Vodafone Netguys (2011)

Art Direction & Lead Design by Robert Lindström


Client: Vodafone Germany

An internet game based on the concept behind the Netguys TVC for the German market. Vodafone’s services are visualised and communicated in a fun way by 4 guys that follow you everywhere and makes life easier for you. The 4 guys symbolize the network bars found on most mobile phones to indicate full connection.

In the interactive channel Vodafone wanted to give their customer a fun, casual and engaging game experience centered around the Netguys characters in the browser. The decision was made to evaluate the all new Adobe Flash 11 platform that allows for creating rich dynamic 3D content in a browser. The ambition in the interactive channel was to further expand the storytelling around the concept of the Netguys. We wanted to highlight some of the actual capabilities of the Vodafone network such as Smartness, Power, Reach & Speed and connect them to each Netguy.
Read more — North Kingdom
Netguys was a big challenge for us when we where working with the new 3d engine in Flash 11 with a very small team and a very tight time limit. However, this kind of projects with lot of limitations can be really fun to do!
One cool technical detail in this project is that the 3D blocks in the city appears randomly so you never know what’s coming up, you never know how the city will look like. 
A poster made for fun which later become landingpage as you can see here below.
The game was going to be based on the Netguys TVC, filmed in London 2011, for the German market.
The story follows four guys that helps you out, everywhere. Four guys that corresponded to the four network bars found on Vodafone mobile phones.
So the question for us was; what should we do? And how? The time was very limited.
The client asked for a simple and engaging web-based game and we wanted to push the boundaries for that by looking at a 3D solution so we got our inspiration from games like “Canabalt” and “Mirror’s Edge” for iPhones. The image above represent the first day work on the visual, trying to figure out what we will actually will see. We know the game would be in 3D, but we had to get our ideas down on paper.
Graphic profile
To get a better idea of the games graphic profile we also created a logotype for the game. When the characters cloths had a retro design we wanted to create a logotype with a 8-bit feeling but in a modern twist.
However, in the end we have to use their own font “Vodafone Rg”.
When we created the world, we needed to think of three things: it needed to be dynamic, it needed to be light and it had to be stylish. The solution for the dynamic part was to create the blocks separately, as you can see on the image above. When we had to think about the compression we couldn’t use to much textures, therefore we come to use very simple pattern on buildings which gave a very stylish feeling, which we liked very much.
The Adobe Flash 11 platform allowed us to move in this direction and we could create dynamic 3D environments but still keep to a simple yet addictive gameplay. As the technology is not yet very adopted we expect the number of players to be lower than if we would go with a more established technology such as Flash 9 or 10. However to keep up with the fast digital evolution we believe brands constantly need to find new touchpoints with their audience and evaluate new platforms of interacting with them. In this project gamification was the touchpoint and Flash 11 the platform.
The characters we developed was of course based on the real characters from the TVC. We had to create two version of them; one set for the game and one set for the intro movie.
Vodafone Netguys (2011)

Vodafone Netguys (2011)

An online 3d game utilizing the hardware acceleration introduced in Adobe Flash 11.