NCUK is an organisation founded by a consortium of 11 UK Universities and provides pathway programmes for overseas students wishing to study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the UK.
Marking their achievements over the last quarter century NCUK have launched a global campaign called ’25 years of Success’. To support the campaign we’ve developed a game to engage potential students in three of their key market areas, China, Nigeria and South Korea. The game, which is available in Chinese, Korean and English, has been deployed to Facebook in Nigeria and South Korea and Seina Weibo in China. The Chinese version also allows sharing with WeChat, the popular messaging app.
’Success’ is a retro-styled match-3 game where players must match three icons to clear a pathway through a grid. Once the path has been cleared players progress to the next level. Themed around the path that international students take to study at a UK university – from first becoming interested in study abroad to graduating and starting work – each level provides information on how NCUK can help them. Scores can be shared via the player’s social network and entered on a global leaderboard.
One of the biggest challenges we faced in delivering the game was working with Seina Weibo and WeChat as the development kits are in Chinese. However with the help of a native-language specialist we were able to navigate our way through the complex delivery and approval processes.
Channel 4: The Taste / The Jump
The ‘Twitter Tracker App’ is a ‘second-screen’ application developed for Channel 4. So far the app has been used for two prime-time shows, ‘The Taste’ – a 10 part cookery contest featuring Nigella Lawson and 12 would-be chefs, and ‘The Jump’ – a nightly show in which celebrities compete in a range of winter sports with one unlucky celebrity in each show facing the dreaded Ski Jump.
The app monitors the twitter ‘buzz’ around contestants and provides sentiment analysis on what is being said about each of them. By tracking tweets which contain both the show’s hashtag and the contestant’s name the app calculates the percentage of total tweets that each contestant has received. This is displayed as a series of circles, each representing a single contestant, which grow or shrink in size depending on the contestant’s share of the buzz.
The app also looks for adjectives in the tweets and displays the top 10 descriptive words relating to each contestant at any point in time. A ‘hot or not’ meter takes the temperature of the sentiment behind the tweets whilst a timeline ‘scrubber’ allows the user to see how the buzz has changed over time since the start of the series.
During transmission of the shows the app was embedded within ‘4Now’, Channel 4’s companion iOS app. It was also available on the show’s pages within the main Channel 4 website.
British Council: World of Knowledge
‘World of Knowledge’ is a Facebook game designed to support the British Council’s ‘Study Work Create’ campaign which aims to engage British young people with the benefits of studying, working, volunteering or developing their creativity abroad.
The quiz-based game challenges players to travel as far around the world as possible by answering a series of location-based questions against the clock. Players must fly a plane to a chosen destination, but a limited amount of fuel means they must be strategic when choosing where they fly to. By answering questions correctly they can build up their fuel reserve and travel further – but if they get a question wrong it could be game over. Players can share their scores and enter them on a leaderboard to be in with a chance of winning a £500 Flight Centre travel gift card. Core to the gameplay is the discovery of the many worldwide locations where Study Work Create opportunities are available. Each question also reinforces the British Council’s wider aim of promoting understanding of different cultures overseas.
The brief required a game that would be simple and accessible while encouraging share and re-play. The elements of competition and reward are designed to drive re-playability and generate new interest. This is a great example of game-based learning being used to drive audience engagement and promote a better understanding of different cultures.
Dazzle Ships for 1418 Now
Video created for Tate Liverpool art gallery to promote DazzleIt app and explain what the app is about and how to use it.
Have you heard of Dazzle Ships? More than likely not, which is why 14-18 NOW, a major cultural programme marking the centenary of the First World War, commissioned us to develop an Augmented Reality app to bring the Dazzle Ships story to life.
In 1917, whilst on board a naval patrol ship, the British artist Norman Wilkinson had a brainwave. He came up with the idea that the best way to protect the British fleet from German attack was to paint the ships in bold shapes and violently contrasting colours, with the aim of confusing the enemy rather than concealing the ship. The Admiralty took him seriously and soon much of the British fleet was painted in brightly coloured patterns. Whether this was effective or not remains unproven but the legacy of his proposal was a lasting influence on 20th century art. In 2014, as part of the WW1 centenary, three contemporary artists, including Sir Peter Blake, were commissioned to dazzle three ships, HMS President (a WW1 Q-Ship moored on The Thames), Snowdrop (one of the Mersey Ferries) and the Edmund Gardner, a Liverpool pilot ship.
Now, using our Dazzle It app, you can create your own unique dazzles by remixing the contemporary artists’ work with your own images, wrapping your creation around a 3D model and then viewing it, via your device’s camera, within an augmented reality real-world scene. You can choose from a selection of models that includes the three ships as well as a range of other water-borne craft – try our favourite, the rubber duck! We’ve also used the latest markerless augmented reality technology to allow you to view your creation anywhere without the need for a pre-defined target.
Once you’ve created your augmented reality masterpiece you can share it with your friends or submit it to the website gallery, where you can also view and vote on other people’s creations.
Dazzle It is available on iOS and Android devices from the iTunes and Google Play stores.
Study Group partners with prestigious universities worldwide to provide pathway programmes for international students wanting to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The organisation’s sales force and external network of agents need up-to-date information at their fingertips and so we were tasked with developing an application that would deliver a competitive advantage by making course details easy and attractive to find and promote to potential students.
Information about courses, fees, progression routes and entry requirements for over 80 programmes sits alongside details on locations, social life and accommodation. This can be localised for different student markets and is accessed through a simple filtered, free-text or map search. To ensure that data is current a script checks when the app last connected to the internet and prompts the agent to download an update if they have been offline for more than a month.
‘Course Finder’ has been developed as a native application for Android and Apple tablets as well as a web application, ensuring availability on a wide range of platforms and devices. It works both online and offline to enable use in areas without an internet connection, and is available in English and Chinese. Other language versions are planned for the future.
To ensure Course Finder worked for international markets we engaged user-experience specialists and regular collaborators, Sutherland Innovation Labs. Extensive research identified agent needs, which were met through re-testing designs throughout the development process.
As well as western markets, the solution had to appeal to users in China, so addressing the different design needs of the west and far east was crucial to providing a user experience suited to people all over the world. To help us understand the complexities that this entailed we enlisted the help of Terry Ma, a native Chinese UX design consultant.
The app is currently only available to agents with valid login credentials.