Game Design From Outer Space

A two days urban-social game set in Riva del Garda.

Blogstar Ate My Hamster

Blogstar Ate My Hamster

During BlogFest 2008, the annual event about BarCamps and blogger meetings, we’ve managed to organized a social-urban game, called “Blogstar Ate My Hamster”, and set in the town of Riva del Garda. The title was a tribute to the management video game Rockstar Ate My Hamster.

We wanted the game to be a kind of sharing contest the people attending the event could play while sharing weird stuff on the website we put up.

We designed and coded the entire system, which was a kind of small social network giving the players missions and puzzles to complete during the days of the event. Maddalena Grattarola the flavor text of the game.

We also put QR Codes in some places of the small town (something quite unseen in 2008 in Italy) and we designed activities to do while hanging in front of the majestic lake Garda.

Unfortunately, all the thing went rapidly south. First of all a whirlwind hit Riva del Garda on the very first day of the BlogFest, and a heavy rain continued to fall for the following days, making impossible to complete some of the missions.

But maybe the rain is not really to blame, because we realized we have done some mistakes in designing the game. First of all the rabbit hole – a code hidden in the gift bag – was not so clear, and a lot of people weren’t even able to get to the game. And then, of course, we understood that people was not that interested to play a rather complex game while moving from a BarCamp to another.

Well, yes, that was a failure. But we learned a lot from it. And we’re proud of it nonetheless.