Vanishing Point 5 Game Change
Pou Auaha / Creative DirectorCharles Anderson
Ringatoi Matua / Design DirectorAllan Walker
Ngā Kaimahi / Team MembersMyles Montgomery, Jacob Barrow
Kaitautoko / ContributorsShannon Jahnel Lanktree, Dylan Galletly
Game Change is an interactive exploration of New Zealand’s burgeoning video game industry.
The project, commissioned by RNZ and made possible by the RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund, delves into three stories about an industry that is worth more than $300m a year to the country. However, it is an industry that many do not know about, let alone understand.
This was the challenge. We wanted the general public to get a feel and appreciation for what interactive media is and what it can do.
As such, this project uses the innovative design, language and mechanics of video games but applies them to traditional journalistic storytelling. We paired journalists and producers, with digital creators who matched the stories with the interactivity and visuals needed to convey the story.
The stories let the audience have a say in their outcomes - whether it be following the journey of one of the country’s up-and-coming video game designers in Game On, or helping a young single mum balance her family life with being a professional ‘streamer’ that broadcasts her gameplay to the world. We worked with an interactive illustrator to build a game within a video browser, allowing real words and gaming worlds to converge in an innovative way.
The project also features the story of Humphrey Hanley, who was born with a rare condition that means he no longer has any hands. By 3D scanning Humphrey and turning him into a video game character using WebGL, the story touches on how games can open up entire worlds and communities, especially for those that are living with disabilities.
Storytelling, User Experience design and engagement were the drivers of how we approached the project. We matched the reporting with the design. We used text, auto-play video with ‘karaoke’ quotes, to allow the audience to follow along, as well as 3D modellers, animators, illustrators, and interactive developers to create a unique project for a unique story. There are several 'firsts' in media in this project, including using WebGL, a coding language allowing the manipulation of 3D objects in all web browsers and devices.
The project was promoted across channels and reached close to 100,000 users. It was also picked up by other media and organisations, including Microsoft Xbox and its channels with several million followers.
A video outlining the background of the project can also be found here. https://youtu.be/vJ73_hKnO2c