recently game developer digital steamworks was kind enough to work on a proof of concept for a bit of advergaming called “super jack”. the idea here was simply to show a potential client what a game based on their brand might look like.
working known brands into viable video game ideas isn’t as simple as you might think. the brand has history, the brand has an identity, and these things must be protected. while i might think it funny and worthwhile to see company x’s mascot brandishing firearms and destroying bad guys, that sort of concept usually won’t fit with the image the corporation is trying to project about themselves and their product.
with a pizza chain like dominoes for example, one of the first ideas that pops into your mind is “a game about delivering pizzas!” this concept immediately creates an issue though: reckless driving to deliver pizza eventually causes destruction and death. some pizza chains were forced to stop advertising “30 minutes or less” by lawsuits that claimed this sort of guarantee wasn’t in the public’s interest.
so games built for brands like nike, jack in the box, or diesel have to take this into account while still delivering a play experience that is compelling enough to draw people away from “feature” quality games released by top tier game publishers. it seems that part of this is solved by creating smaller games (time-wise) of equally high quality. these tv commercial sized games can be played a very short amount of time, enjoyed fully in that time, and potentially replayed many times without becoming dull. i know this is possible because of things like deathmatch quake… a single level can provide hours of “repetitive” fun.
check out the digital steamworks jack video by clicking on the image below.
contact murray at digital steamworks if you want to speak to the developer that did this animation using the unreal engine.
“jack in the box”, the jack image, and all related materials are (c) jack in the box inc, 2005.