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Culture Tech Thursday Morning – Gaming & Interactive Content

Some really inspiring talks in the morning session of the Gaming and Interactive session at the Culture Tech in Derry. It was great to hear how these speakers were able to take a creative idea and make it into a profitable business reality.

Phil Campbell Inlifesize

Phil Campbell trained and worked as an architect before moving on to create immersive worlds for the James Bond, Godfather and Tombraider games. He talked about ‘sucking people into a vortex’; describing how an immersive environment can be used to ‘take people over’,  engaging them with an imaginary world.  Shaping the ability of the player and sculpting a world around those abilities. For Tombraider, his basic building blocks for the Egyptian world were Lara’s range of movement;  her ability to jump three blocks, walk two and reach two. He then worked his way out from this, creating an environment around her ability. For another game he used an illegible font and special language, so players became more immersed in the world as they began to learn to decipher the words and language. His ideas stem from traditional sources i.e. fantasy stories like Alice in Wonderland, story cubes and deck of Lenses. He stressed the importance of waypoints in a game; like acts in a play. He is a magpie of ideas and believes his best ideas come from half remembered stories.

He has taken all this experience and created an immersive world app; Fairy-magic, which allows you to interact with the fairies around the world via a phone or tablet. Cost to download £0.69 with additional fairies available to buy within the game.

Adrian Hon Six to Start Zombies, Run!

Adrian is responsible for the running game and audio adventure ‘Zombies Run‘. The game was funded via crowd sourcing, using social media to promote the game and to create a dialogue with customers.  Although he has had great publicity via traditional media; papers and TV, his greatest sales come from online promotion (it’s easier to follow through on a call-to-action). He initially only released the game on iPhone but the Android users grumbled and an Android version was released; it now makes up a quarter of downloads. There is also a Windows Mobile version funded by Windows. Adrain found the Android platform more difficult to  work with due to diversity of devices but believes Android is going to become more popular so it is important to try and create a comparable game experience. The app is quite expensive at $7.99 but he believes users are prepared to pay for a quality experience.

Eamonn Carey EMEA, Kiip

Eamonn believes that although we’re more connected via the web, we’re less personally connected and overall happiness levels in the US is declining. Eamonn is currently EMEA Director with an in-app reward scheme Kiip. He believes players are motivated by rewards; those magic moments of happiness when you win a game and are rewarded for your performance. With Kiip, companies sign up to the scheme; when users perform well in a game they can be rewarded by  a product from the company i.e. voucher for a free coffee etc. Motivation is very important to user experience; giving users goals – he cited 4square as a great motivational app. He found becoming mayor of his local Kebab shop very rewarding! He also mentioned tastebuds as a way of connecting with people with similar tastes via social media and Zappos.com as a great model of customer service.