Category Archives: games

Take a Break for PauseFest

Only sometimes do I wish I resided in Australia’s OTHER city, aka Melbourne. PauseFest is one of those reasons. Apart from its good branding and art work, it features delectable content and experiences.

festival2014

Continuing their strong momentum from 2012,  PauseFest features everything from cool installations, games, music, animations and interactive design to creative panels about startups and the wider digital industry. Under the title ‘Masters of the IndustryReactive’s co-founder Tim O’Neill will panel it out with some other Melbourne luminaries. Among them my friend and ex-colleague Dave King from The Royals and Erminio Putignano (ex FutureBrand, now PUSH Collective).

pausefest

Check out all the speakers here and get your tickets here.

Australian Open Social Shack

One of Melbourne’s prime sporting events, the ‘Australian Open’ is closing on a great two weeks of tennis with their finals. Stars like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Li Na battled on the courts, and their fans are constantly connecting with them and amongst each other via social media, especially with the help of Twitter and the official hashtag #AusOpen.

Here’s Reactive’s Australian Open Social Shack, which is all about bringing fans and players together through social media. Check out Twitter’s global blog post on the project here.

hash check in inside2 inside outside

Below outlines each of the concepts displayed across the screens:

Tug of War – Fans could engage with the display by hashtagging their favourite player to influence the game of tug of war. Two players go head-to-head and only win by having the higher number of hashtags associated to them. Each player had multiple hashtags associated to their profile to ensure  variations of their name, e.g. #teamwilliams were captured.

Social Cheer – This idea uses live data from IBM to display graphical social ‘cheer’ throughout a match. Player vs. player would be set up for live matches and based on the social chatter for each player the graph would grow or decline. The intelligence of IBM’s data was also used by pulling through content on fastest serves, longest rally and other stats.

Social Leaderboard – This application uses multi-screen takeovers and runs through a series of leader boards based on players social media accounts.  Tracking the most followed players, who tweets and instagrams the most.

Player Profiles – Fans can see an animated feed of players which displayed all their social media accounts.

KIA’s Greatest Fan – Built upon the user journey through the Social Shack, the first two screen are displaying a feed of photos taken in the KIA media booth. Once having their photo taken the fans would move through to the Social Shack where they could view their photo on the big screen and then engage with the above  concepts.

Lastly, a giant check-in button helps track the number of visitors to the Social Shack. An iPad app  ticked over every time its button was pressed. The 3D #AUSOPEN sign, commissioned by Tennis Australia, sits out the front of the Social Shack and is a perfect and very popular photo opportunity.

Reactive teams up with Converse and Google+

Creative Social invited its global members to join the Converse and Google+ ‘Hack A Chuck’ competition. And we at Reactive together with our friends at Toby and Pete have taken up the challenge.

The world’s first Google Hangout Shootathon is going down in a couple of hours at the Die Hard Paintball Range in Sydney. We call it “Chuck a Chuck” (named after the most dangerous man on the internet). And you can watch the results on Google+ in a week when we need your votes to win the whole damn thing. Wish us luck, hopefully it’s going to be quite a blast.

Reactive and Toby&Pete's fierce paintball session

Reactive and Toby&Pete’s fierce paintball session

Below is a little photo update from the shoot this morning. The full doco rolls out on Monday on Google+

ChuckAChuck03 ChuckAChuck04 ChuckAChuck05  ChuckAChuck00 ChuckAChuck01

Let the Games begin

I first posted this on our Publicis Digital blog. It was a follow up to a joint Mojo & Zenith Optimedia session on ‘Understanding gamers and great games’ and is a pretty well-curated group of game trailers, courtesy of my colleague Nat Jones. A collection of videos that have in the past and recently stirred gamers’ hearts and minds.

First up, the big one, the Mac Daddy of ego-shooter games, ‘Call of Duty’ in its new iteration Black Ops 2 has aficionados fumbling for their wallets.

Limbo is one of the most atmospheric, monochromatic and unusual jump and run adventures of recent times.

Even more challenging in terms of navigation is ‘The Unfinished Swan’ in which paint splatters that you need to throw in front of you, lead the way.

Journey lets users start a mission to reach a mountain top with the help of co-players. The clou: all you can communicate with is a single sound. Morse code anyone?

Even if you don’t know who or what Rayman is, the Origins edition makes for entertaining viewing.

In Gamers’ talk ‘Fez’ is a ‘platformer’ in which you need to figure how to get across structures and buildings. The game is reminiscent of classic 8-Bit arcade games, albeit in a warped version.

OK, as a last treat, this is a big step into fantasy game nerds’ territory. But if you have ever heard of the 1980’s craze ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ you will appreciate the jokes, played out by characters from the ‘Summoner’ game.

My talk on ‘Fragmented Storytelling’, told via Storify

I will be speaking at Sydney’s AdTech 2012 on “Fragmented Storytelling In An Evolving Media Environment” (today 11am). My co-panelist is Jeff Julian, a great production designer who among other films has worked on Spielberg’s ‘Minority Report’. I thought it might be a cool idea to document the evolution of my own talk here:

http://storify.com/tbuesing/fragmented-storytelling

Storify is a tool that has been around which is kind of like a curated friendfeed. You select and pull together whatever helps you tell your story. It is probably more suited to non-fiction than fictional stories but I haven’t researched into the latter ones.

Have a look and if you are interested, drop me a comment or reference link afterwards. And I hope to see you at AdTech in a few hours!

Fragmented

Barcelona and AKQA have something in common: a Star Player

This weekend FC Barcelona demonstrated  how football should be played by convincingly beating Manchester United in the Champions League final. Simultaneously, AKQA and Heineken demonstrated with Star Player how a branded iPhone app should be played by convincingly fusing gaming with social one-upmanship and entertainment.

I had seen this hype video when it came out a few weeks ago but only played it for the first time last night.

Star Player mobile app

Heineken's Star Player mobile app

Both sides have a star player, Barcelona in Lionel Messi and AKQA/Heineken in this free iPhone app that will surely earn the agency some badges in the award finals (AKQA’s award page is here).

Here is the summary of my experience:

  • Star Player is a well crafted application with a clear interface, reacting timely and succinctly.
  • It contains good copy writing, egging you on while not being overladen with football mannerisms or brand-speak.
  • The global stats (“this is how the world predicted”) give a nice context to how clairvoyant you really were.
  • I could do without the quiz questions coming on intermittently, crucially the Barcelona’s first goal was scored while a quiz question was on the screen.
  • One has to be (excuse the pun) ‘on the ball’ throughout, literally with your finger on the phone’s screen in order to predict goals.
  • Playing ‘Star Player’ represents a great complimentary user experience to watching the game, especially when you are at home. Would groups of mates at the pub get a kick out of glancing at their phones during the game?
  • Had I connected with fellow football lovers online (including live chat, like on the facebook version), it would have become an even greater social experience.

To me this app is a milestone in the development of the often-cited ‘dual screening’ or ‘parallel viewing’. According to the agency it hits extremely fertile ground as:

  • 72% of UEFA Champions League fans around the globe watch the matches alone
  • 75% of US television viewers are dual screening at home
  • 50% of NFL viewers are watching the games in dual screen environments

In a local development, BBDO Melbourne launched Twelevision, an iPhone/iPad app to support TV viewers in their tweeting about the different shows. And their CEO Peter Biggs has ambitiously declared to create more useful apps and products (and consequently generate IP) as 10% part of their future offering. I wonder if AKQA managed to get some patent on the inherent game mechanics of Star Player? No reason why this app wouldn’t soon appear in other sporting codes, like Rugby Union where Heineken e.g. sponsor the World Cup.

I haven’t tested the corresponding facebook app (currently 125,000 users) yet and would be grateful if anyone can share an experience with it. The same goes for any information on other live sporting events (e.g. the NBA Play Offs) that might have rolled out similar apps.

Update:
In the category of voting & commenting reality TV show ‘Four Weddings’ had brides going to each others’ weddings and rate them – usually in a bitchy way – in different categories. Viewers where given the opportunity to rate the show online in real time. The results were screened in the end in comparison to the brides’ ratings. http://www.monterosa.co.uk/work/four-weddings

Dream/Fantasy team competitions have been around for a while, e.g. our client Toyota sponsors AFL Dream Teamwhere your squad of 22 players take on an opponent. You’re competing against 15 other teams in your Dream league. So gather your mates and prepare to duke it out all season to see who has the sharpest football brain. Another example is the F1 Live Timings complementing the main TV broadcast – even keeping you ahead of the commentary, and overcoming the irritation of ad breaks during the race.

 

 

The Haeckel Clock

Check one of the latest art projects to come out of Holler Sydney: The Haeckel Clock (free install). Its unique art direction was inspired by the artistic work of an eminent German biologist, naturalist, philosopher called Ernst Haeckel. Around the turn of the last century he discovered, described and named thousands of new species and drew microscopic creatures with fascinating skill and detail.

Haeckel illustration

Haeckel illustration

Holler’s Mike Hill, himself a zoologist and nature photographer before he entered the interactive agencyscape, is a big fan of Haeckel’s work.

The application is a pretty abstract clock that uses different sized balls to signify hours, minutes and seconds.

Haeckel Clock

Hours floating together

Fittingly for such a scientifically-inspired piece the elements all adhere to the laws of gravity and have their own elastic coherence.

Haeckel Clock

Hours, minutes and seconds separated

The modern genius behind this app is my frequent collaborator Lukasz Karluk, who developed the application in openFrameworks. He describes the project, its interface and technical detail here on his blog. Have a peek at the flow in his screen video and don’t forget to install this free clock on your iPad by going to the app store.

Disclaimer: I was only very partially involved in the clock’s design and development, mainly correcting any typos in German pieces of copy.