersive sports gaming experience


iOS, Android


Research, UX/UI Design, Interaction Design

Social connection through shared love of sports

With many public spaces like sports arenas, bars, and watch parties still closed for lockdowns during the months following Covid-19, there was a clear need for people to reconnect. AngelFire Games created an opportunity to rekindle connection through America’s favorite pastime – their shared love of sports (yeah it’s not all about baseball). The app provides a virtual platform for sports fans to come together, play games, compete against each other, and, most importantly, have fun.

Bringing classic sports games like Pick ’Em and Squares into the digital space with real-time sports updates, AngelFire is becoming the go-to destination for sports enthusiasts looking to connect and experience the thrill of the game in a new and innovative way. The growing market of sports fans and the need for social interaction post-COVID positioned this app as a major player in the gaming industry.

Diving deep into sports and gaming spaces

Anglefire approached us to revitalize an existing experience they had designed that wasn’t ready for market. It lacked a strong brand that resonated with their users, refined interactions, and needed help with stickiness. Goji set out to optimize and give new life to this promising product.

During our discovery phase, there were several key elements to consider that we explored through secondary research and a competitive analysis. It was important to gain a deep understanding of the products space in order to create a product that accurately reflected the world of sports and our users’ mental models. Next, it was crucial to analyze gamification best practices and interaction design to ensure that the application was intuitive and easy to use. Features like leaderboards, messaging, and sounds were heavily researched to understand what a fun and immersive experience for users could feel like.

We sought out to streamline all of this information into an familiar and competitive application that truly stands out in a crowded market.

Designing a winning sports gaming experience

Our team began by conducting UI explorations and tweaking the brand identity to appeal to a larger audience.

We utilized rapid prototyping to test out several key features, such as swiping interactions, a chat that pushed our game details up so users could socialize without leaving the page, and haptics, sounds, and animations to bring our game to life. The final product was both visually entertaining and highly functional, and the incorporation of these interactions made for an engaging and immersive experience for users.

Developing a dynamic application with real-time data integration

There are several complexities that needed to be considered in order to ensure that the final product was polished and ready for market. This included implementing a unique moneyline algorithm to display team odds and help users make better picking decisions. We have integrated with a 3rd party service to provide users with real-time and accurate information about matches and teams and be flexible to account for live changes to game statuses. Creating a dynamic schedule of slates for daily and weekly contests was also implemented to keep users engaged with constant gaming content to play.

By considering these complexities during the development phase, we created a lively experience for sports fans.

From MVP to fan favorite

AngelFire Games has been a slam dunk since its MVP release. We’ve been hard at work refining the user experience and adding exciting new features to keep our users engaged.

Soon after launch we released Squares, the best digital gaming equivalent on the market to this popular betting game often played during the Super Bowl. The featured lobby is a crowd-pleaser, with over 3,000 new users joining in the first two weeks for a chance to win constant prizes. We’ve been enhancing user profiles and leaderboards to keep things fresh and exciting, and release new leagues often with plans for new games coming soon.

And to top it all off, AngelFire is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store, so everyone can join in on the fun.