Client: Village Roadshow

Project: Expendables II

The Challenge: To create hype for The Expendables 2, Village Roadshow asked us to build an online game that dramatized the intense action in the movie. We knew that to engage a young male audience, used to playing games like Call Of Duty, not just any game would do.

The Solution: We created Deploy & Destroy, an epic tower defence game featuring the superstar cast of the film, in six  no-holds-barred, balls-to-the-wall, I-sh*t-you-not levels, plus an endless mode for infinite play. The game set a new standard for promotional desktop games.

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The Tower Defence (TD) genre was selected because it’s one of the most popular formats for play among this audience. And it really let us inject the awesomesauce of the film into the game.

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We created custom wallpapers inline with the film's key-art as rewards for unlocking achievements in the game. This encouraged those who had completed the game to play for longer.

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We ran a pre-launch competition on Roadshow's Facebook profile for their 320,000 fans to build buzz around the film and the game. The winner become the 5th Expendable in the game and our art and dev team immortalised them as a pixel character!

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Custom 3D models were created for the game then exported as sprites to allow for an 8-Bit 80s feel while also reducing the workload for the art team.

The process generated some seriously awesome looking sprites. The characters were drawn and animated by hand as were the terrain items.

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Here's a look at the process of creating one character.

A detailed level editor allowed us to quickly test and build levels. Each map went through multiple rounds of player testing.

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Results:

The energy put into the game drove enormous engagement, plus pre-purchase of tickets for the movie:

  • Over 10M visits in the first 2 months

  • Average session time of more than 13 minutes

  • 220,000 clicks to buy tickets to the film (assuming $10 per ticket, this represents a minimum of $2.2M worth of tickets sold)

  • 70,000 clicks to Village Roadshow’s Facebook page

 

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