"A great unexpected game that has a relatable story and increases skill and exploration in a fun and addict-like fashion." —juror Brooke Nanberg
"Everything done so well. Any game that pauses itself when you click into the address bar is top-notch in my book. Love this. Wish I'd done it." —juror Mathew Ranauro
Overview: With fantastic environments and characters, engaging sound, magnificent graphics and multiple-choice storylines, this gaming site is an immersion into Scarygirl’s universe. It gives the collectible figure a backstory and expands the fan base to hit a much broader target audience. Scarygirl has developed a faithful following of all ages from around the globe, standing out from cult brand competitors due to fact that she was born of a distinct narrative and storyline (abandoned at birth, she's searching for her identity with the help of Blister, her octopus guardian). For the first time since the character was introduced, players can, through investigation, platform-style gameplay and pictogram communication, help unravel the mysteries of her past.
• The game took five people, with another three or four helping out as needed, eighteen months to complete.
• The Scarygirl game is one facet of a bigger picture for the brand that includes limited-edition toys, graphic novels, exhibitions and a feature film (in development).
• Favorable reviews on prominent game portals, blogs and magazines, and a trailer shown on Vimeo, attracted a large audience; between April and November 2009 the site had over 760,000 visitors.
Comments by Nathan Jurevicius:
Did you meet with any out-of-the-ordinary obstacles during development? "We underestimated the traffic load on the servers when we initially launched and had to upgrade a number of times."
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? "Possibly the amount of work required and juggling the physical distance between myself and the programmers. Also getting my head around the way the project organically developed from initially being a smaller, more contained game to a vast sixteen-level experience."
Did you learn anything new during the process? "I learned a lot about level design and the various elements required for a satisfying game-play experience; about creating graphics to be used for Flash games; and what was required for optimizing backgrounds for quicker/smoother download times. I also learned that player feedback is helpful in communicating what needed to be improved and what was not working from visual and programming perspectives."
What would you do differently if you could start the project over? "Possibly get another graphics person to help me with backgrounds and also spend a bit more pre-production time developing the artwork and level design."