Client: Kerb (2002)
We built this website 12 years ago and it still stands up as a great piece of web content.
It was technically very advanced for its time, looked amazing and had a sense of humour. We gamified the website experience by insisting that the user collect items and solve puzzles to view every piece of content on the site and learn about the company.
The title of the site was: Creative Navigation or Commercial Suicide?
Client: Channel 4 (2008)
Built for the launch of the Channel 4 games website this had the best brief you could ever want. Just make something insane and playable. Oh and feel free to make full use of the dwarf actors from our TV stings.
Lovely physics combined with video that reacts perfectly to the behaviour of the boxes it is contained within. You will see what I mean when you play it.
Unique visits: 3.2 million
Client: RAF (2005)
The RAF didn’t shy away from letting us build them a balls out side scrolling blaster – as long as there was some element of humanitarian aim to the mission.
This is an example of the kind of Flash games we were building almost a decade ago. No wonder it got much acclaim and huge traffic.
Unique visits: 31.2 million
Client: Bandai (2006)
We worked for Bandai to promote the Unazukin toy. We built a site to showcase all the insane TV and Press promotion from Japan. Sadly there wasn’t an awful lot of insane stuff. So we made a spoof Japanese TV ad…
Client: Playstation (2008)
In my top 5 things we ever did.
Very ambitious stuff. Faking soft-body modelling using a fast-to-calculate polygonal mesh of springs to create an almost perfect replica of the PSP game Loco Roco built in Flash by our amazing developer – the almost perfect Al MacDonald.
Client: Kerb (2000)
A viral game that we built 14 years ago to prove the concept of viral games to brand marketing managers and advertising agencies. We would ask them if they had seen the game and invariably they had. Point proven.
Pretty basic game as action script was in its infancy. Mainly notable for the theme tune featuring Harris on the axe with Robsa (tech director) and Me on vocals.
Client: Kerb (2012)
For about 10 years at Kerb we were lucky enough to have one of the best Flash animators in the world working for us. Darren Butcher.
Some called him Daz. Some called him Dazzny the one man Disney machine. When he wasn’t animating stuff on our client projects he was busy creating some of the best Flash animation that ever existed.
In fact, bollocks, I’m going to say it. THE best Flash animation that ever existed.
Client: Stan James (2004)
Our freekick game that got >80m unique visitors with no media spend. This was, of course, back in the day when there were a lot less games on the internet. Points of interest include Seb Delisle’s incredible psuedo 3D engine and, of course, my excellent V/O.
Unique visits: 81.4 million
Client: Channel 4 (2012)
Flash game built for celebs to play on a C4 magazine programme.
We are all going to die – in this game its about achieving as much as you can before that inevitable moment. Celebs and friends distances were saved on the track as their tombstones. Smash them for extra distance!
Client: Bowmans Poker
When flash video arrived we embraced it by building this interactive strip poker game. The campaign message was ‘Know Your Opponent”. The 800,000 people who played along learned more than they expected in the ‘Crying Game’ style finale.
Client: SCEE (2009)
One of the best Flash platformers of its time. You get to run, jump and climb. You also get to use superhuman powers including telekinesis and energy bombs.
Just like the AAA title it was promoting, you also get to play as good or evil in order to boost and make decisions that affect your karma.
Client: Playstation (2010)
Modnation racers facebook game. It allowed you to create tracks and challenge your friends. The best laps were saved as ghost racers so that you could race against people asynchronously – but with a real time feel.
Client: SCEE (2010)
A perfect clone of the PSP game built in Flash was just the start. Playing through the game allowed people to unlock elements to create custom Patapon Wallpaper each with a unique link for its creator to share. We harnessed the competitive power of gamers, getting them share the branded content by tying the high score table to the most downloaded wallpaper. Hundreds of thousands of wallpapers were made and the top ones were downloaded by tens of thousands of gamers.
Client: Galleon (2008)
A digital card based MMORPG. Our first attempt at building a freemium game back in 2008.
We learned an important lesson. Always make sure you have enough stuff for the Whales to buy. When one guy dropped £4000 in the first month and complained that he’d done everything we realised we hadn’t done enough to cater for the high rollers…
Client: SCEE (2007)
A year after launch the PS3 was re-launched as an affordable, dynamic piece of hardware rather than just a lifestyle product.
We worked alongside TBWA / OMD and were responsible for all of the online creative and production from the PS3 flagship site right though to banners etc.
There is a lot more to it that the piece in this video – but I just like what Dylan did with it.
Client: easyCruise (2005)
Really playable take on the parking game genre.
The client wanted a game like the Zurich Parking Game but with their ship. The problem with ships is that if they have a bump – they often sink.
We did say ‘do you really want us to promote your cruises in a game where the ship can sink?’. And they said ‘yes’.
Client: Kerb (2000)
Project Rockstar was a free online multiplayer game, based on the music industry.
Featuring a solid community, deep, engaging gameplay that can take anything from 5 minutes to 24 hours per day… build bands, labels, venues, trade and chat with other managers and get your songs to the top of the charts.
It ran for 10 years, spawned an awesome community who were a force for good in the world offline as well as online – before being cruelly shut down by Rockstar Games lawyers.
26 million page views in one month
200,000 thousand replies to one forum post
200,000 thousand registrations
Client: Zurich Insurance (2004)
This viral game was produced for Zurich to promote their car insurance. To increase the viral element, we pitted men against women in a battle to see who was the best at parking. Over 3 levels, players were scored on the speed and accuracy of their parking.
The game had 3 million visits in the first month after it was championed on Jo Whiley’s
Radio 1 show.
Unique visits: 6.2 million
Web Design is the New Rock 'n' Roll - (Kerb website 1996)
Sadly, the menu bar heading wasn’t a typo. Kerb are history.
This website now simply stands in recognition of the incredible people who worked at an innovative, creative digital company which spent 17 years developing excellent things.
Over those year we built hundreds and hundreds of digital projects. I know this because I was there from the beginning, plus I just spent far too long looking through old projects deliberating which examples to use on this site. We worked for over a hundred clients and most of them came back for more. We did more than 20 projects each for Playstation, Disney and the BBC alone.
During the time Kerb was alive I had the good fortune to work with some amazing people. The sad thing about digital is that unlike good art, music or literature it gets forgotten. It gets overwritten, replaced or even if it doesn’t the tech needed to support it slowly dies away. I’ve spent a little time trying to video capture some of the best pieces that we did and screen capture images of other stuff that would need a month of development and a bank of servers running something awful like ASP.
During the time I spent video capturing the work on the other page, two thoughts kept cropping up:
Firstly how most of this work seems like it was done a lifetime ago – but looking at it takes me right back there in the moment. Each piece is a chunk of my life and brings up memories of each idea, pitch, struggle, victory that goes along with getting something from a blank page to a finished project. Looking at our old Kerb site especially, took me right back to being in our studios at The Metway over a decade ago. Listening to Orbital putting the finishing touches to their last album down the hall whilst nervously watching the team create more and more digital insanity that was about to leak out into the world representing our company.
Secondly, I couldn’t believe just how well the work stands up after so long. A lot of the work on this site was done around 10 years ago or more. In people years that is a long time. In digital years it is forever. We were using much simpler tools (AS2 and even earlier than that on occasion) back then and pushing it right to the max.
I’ll be updating the site with more bits and pieces, as and when I get time.
Thanks for reading this and I hope you find our journey as interesting as I did.
Client: easyMoney (2005)
Spy Hunter clone where your wacky cartoon car destroys easyMoney car insurance’s competitors.. literally. As soon as it went live we had various insurance companies on the phone demanding we take it down. But the viral genie was out of the bottle….
Got to love Stelios. That man did like to make a stir.
Unique visits: 21.8 million
Client: Channel 4 (2008)
Interactive Fonejacker app where you could upload a pic of your friends and watch an animation of them being mugged off by various characters from Fonejacker.
Client: kerb (2001)
A Bombjack clone that we built using an almost prehistoric version of action script. It was advanced enough for its time that we put it in an arcade cabinet for a trade show in Cannes and people were shocked that it was built in Flash.
Client: BBC (2005)
Our AI based game teaching kids about the harsh realities of life. Dont eat? You die. Can’t defend yourself? You die. Get sick and don’t get quarantined? You die and so does everyone else.
Despite all these high jinks – it won Best Game at the Flash Film Festival in New York.
Client: CCL (2005)
The viral game we created for online computer store CCL was based on the classic ‘incredible machine’ and accrued sales of more than 4 times the overall production budget from visitors who arrived on their site via the game which was buried deep inside their e-commerce store.
Due to the google bombing effect that we intentionally created, it appeared in the top 5 results on Google for people searching ‘PC Hardware’ for years – until someone in the CCL web team decided to remove the page.
Overall visits to client site: 1.2 million
Client: easyWatch (2004)
A rag-doll physics based game that we built (quite a while before rag-doll games became common place). Part of the amusement is the rag-doll physics breaking and turning Stelios into a cripple prone to wild spasms after crashing his bike – or indeed just pulling on the breaks too sharply.
Popular viral games like this largely have the same things in common; they are simple to understand, easy to play, quick to master and have instant gratification of an amusing nature.
Unique visits: 15.7 million