Kerb Website

Client: Kerb (2002)

Holy shit. 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?

You can judge for yourself here

Stack Da Police

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.

Stack those angry dwarves

Unique visits: 3.2 million

Global Rescue

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

It still stands up today – try it yourself

Misfits

Client: Channel 4 (2010)

Nominated for 5 awards including two BAFTA’s – the above video is a promo made by C4 for the BAFTA submission.

Fake Japanese TV advert

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…

Roco Loco viral game

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.

Try it

Micro Scooter Death

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.

Piston Junkies Video

Client: Kerb (2006)

Piston Junkies 3D animated short collaboration on Phil Hartnoll’s (Orbital) LongRange project.

We made the characters into vinyl toys along with Toy2r but sadly the final prototypes were stolen in China before they hit the production line…

Random flash animation

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.

 

Stan James

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.

I say old chap, why not give it a jolly good go

Unique visits: 81.4 million

You Lose

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!

Bowmans Strip poker

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.

 

 

Infamous

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.

 

Modnation racers multiplayer game

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.

Play it here

Patapon 2

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.

Sokator

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…

PS3 website

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.

Student Park

Client: UCTV (2007)

 

jump to it

Boat parking game

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’.

Ahoy there me hearties

Project Rockstar

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

Battle of the Sexes Parking Game

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

Have a bash.

Hellz Kitchen TV series

Client: Bravo (2001)

Hellz Kitchen.  Our Flash animated 10 episode cartoon series created for Bravo TV.  Featuring veg gone bad.  Full of post-modern racial stereotypes and lewd, crude humour..  the series was apparently a hit in Australia and Finland.

Web Design is the New Rock 'n' Roll - (Kerb website 1996)

Kerb are history

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.

Back_when_we_were_young_and_beautifulWhen we were young and beautiful (Jan 2001)

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 Sermad and Dylan 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.

older_not_wiserOlder and wiser (Jan 2012)

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.

Jim

x

Back in play

Client: Pfizer (2011)

Doc McStuffin

Client:  Disney (UK) 2010

A Doc McStuffin kids game for Disney.   I wish my little’un had been old enough to enjoy the stuff we were working on back when we were building it.

It’s a hide and seek game.  Simple to play and tightly executed.

Go find her

easyMoney

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.

Play it here

Unique visits: 21.8 million

Fonejacker – go jack yourself

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.

 

JOHN SMITH

This is a team member post. You can add as many of these as you like,

Panik

Client: kerb (2001)

ps3 move
This is a blog post

This is an awesome blog post.

BBC MicroLife

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.

Play it and die

CCL game

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

Do you want to play a game?

easyWatch ‘Back in Time’

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

Jump to it

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