Cadbury are official treat providers of the London 2012 Olympics and want the whole nation playing games in the run-up to the games–hence their current Spots V Stripes activity. With media-planning agency PHD, and specifically, Chief Innovation Officer John Willshire, they ran a competition to create a brand new game that people could carry around in their pocket.
Eighty or so entries were whittled down to a short-list of ten, from which two finalists were chosen by popular vote. ARTOMATIC is making the winners to be playtested and voted an ultimate winner by 12,000 Matterbox subscribers.
We had to give some idea of cost and timing before we started and before any of the games existed. Fortunately, and because we had the freedom to adapt the games to the resources, both finalists were eventually the right price and leadtime.
Flick Racer by James Wallis is a motor racing game, kind of like Subbuteo for cars. It's beautifully simple consisting of eight cars (in two teams of four, Spots and Stripes), which are discs of rubber made from recycled car tyres (Cadbury's sustainability requirements are very stringent), a stick of chalk and some suggested track layouts. The crucial element, a large flat tarmac or pavement surface is provided by the players. The aim of the game is to flick the cars around the track without crashing, falling off or flipping over.
Egg-a-thon by Sally Manning is also a race-based game, and consists of plastic (recycled cereal packets) eggs and a dice. Two teams of two eggs (Spots & Stripes) start at one end of the board and move in turn from one end of the board to the other at the throw of a dice. The idea being to try and block and out-manoeuvre the opponent.
The challenge for both was finding sustainable materials and manufacturing methods that worked for the quantities, price and timing. Flick Racer was revatively straightforward once we'd found the material (made by Remarkable Pencils). Egg-a-thon was tricker since the original design was to use chocolate Cadbury eggs and a plastic game board. The chocolate eggs were a non-starter but the breakthrough was to use the carton as the game board negating the need for an expensive plastic molded piece.
The games are being distributed to Matter subscribers in December and the winner will eventually be produced in its final form later in the year.