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Timeless Boardgames Day – Accessible Boardgaming

I went to a boardgame day yesterday, one that I hadn’t been to before, and of course, if I’m compelled to write about it, it must’ve been pretty great, right? Spoiler: Yes!

Mission, vision, etc

Firstly, Timeless Boardgames is a relatively new online shop in SA. I got in touch with them a while ago when I first heard of them, marketing an interesting concept of renting boardgames instead of selling them. It was an interesting concept with the goal of making boardgames more accessible to everyone – buying a big box of components is a big investment usually, and renting before buying would lower that barrier to entry for newcomers to the hobby who don’t necessarily do a ton of research online before purchasing, or know exactly what they may like or don’t like.

Unfortunately the rental model never took off, I’m sure with good reason. However, the heart of their mission: Making boardgames more accessible, lives on in these Timeless Boardgame Days.

Try before you buy. Heck, just have fun.

This is the point of their boardgame days, and that makes quite a subtle but very interesting difference.

The typical boardgame days we find around are a hobbyist’s gathering. The message is usually: “Everyone bring games, anyone can play anyone else’s game!”. With the secondary message “Don’t have games? Don’t worry! We all love to share our games, just come!”. While the boardgame community is very welcoming, newcomers don’t understand that, and are often daunted by the thought of “I shouldn’t go if I don’t bring games”.

Timeless Boardgame Days flip that on its head – the message is specifically “Come play if you don’t have games!” – they have a huge selection of open games (almost the largest single-ownership collection I’ve ever seen) for you to play, and every month they open new games based on a voting system – you can vote on which game you want to see in the next Timeless Boardgame Day if you’re at the event, which is very fun.

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A day out

This focus accessibility has made these day events very successful in a short time. There is a cover charge of R60, but that’s really nothing for a day’s entertainment.

The venue is spacious, clean, with nice sturdy chairs. So often cheap plastic chairs get destroyed (granted the laughs those generate when it happens are great, but I’d much rather not see potential injuries)

You get free tea, coffee, juice, biscuits, brownies, etc etc. The desserts are a really nice touch, and lunch can be bought at a reasonable price. It was a boerewors roll, and you’re free to top it up with a selection of salsa, which is also a nice touch, and doesn’t remind me of the usual convention food standards.

Great company is to be had as everyone is super friendly and there are always staff on hand to explain or run the open games. Non staff are also more than happy to play with too.

Overall, Timeless Boardgame Days is yet another great addition to the growing list of places to play boardgames in Joburg!

Details

I’ve put the details in my Ultimate Joburg Boardgaming Guide :)

 

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Mention: 30 games in 30 days, by Grids

Go SA! The local game dev scene is heating up, and the latest comes from GameLogic – the company behind the super impressive project which speaks volumes for itself – they made 30 games in 30 days, and they’re not even a game development company.

What?

GameLogic made Grids, a “plugin for Unity Game Engine that allows you to rapidly implement games built on various types of grids”. Which means in plainspeak: it makes grid systems for your games in Unity super easily.

And to prove that, they made a game a day for 30 days. There are a good variety of games of all types, from puzzles to real time stuff to 3D to simulations, and they were all made in a day – this ain’t no trick photography or smoke and mirrors, this is real, honest-to-god prototyping goodness! And none of it would have been possible without the coding prowess of fellow gamemaker Eduard Beukes who powered all 30 of these beasts.

My favourites of the lot:

 

Day 30 – it’s so pretty! And moves so well!

 

Day 28 – It’s also so pretty! And so much motion sickness! 😀

 

Day 25 – I really like the thought behind it, thought-provoking.

 

Day 15 – I loved the way the hex grid was a thematically perfect fit for a paraglider going down. Cool concept.

 

Check out Grids if you’re devving in Unity, and check out their 30 games for inspiration!

Best of 2012 Mobile awards include 3 SAs and many more inspirational campaigns

The 2012 MMA Global Awards has some winners from South Africa for OMO, The Nelson Mandela Story and BOS Ice Tea. But even besides that they were almost all awesomely inspirational in one way or another. Coverage originally from mobithinking.com

Enjoy the show!

 

Best in Show

The Coca-Cola Company and Movement London for Move to the Beat (UK/EMEA)

Video case study: Move to the Beat (UK).
Take 5 athletes, a UK pop sensation and one of the world’s hottest music producers and you get? Coca-Cola’s first ‘Mobile first’ campaign. Movement London put together a huge SMS program connecting teens with the athletes and artists, with exclusive mobile content both online and offline. A mobile site allowed you to go even deeper, and an My Beat Maker app invited you to get creative and make beats out of your own movement. These beats could then be uploaded to The Global Beat – the biggest musical collaboration in history.

Marketing strategy award for Brand Awareness

Gold: The Coca-Cola Company and Movement London for Move to the Beat (UK/EMEA)
Silver: WWF and Mobiento for The Black Out Banner (Norway/EMEA)
Bronze: Dove Hair (Unilever Singapore Pte Ltd) and Mindshare Singapore/inMobi for Dove Hairfall Rescue(Singapore/APAC)
Regional Winner: Westin Hotels & Resorts and The Weather Channel for Wipe Away Your Weather (USA/NA)

Video case study: The Black Out Banner (Norway).
Earth Hour asks people to turn their lights off at home to fight climate change. In a mobile world, a screen is a massive global light source, so Mobiento took it one step further, asking our tech-addict generation to turn their screens off. With the tap of a mobile rich media banner, the screen blackened, turning phone lights off across Norway. A swipe across the screen slowly let the light back in and revealed the Earth Hour countdown. Run across the major Norwegian media site of Aftenposten and Dagbladet, this showed that the days of static mobile advertising are over. There were 847 000 impressions on Dagbladet and 220 000 impressions on Aftenposten, a media value of approx €20 000. Take that, climate change.

Marketing strategy award for Lead Generation / Direct Response / Conversion

Gold: OMO and Brandtone for OMO Mobile Loyalty Program (South Africa/EMEA)
Silver: Little Brownie Baker and EachScape for Cookie Locator (USA/NA)

Video case study: OMO Mobile Loyalty Program (South Africa).
Unilever used a reward ladder of incentives devised by Brandtone to connect Omo with its customers through text messages on their mobile phone. Customers had the opportunity to text, for free, a promotional code from Omo packaging in order to claim a series of rewards in the form of free mobile phone credit. In return, Unilever and Brandtone were able to build a database of opted-in customers who were willing and eager to engage with the brand. The campaign resulted in one million consumer redemptions (a rate of 26pc) and a 20pc uplift in sales of Omo’s core promotional packs. Of those consumers who took part, 85 percent opted into further communication with the brand.

Marketing strategy award for Product / Services Launch

Silver: Samsung and Affle for A Tiled World (India/APAC)
Silver: Microsoft Corporation and iconmobile for Windows Phone Demo Takeover (USA/NA)
Bronze: Land Rover and Wunderman for Evoque iAd (USA/NA)

Video case study: A Tiled World (India).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q-F8vGyb73E

Marketing strategy award for Promotion

Gold: Chevy, Goodby, Silverstein, and Partners and Detroit Labs for Chevy Game Time app (USA/NA)
Silver: Cornetto / Unilever and Rabarba for Cornetto ‘My Loveee’ Summer 2012 Campaign (Turkey/EMEA)
Silver: Coca Cola and Ogilvy Brasil for Happiness Refill (Brazil/LATAM)

Video case study: Chevy Game Time app (USA).
Hijacking the Super Bowl by adding a second screen. Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest TV advertising day in America, has become a crowded place: with over 50 advertisers competing for viewers’ attention, how do you stand out? The Chevy Game Time is a live second-screen experience designed to distract viewers from competitors’ ads and give them a reason to engage with Chevy for the entire game. It rewarded players’ attention with awesome prizes – including 20 Chevys – and got entire parties to watch our ads again and again: first on TV, then in the app, then online. On game day, 700,000 app users interacted in real-time with Chevy commercials and the game. Each time a commercials aired, we asked trivia questions about it within the app. Since this could win you the Chevy you just saw on TV, it pulled viewers’ attention back to our brand and racked up commercial views and interactions with our products. In a unique integration between the app and live broadcast TV, app users were given a personal license plate; and if you spotted your plate in our ads, the car was yours. This became a reason for players to watch our commercials on multiple screens, and multiple times. During the game, the promotion literally promoted itself.

Marketing strategy award for Relationship Building / CRM

Gold: O2 and Cherry London for O2 Priority Moments (UK/EMEA)
Silver: OMO and Brandtone for OMO Mobile Loyalty Program (South Africa/EMEA)
Bronze: Coca Cola and Ogilvy Brasil for Happiness Refill (Brazil/LATAM)
Regional Winner: Safeway and 5th Finger for Safeway Chef Assistant (USA/NA)

Video: O2 Priority Moments (UK).
O2 wanted to build on the success of Priority, the exclusive and wildly popular VIP ticketing service, and create a game-changing and engaging loyalty platform to reward their customers with everyday exclusive offers and experiences from brands they love. Cherry created a robust partner proposition to bring to the UK’s market leaders in key categories including entertainment, high street retail, and dining. Results: Priority Moments is O2’s biggest marketing initiative and has proven to be one of the UK’s fastest-growing loyalty programs. There are now millions of customers on board (tripling since launch), with the highest number of active users of any loyalty program. In-store conversions are up to 85 percent. 75 Priority Moments offers are viewed every second of every day and five O2 customers redeem a Priority Moments offer each minute.

Marketing strategy award for Social Impact / Not For Profit

Gold: Greenpeace and Must Mobile for Greenpeace Arctic Defender (Argentina/LATAM)
Silver: Nelson Mandela Foundation and Prezence Digital for Mandela Story (South Africa/EMEA)
Bronze: WWF and Mobiento for The Black Out Banner (Norway/EMEA)
Regional Winner: VH1 and Foursquare for “Save The Music Foursquare Campaign” (USA/NA)

Video case study: Mandela Story (South Africa).

Marketing strategy award for Cross Media Integration

Gold: Nike+ and R/GA for Nike+ FuelBand (USA/NA)
Silver: The Coca-Cola Company and Movement London for Move to the Beat (UK/EMEA)
Bronze: Bravo Digital Media for Top Chef Season 9 – Last Chance Kitchen (USA/NA)

Marketing strategy award for Cross Mobile Integration

Silver: Hennessy and one50one for one50one Hennessy Kaws Mobile Campaign (USA/NA)

Video case study: one50one Hennessy Kaws Mobile Campaign (USA).
Hennessy engaged world-renowned contemporary artist, Kaws, to create edgy artwork for a limited-edition label for the Hennessy V.S. bottle. one50one was tasked to create an integrated marketing campaign around the Hennessy Kaws partnership, highlighting the Kaws-designed Hennessy V.S. bottle to a diverse audience. one50one took a multichannel approach and deployed a digital/social/mobile (DSM) strategy. To capture the Hennessy Kaws collaboration, one50one created a series of video shorts to engage consumers in the story of how the partnership unfolded. The videos were released at intervals on various channels. one50one designed a custom-branded QR code using Kaws-inspired colors and an image of the actual bottle. The QR code was printed on each limited-edition bottle and on all press materials. The team built a Kaws-branded mobile website as the back-end of the QR code. The website – a simple, easy-to-navigate page – prompted visitors to watch the videos. In addition, they could download the label as wallpaper for their mobile phones, access cocktail recipes, and locate stores that carried the limited-edition bottle on an interactive map. The video shorts obtained more than 7,000 views across multiple channels. The Hennessy Kaws mobile wallpaper was downloaded more than 101,000 times in the first three months of the campaign. Over the course of six months, the custom-branded QR code was scanned 1.3 million – a mobile industry record.

Marketing strategy award for Tablet Campaign

Gold: Land Rover and Wunderman for Evoque iAd (USA/NA)
Bronze: Infiniti Canada and Olive Media for Infiniti JX Tablet Campaign (Canada/NA)

Video case study: Infiniti JX Tablet Campaign (Canada).
The Goal: Launch the Range Rover Evoque to a younger, more tech-savvy target audience, who live on their iPads and iPhones, and look for innovative online experiences. The Solution: A new kind of iAd with capabilities never before tried by Apple, a stunning CGI tour of the vehicle, including a spectacular demonstration using the platform’s built-in 3-axis gyro

Marketing strategy award for Mobile Website

Gold: Daimler AG/Mercedes-Benz and Jung von Matt AG for Mercedes-Benz, The Friendly Brand Takeover(Germany/EMEA)
Silver: Kia Motors and Ansible Mobile for Kia Motors Mobile & Tablet Sites (USA/NA)
Bronze: Ford Motor Company and Velti for “Ford Mobile Optimized website” (USA/NA)

Video case study: Kia Motors Mobile & Tablet Sites (USA).

http://vid.ly/9y8t9u?content=video&format=webm

Marketing strategy award for In-App Advertising – Gaming or Other

Silver: Intel and Ansible and OMD for Intel The Escape iAd (USA/NA)
Bronze: Land Rover and Wunderman for Evoque iAd (USA/NA)
Bronze: Dunkin’ Donuts and Hill Holliday for Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee Creator (USA/NA)

Video case study: Intel The Escape iAd (USA).
Ansible was selected to conceive and design an iAD on Apple’s mobile ad platform to promote the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors. The result is an exciting action-adventure game where YOU are the hero agent. Using your speed, wits, and skill, you must retrieve the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor from enemy spies. But wait, who said fun games can’t be educational? Play your challenges right and you can learn all about what makes the 2nd Generation of Intel® Core™ Processors even more powerful than the first.

http://vid.ly/8j4e2o?content=video&format=webm

Best Use of Mobile Social Media

Gold: BOS Ice Tea and COW Africa for Bev – Twitter activated vending machine (South Africa/EMEA)
Bronze: Molson Coors and Olson for “Coors Light Iced T” USA/NA

Video case study: Bev – Twitter activated vending machine (South Africa).
Since launch, sampling has been key to the BOS Ice Tea marketing strategy. COW Africa was tasked with coming up with an innovative sampling mechanic that would put BOS Ice Tea a step ahead of the crowd and introduce it successfully to young urbanites, aged 20 – 35, LSM 8-10.
COW conceptualized and produced the first ever tweet-activated vending machine. To do this, COW used a Bevmax 4-45 vending machine, and proceeded to showcase its inner-workings with microphones, cameras, lights and speakers through on-machine displays. Originally designed to munch on tokens, we then integrated BEV with the Twitter API and now she now happily dispenses an ice cold BOS Ice Tea whenever a Twitter user requests one using the hashtag #BOSTWEET4T. And thanks to her nifty geo-location feature, BEV can even tell if the Tweeter is close enough to her to fetch their ice tea.

Marketing strategy award for Messaging

Gold: OMO and Brandtone for OMO Mobile Loyalty Program (South Africa/EMEA)
Silver: International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and Revolution Messaging for “IUPAT Mobile Job Alerts” (USA/NA)
Bronze: DoSomething.org and Mobile Commons for The Pregnancy Text (USA/NA)

Marketing strategy award for Video / Rich Media

Gold: Land Rover and Wunderman for Evoque iAd (USA/NA)
Silver: WWF and Mobiento for The Black Out Banner (Norway/EMEA)
Bronze: HP and PHD for HP iAd Enabling Tech Video/RM (USA/NA)

Video case study: HP iAd Enabling Tech Video/RM (USA).

Marketing strategy award for Location

Gold: Showtime and OMD for “Showtime Franchise Fan Cave Catch” USA/NA
Silver: Victory Motorcycles and The Integer Group for Victory Motorcycles: Ride One You’ll Own One (USA/NA)
Bronze: Royal Challengers Bangalore and TELiBrahma Convergent Communications for Fan following is writing on the wall (India/APAC)

Video case study: Fan following is writing on the wall (India).

Marketing strategy award for mCommerce

Gold: Google and R/GA for Google Wallet (USA/NA)
Silver: Glamour and SpyderLynk for Glamour Magazine Mobile Commerce Issue (USA/NA)
Bronze: T.G.I. Friday’s and The Richards Group/Click Here, Inc. for T.G.I. Friday ‘s Mobile App (USA/NA)

Video case study: Google Wallet (USA).

Marketing strategy award for Innovation

Gold: Nike+ and R/GA for Nike+ FuelBand (USA/NA)
Silver: Goodby, Silverstein, and Partners/Chevy and Detroit Labs for Chevy Game Time app (USA/NA)

Marketing strategy award for Mobile App

Gold: Johnson & Johnson / Band-Aid and JWT New York Band-Aid Magic Vision (USA/NA)
Silver: Nike+ and R/GA for Nike+ FuelBand (USA/NA)
Bronze: Condé Nast and Mobile Dreams Factory for Glamour Book (Spain/EMEA)

Video case study: Band-Aid Magic Vision (USA).
Featuring the Muppets is a mobile augmented reality app that turns any ordinary Band-Aid Brand adhesive Muppets bandage or box into a stage for interactive entertainment. When a child gets a ‘boo boo,’ they typically beg their parents for a Band-Aid bandage to make them feel better. The bandages almost have a magical effect. Band-Aid Magic Vision was designed to amplify the magic. Now, when a parent applies a Muppets Band-Aid bandage to their child’s hand and scans it with their iPhone/iPad mobile app, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Gonzo the Great come to life to entertain away the pain.

Global Mobile Campaign

Orange: The Coca-Cola Company and Movement London for “Move to the Beat”
Gold: Kia Motors and Innocean Worldwide for “Kia Motors Euro 2012 Campaign”

Industry Awards

Global Enabling Technology Company of the Year in Mobile Marketing: Urban Airship
Global Operator of the Year in Mobile Marketing: Turkcell
Global Researcher of Year in Mobile Marketing: InMobi
Global Publisher/Media Company of the Year in Mobile Marketing: Pandora
Global Agency of the Year in Mobile Marketing: Mindshare/Maxus
Global Marketer of the Year in Mobile Marketing: The Coca-Cola Company

The most sublime iPad game just released: Bastion

 

Not being an XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) junkie had deprived me of some top indie titles, so I’m so glad Supergiant Games have brought it to the iPad – cos it actually fits pretty much perfectly. Sure a big TV would be nice to play it on, but the detailed artwork is really nice up close.

I’m not reviewing Bastion. I’m just going to gawk about some awesome things and how details make a game wonderful:

The narrator

– the entire story is told by a deep, throaty sounding narrator, who commentates on everything you, “The Kid”, does. The Kid has no name, as the narrator, known only as “The Stranger”, never got around to asking. His superb Western twang doesn’t irritate at all, but instead gives what might have been lumped in with every other JRPG a very fresh storytelling approach.

Visual Extravaganza

The world is incredible – right from the very first moment, you’re thrust into a vibrant, colourful and lively world that literally builds itself beneath your feet – the environment rises up from the depths of Calamity to greet you, piece by piece, and the hand-painted art is so detailed and well animated that you’ll constantly want more – and there are much more – as you’ll seldom encounter the same biome twice. This game is 1Gb due to the HD visuals that Supergiant Games have packed into it, according to them.

“I dig my hole you build a wall”

The music – the musical centrepiece is a haunting western vocal, and the way it’s introduced is also splendid. That track is accompanied throughout the game by other awesome scores. You want to play this game with your headphones, for sure. Don’t play it on the iPad’s puny speakers!

Why haven’t you gotten it yet?

Overall, Bastions of such an amazing quality that if you haven’t played it, and do own an iPad 2 and above (Not for the iPhones, sorry), you owe it to yourself to experience it. At $4.99 on the App Store, it’s really better than any macMeal you’ll ever have with that price.

If you need more convincing,

check out more of this gobsmacking art:

Edit: The gallery was met with the Cataclysmic Blog Cataclysm of 2013, and will rest in peace. Check out more Bastion eye candy here.

 

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