Contagious – The Pitch Pt. 3 – Real World Actions and More

If you haven’t read or viewed the previous pitch posts you may want to go back and view them or this will make no sense to you… So our pitch grew and grew, and other people who had sent in ideas or platforms were merged into our pitch idea, and as such the overall campaign got even more interesting.

One group that designs and runs location-based marketing campaigns had a platform that they had pitched. As a result we were asked to design how we could make use of location services in our game. We came up with the following integration that we thought would be really cool rolled out into different cities around the globe. The pretty simple and straightforward approach was just to translate resource gathering and activities into the real world locations they exist. In short legitimately educating people as to where their fall-out shelters were, where to get vaccinated, closest hospitals etc. Again, I will let slideshare show you what I am talking about:

Another group, unfortunately I don’t’ have visuals to help explain, was a group that is very successful at creating viral video campaigns. There were several options going around. One option was to create a narrative backstory of the initial mutation through videos of someone who was one of the first infected patients and is quarantined. The idea being to figure out the source of the outbreak while interacting with the patient and other viewers – virus hunting. This piece could have also had some gaming components to find clues etc to unlock next chapter.

In the end the whole campaign could have worked something like this – teaser viral video campaign builds the narrative to the point of an outbreak, this is timed to occur with a major event at a baseball game, that then launches the FaceBook game, that then builds to the movie release (with red carpet game or even renditions at major theater openings), at which point the game then plays out till eradication, with location based gameplay spawned at different major cities on a weekly basis.

Alas it is a shame it was not realized. Live to pitch another day. As I said more on the business part of the deal later as well as where the different parts are now and how they may still live on (with help from you?)

Contagious – The Pitch Pt. 2 – The Location Game

So if you read/looked at the initial pitch post for this game you saw the red carpet event sensor game/experience. The basic premise was obviously to make you feel like you are experiencing an outbreak with the slightly lighter side aspects of the experience being that ushers could take you off to quarantine, to get vaccinated you need to go to the bar, and to be treated you need to go get popcorn etc. The payoff potential being that it makes it seem a little more real to the audience and that the data visualization that could be displayed when exiting, extrapolating how it may have spread and killed members of the audience while they watched the movie from just a couple of infected viewers, could have one last reality punch.

Well, one of the individuals representing the potential client loved this idea and wanted to go bigger with it. We were more than happy to go along for the ride. The idea – What about a sporting event? We loved it. So we went back to the drawing board and expanded the game idea to happen at a baseball game. It was the perfect venue as it is slow paced and people do a lot of walking around. We claim no affiliation to the team or stadium used in our pitch. I will say that surprisingly the willingness of a team to go along was not the reason this didn’t end up happening. It would have been awesome in my opinion.

I will let slideshare tell the story – again I promise at some point to put narration to it for the talking points but hope you can easily fill in the blanks yourself. One note is the infected slide was a blinking red led and dead is solid (not sure slideshare could handle that).

Some of my favorite ideas in this one were:

a) The idea that instead of turning in your drunk neighbor you would text in to quarantine someone who is not participating and is infecting your section. The response is then a guy in an outbreak outfit coming in with a short range transmitter to quarantine his badge,
b) that there would be even more reason to boo someone from the other team when they did something positive or cheer your team for positive play.

We went so far as to have manufacturing ready to go on the hardware. Stationary beacons for the set locations, roaming beacons for the outbreaks due to player action or time, and of course the individual badges. As much as we would have loved to chase the opportunity, without the movie name backing we would never have gotten this through – again more on the business narrative in a later post including a whole other option for where and how this game could be repurposed that we think would be great.

Stay tuned there is still another design layer that was added as well as the business musings to come.

Contagious – The Pitch Pt. 1 – The FaceBook Game

As is common in the serious game industry these days, we were asked to pitch a product as part of an RFP that I won’t name specifically (but should be easy to figure out if you use your brain).  The project was to be an awareness campaign in association with an upcoming movie release.  We jumped at the bid because there were two passions around here that fit perfect into a game idea that came to us right away.  My passion for wanting a facebook game to exist that had an actual narrative arc, a beginning and an end, and a sensor game that we had wanted to do for a conference that didn’t work out. In the end, the game(s) weren’t produced and we retained the IP around the idea, making it possible for me to freely post it here – more to come on that in later posts on the business side of it all.  (Another caveat – this was done over a year ago so some ideas may not seem as novel now and changes to Facebook may have made this whole thing impossible as designed.)

Attached is a Slideshare of the actual pitch that we made for the game.  I promise at some point to add narration to the slides so you get the talking points, but I think most you should be able to follow along the basic design concepts.

The high level game ideas that made it interesting to me were:

a) It was more cooperative in terms of shared resources and meaningful actions between you and your friends and the community at large, not just using them for things in your separate worlds,

b) it translated your actual networks and groups into game variables i.e. more exposure points balanced by access to more resources – translation: the rest of your facebook world has an actual impact, substituting your real world social and geographical exposure points for digital networks etc. etc. ( interesting outcomes would have been people leaving groups to avoid higher exposure rates etc – one of our guys here is a fan of some 500 things, we figured he would be dead in a week),

c) tie-ins to educational actions in the real world that aren’t just to get points to use but actually related relatively one to one to the game actions (more on this in a later expansion to the design),

d) interesting statistical and visualization options,

e) and on the personal – due to my frustration with never ending, never winnable, or losable games on facebook – the ability for you to die in the game, ending your active experience tied in with a legit win state for the community: “eradication.”

You will see at the end of the presentation the other bonus item we threw in related to how cool would it be to have had a location game/experiece at the red carpet opening.  I will address this more in the next post as it is relevant to the ongoing narrative of the pitch progression as well.