Online Gaming

Public or Private?

Here is an interesting little game from BMW Guggenheim Lab. The game Public/Private explores the way we view the world around us and asks how often we seek out private space, or look for public engagement. It takes about 60 seconds to go through and allows you to share your results with the rest of the world via your favorite social media outlet. As of five minutes ago, I was the only person in the Kansas City area that had participated.

private

Kijjaa. iPhone + Computer = Blended Gaming.

This morning a friend of mine turned me on to a new game for the iPhone and my computer. It’s called Kijjaa! and I have to admit it’s a blast.

The game makes your iPhone the game controller, while the game interaction is actually played out on your computer screen. I tried this on my computer at work using the lite version of the game (it’s free) and it works great. It works well enough that I am tempted to buy the .99 cent version to get all of the features.

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The game is a space invaders style point and shoot game with retro graphics on both the phone and my computer screen. While I’m not a huge fan of the look and the color pallet used here, I can completely see this integration of handset and second screen action being used more in the future. This is the kind of merged technology that I could see moving to net connected Smart TV’s and or Google TV in the future.

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.