Design Friday. BP’s Immersive Online Gaming Experience.

Over the last year there has been this huge debate about HTML 5 vs Flash. I’m not going to get into a debate, or start some rant about which is better or why people should realize that HTML 5 and Flash can work together for an even better user experience. OK I’m starting to rant. Enough of that, and on to what I really wanted to post about, which is the solid gaming design and beautiful interactive design execution for BP’s Ultimate Ride 2 website.

HelloComputer has created an online interactive game for BP South Africa that lets you design and build your own custom Volkswagen GTI. The game is built with Flash and takes advantage of some of the latest Flash technology to create a highly interactive 3D gaming experience with hooks to social media channels.

Ultimately the game functions as a brand extension for BP, creating brand buzz and associating the oil giant with something fun and cool. The multi-player online game lets you modify and customize your virtual GTI, race against others online, and judge others car designs as well. As you play the game, you develop street cred which translates into virtual cash letting you buy more items or your car. As your car gets judged by others and as you win more races you continue to get more virtual cash so you can build and customize more cars. This applies to sharing your results with Facebook and Twitter as well. The game has an addictive hook and sets up a viral loop that helps sell the site, and extend its reach with the target audience.

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If you have some time go to the Ultimate Ride site and check it out. By the way, did I mention that the game was built using Flash? Oh I did, didn’t I. Yes this game was built using Flash, and while you might have been able to build it using HTML5, I can’t even imagine the difficulty, or what the end result would be like. I hate to say it Flash naysayers but I don’t think it would have been as fluid or as polished as it is if you had built it with HTML 5 alone.