The mobile game In Real Life: Race to the Finish extends Season 2’s transmedia property from a show and website, one step further to iOS. In Real Life Interactive was first launched as a Flash web game in 2010, and then redesigned for Season 3.
The new app allows viewers to shape In Real Life’s narrative by affecting a webisode selection process. Points kids score playing Race to the Finish are put toward bringing back their favourite on-air competitors, known as “challengers,” while also playing for a chance to participate themselves. The two challengers with the most fan-generated points and two top fans on the leader board competed in teams of two against each other in the webisode after the show’s finale.
Building on the success of Season 2’s popular website, our goal was to extend the experience seamlessly from web to mobile, while making the game more accessible to fans. We also wanted to relaunch the site with a new look and feel to get kids excited for the new season, improve upon technology and make changes based on user feedback and metrics. A key challenge was to allow users with YTV memberships to access their accounts on mobile, yet still reach new audiences to extend the brand.
When opening the app, YTV.com membership settings and points appear automatically, providing seamless access for YTV users. A guest login is also available, keeping the app open to people who come across the game but aren’t yet aware of the In Real Life brand.
Built using Unity3D to handle graphics and hardware acceleration, the game is fast and comparable to the web experience. The game doesn’t require Wi-Fi to play – points and level designs are saved when a connection is detected again.
The web game’s redesign includes more than double the original game backgrounds, songs and game objects for the new season, along with ground plain optimization, making it an even faster experience than last year.
The Season 3 website became as popular as Season 2’s was, with more than one million page views within the first month alone, and was one of top-played games on YTV.com. On mobile, the game’s metrics are also impressive with an average of 2 sessions per day per user throughout the season.