…2012 is closing in; as Matmi look forward to new and exciting projects for 2013, we’re taking a look at what has made the Matmi story special this year.
Eating carrot cake with Warwick Davis is up there..then welcoming two new babies to the extended Matmi family (first christmas for Esme and Lily!), and some new faces; we have a new project manager (Ian) a new receptionist and social media assistant (Helen) and new developer (Tom) at matmi towers. There was some pretty crazy jet setting to San Francisco, Slovenia and more, and Jeff and Warwick’s talk at the Develop conference in Brighton was one to remember.. we have been pinball playing, going loopy at Alton Towers, breaking world records in big hairstyles, chanelling Zelda, getting closer to Nivea, turning 40…then there is Rollabear, who’s getting some finishing touches and ready to go live (whoop!)..finally a new website (thanks Rob, James and Nate - the most challenging project of the decade), deadlines and more deadlines, and some secret projects we STILL can’t mention (arrghhh!!) and finally, Jeff’s incredible appointment as a board member for Creative England. !
It’s been fun 2012, but we are all raring to go for 2013 now - with the amazing team of developers and designers we have inhouse who worked their pants off this year, we have high hopes for even bigger, more exciting projects in the new year and can’t wait to get started.
Meanwhile, mince pies, mulled wine, last minute christmas shopping and the big Christmas shindig on Friday night - christmas jumper themed - photos to follow (if they are fit to share)…
Monster Pinball has been HD’d and a whole lot more!
The game you know and love (and if you don’t you should) has not only been given new HD graphics redesigned from the ground up… its been given new life with a whole new array of goals and achievements, table lock-in and single table play modes!
We wanted to build upon the original and we spent more than a year doing just that. Our fans loved the original and now MPHD brings it flying back into your hands with great new features and a look and feel that we’re sure will bring a smile to your face.
AND THIS TIME IT’S ON ALL OS DEVICES. Out NOW on iOS (universal app) and Android. Windows mobile coming late 2012.
I’m having a total blast reliving my love for Monster Pinball in a modern package, and just hearing all the zany sound effects and music is taking me back to a time when I poured countless hours into this game. - TouchArcade
Stunning HD graphics and animations
New Achievements / Over 500 goals
Facebook sharing* / Games Center iOS integration
Landscape view for iPad and iPad mini
6 fun packed tables with interconnected table layout
60fps giving extra smooth gameplay
Realistic Physics engine developed specifically for this game
Accelerometer tilt function / Single Table Play mode / Table lockin
Hotball feature – Score multiplied points when active
Unique sound effects in stereo / Pause, Save and Resume
Meet the latest addition to the Matmi team, Ian Lawrence!
Before we get to meet Ian, I think a special mention is needed for one of our past employees; Mr Tibbs esq… or just James if you prefer. He started at Matmi 8 years ago, working on award winning campaigns such as Gorillaz, Lily Allen, Let It Flow and Optathlon.
He moved from being a simple coding monkey, to lead programmer and finally to project manager. A big thanks to James for all his hard work over the years and we wish him well on his freelance adventures.
But time stands still for no man. Taking over the hot seat of project manager, please welcome Ian. I managed to find 10 minutes to sit down with him (no rest for the newbie) and pester him for some personal information.
What did you do before coming to Matmi?
I was working on a project sponsored by the BBC and Arts Council England called the Space. We were focussed on the Literature & Spoken Word section.
We are a national agency that invests in and supports ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media. They aim to grow the brightest, the best, and those with the most promise so that individuals and businesses can achieve their full creative and commercial potential. We help identify future opportunities to grow the economy and generate jobs.
With offices in Salford, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham and Elstree, we are a national agency with strong local and regional links.
Creative England’s Chief Executive, Caroline Norbury, said: “Jeff joins us at a particularly exciting time. The worlds of film, television and digital media are converging at an ever greater pace, opening up hitherto unforeseen opportunities for innovative digital companies to grow. It is fantastic for us to have someone with Jeff’s experience on the board so that we can shape our support to offer these SMEs the help they need to realise their creative ambitions.”
Introducing the biggest little celebrity on the planet…
Matmi are very excited to announce the launch of PocketWARWICK, the brand new app for international actor and all round good guy Warwick Davis.
Matmi were approached by technology investors Offficial, who are producers of the app, and Warwick Davis to develop Pocket Warwick. Working alongside Warwick and Offficial over the 7 month development time was incredible, providing more laughs than any other project.
Warwick loves his gadgets and saw PocketWARWICK as a perfect extension to his onscreen persona, allowing his creativity to flourish. The aim of the app is to give his fans a brand new, unique way of interacting with him; and having fun while doing so. It is a great showcase for bridging the gap between celebrities and gaming.
Within the first 3 DAYS, PocketWARWICK had reached number 14 in the iPhone free games chart and number 1 role playing game.
Matmi are exactly the kind of company I enjoy working with, Jeff and his team are so creative. Whilst making ‘Pocket Warwick’, I’d call up Jeff and say, “I’ve got a great idea”, and he’d say, “Yes, and here are three more ideas”. It was so amazing to see all of those new ideas incorporated in the next beta version of the game only a day or two later. I was so impressed by the way Matmi work, that I went straight back to them for my next project, an autograph and collectables website for my company, The Signature Shop. – Warwick Davis
Have your very own Warwick in your pocket!
Warwick Davis fans can get closer to their favourite celeb than ever before with this new free-to-play app. Combining elements of The Sims and Tamigotchi, PocketWARWICK features the star himself -feed him, tickle him, dress him as frog, take him to auditions, send him to the Gym – whatever it takes to keep him happy. Be part of and help him along his journey from Z-list to A-list celebrity status. At launch, the game will contain 100s of tasks to take part in with more added over time.
The Matmi team worked very closely with Warwick to ensure his personality and unique sense of humour was accurately conveyed via the games AI system- over the months of development he visited and chatted to the team constantly about how his character would react to certain events, his favourite foods (chocolate biscuits!) likes and dislikes – so we feel we have digitally captured his characteristics to a tee.
This system enables us to keep adding to the app new elements, updates, novelties, costumes and auditions – it’s a perfect way to keep a user engaged on top of keeping the game fresh and up to date.
The app was created using Unity 3D, a development engine that Matmi has been working closely with for some years (we were one of the first games company to publish on android).
Unity is free to download, has a fantastic following and allows a developer to simply and easily port a game to multiple platforms – we are huge fans.
As PocketWarwick is the first game that Offficial have produced we were entering the unknown somewhat when we started the project. Matmi have managed our expectations and offered advice guidance throughout which has led to a successful relationship from our perspective. We’re already actively seeking out opportunities for other projects we can take to the talented team at Matmi! – Offficial
Celebrity culture and mobile apps
Celebrity apps are revolutionising the relationship between celebrities and gaming.
Matmi has already worked with a number of music industry celebrities (Lily Allen, Gorillaz, Iron Maiden) producing great games with fantastic results; and have been championing bridging the gap between the digital and celebrity worlds; turning film, TV and music stars into app stars. Celebrities will have an increased presence in this digital form, representing a whole new platform, audience, branding opportunity and revenue stream.
The world of celebrities and games are becoming closer all the time and we wanted to take this even further. PocketWARWICK attempts to blend these worlds together more than any app before. Fans are already used to being able to interact with their favourite celebrity through social networks; PocketWARWICK is a mere extension on this. We expect the trend of celebrities getting more heavily involved in the digital world (and games in particular) to grow and we look forward to being part of it. – Jeff Coghlan, Matmi MD
Warwick already has a huge online social presence, with Pocket Warwick we hope to extend this audience reach and encourage fans to find new, fun ways to interact with their favourite celebrity.
For Matmi, PocketWARWICK is just the beginning…an exciting one at that!
How To Motivate Customer Engagement With Your Brand
“The Optathlon programme has been a resounding success and has generated millions in revenue for United Airlines.”
Extract from United’s campaign video, February 2011
Matmi is proud to have so many very happy clients – but this was a first. Not the quote so much as the fact that our client (via our American partner, Barrie D’Rozario Murphy) was so happy with the results of this campaign, they made a video about it!
What did we do?
If reading is not your thing, then check out the short video explaining the campaign in a nutshell.
Still with us? Good, I’ll continue.
When you’re a global brand, it gets more and more difficult to be bold because there’s more and more at stake.
How refreshing it was then to be approached by United Airlines and the US advertising agency, BD’M. Not only did they want to use advergames for the first time; they wanted to use five of them in a suite on a number of platforms, and put them at the very heart of a promotional campaign for passenger upgrades.
The three online Flash games in the suite were designed to be viral, driving traffic to the Optathlon website. The website drives traffic to the mobile games, and the mobile games drive traffic back to the Optathlon website – which drives traffic to the…. You get the picture. All points of access educated and entertained the customer, leading to a greater understanding of UA’s flight upgrades.
Matmi’s skills on display
The development work took Matmi from our Flash roots for the online games, into Unity 3D for the development of the mobile phone games. The mobile games are on Apple’s iPhone platform and on Google’s Android platform for smartphones (which at the time was one of Unity’s first outings on Android). It was a fantastic learning process for us and enabled Matmi to show just what we are capable of.
Not to boast (I’m going to anyway) but I think the number of industry awards the campaign won proved we had achieved something innovative at the time that also resulted in an incredible ROI for the client.
This was two years ago. Developing mobile apps has become second nature to us, as will be seen with the release of 3 apps later this year (including one featuring Warwick ‘Ewok’ Davis). Not ones to stand still, we continue to push the boundaries in digital advertising – working with companies to create online educational suites, augmented reality apps, face mapping solutions and much much more.
Very fancy but how did the campaign perform?
A stunning success.
During the first three months of the campaign, over 1 million unique visitors had played the online games and tens of thousands had downloaded the games from theOptathlon suite for mobile. Forget the fact that they’re free; feedback was great. 5/5 ratings in the AppStore, and great comments in forums and blogs. 85,000 passengers also claimed on-the-spot flight upgrades via the games (oh yes!) and United Airlines almost got an excess baggage charge for the campaign’s positive PR coverage.
And on 15thOctober 2010, one lucky player won a sweepstake worth $20,000 in United Airlines’ air miles.
But what’s intrigued us is that the Optathlon games suite is still flying high – even without the incentives of free flight upgrades and a $20K sweepstake on offer. The stats are now at over 8 million plays, which means that millions more customers (and potential customers) are learning about United Airlines’ range of flight upgrade options 2 years after the campaign was first launched.
That’s not just a stunning success. It’s subzero on the cool scale.
Why use branded games in your next campaign?
Let’s return to WHY United Airlines came to us in the first place. The original objective was to break a vicious cycle: passengers didn’t book flight upgrades until they had tried them out – but they didn’t try them out because they didn’t understand them. UA wanted to educate their customers about the upgrades without the individual needing to spend a single penny.
This is where Matmi and our innovative cross-platform branded games came in. Entertainment was the key. Think back to your school days; the majority of people find that the best teachers or the things they still remember are usually the ones that were built upon a foundation of entertainment (whatever form that took). They demanded your attention in a positive manner which increased your engagement with the subject/teacher.
Our suite of games filled that role perfectly, like a digital MC. Pulling in the attention of customers (current and potential) with the games, leading to that all important increase in engagement with the brand followed by a greater understanding of what United Airlines had to offer them. Which lead to the fantastic ROI mentioned in the above video.
It’s important to note that it’s not enough to just develop any old game and expect it to reproduce the success of the Optathlon campaign. It first requires an understanding of who your target audience is. What they want, where they go to access it and what motivates their behaviour.
So ask yourself, -how well does your brand know its audience? And more importantly – how well do they know you? I can feel a brief coming on…….
When you are ready to maximise your potential for customer engagement, loyalty, motivate buying behaviours and increase exposure …You know who to call.
For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs: