R.S. Challenge - Renault Australia
Action & Adventure
Frosch Media & MobeSeek
James Sugrue/MobeSeek Dain Hedgpeth/Frosch Media Felix Von Vogelsang/Frosch Media Andrew Horley/Frosch Media John Humphries/Onyx Digital Studios
R.S. Challenge is a competitive 3D racing game for iOS created to promote both Renault's involvement in the Australian Grand Prix 2012, and the launch of the new Mégane R.S. 250 AGP Limited Edition.
The game allows players to race around an exact replica of the Melbourne Albert Park F1 track in one of three editions of the award winning Mégane R.S. 250 Cup Trophée and features realistic physics and several play modes.
The game was also built out on four PC-based simulator driving 'rigs' as part of a four day competition to promote it's launch at AGP 2012.
Renault Australia tasked us with engaging new customers through their Renault Sport brand by creating an innovative mobile campaign, which would broaden local awareness of Renault Sport, and it's historic involvement in motor sports.
We asked ourselves, how could we best convey the style and experience of Renault Sport and the Mégane R.S. 250 in the mobile platform? In creating the game we aimed to maximise user engagement and introduce a competitive aspect, which would appeal to both racing fans and the casual mobile user.
In educating people about an automotive brand, we aimed to convey as much as possible about the visceral experience of owning and driving one of their cars.
Advances in graphical abilities of mobile phones have reached a point where rich, interactive experiences can be created. The next best thing to sampling the product directly via a test drive was to give them the next closest thing as a virtual simulation of the experience. Accurately modeled physics using the same core approach as many AAA racing games to model the unique driving characteristics of the car, real sound effects taken from an actual Mégane R.S. 250 and attention to detail in designing the user experience enabled us to encapsulate the feel of the Mégane R.S. 250 and make it accessible to anyone with and iPhone 4, 4S or iPad 2. (iPad 3 version launching within weeks).
Project Innovation / Need
Car physics and game mechanics were built in-house to give handling matching the real Mégane R.S. 250, integrating subtleties such as suspension design and parameters, tire traction, aerodynamic values and engine power output. The car accelerates, powers through corners and handles much the same as the Mégane R.S. 250. There are several control methods available, including a novel 'rotational slider' mode, which provides great control of the car using the touch screen. After finishing a lap players can share their personal best times through social media.
The game was designed to be easy to play, with support for new and casual players but with sufficient depth and challenge to engage hardcore racing and Renault fans. The mobile app was designed from the ground up to encapsulate as much of the Renault Sport experience in the small screen space and short session lengths as possible. Personal connectivity via social media and a competitive element were utilised, with a national leader board, competitive 'ghost' modes and the ability for the national champion to have their winning lap uploaded to be displayed as the start screen for other players. These strategies significantly boosted engagement and generated fantastic metrics:
- Over 10k downloads since launch and over 50k sessions
- Over 80% of sessions since launch were from returning users
- 35% of users played the game more than ten times
- Over 400 sessions were longer than an hour of active play in duration
The game loads first into the start screen, which displays both an interactive national leader board as well as a cinematic replay of the current national champion's winning lap. The next screen is the car showroom, where users can select from one of three different Mégane R.S. 250's rendered in high detail 3D. User interface elements were all created from scratch and based on a visual language derived from the colors, textures and shapes of the Mégane R.S. 250. The user can also learn more about the car or connect to Renault's 'Book a test drive' facility. The user can also learn more about the car or connect to Renault's mobile site and 'Book a test drive' or 'Find nearest dealer
The user then selects the Albert Park track and game mode. Two user modes are available for gameplay. 'Practice Mode' features a novel 'Rewind' feature, allowing players to rewind gameplay to re-try corners or parts of the track they weren't happy with. 'Race Mode' is competitive, with the users lap time being submitted to the national scoreboard and penalties given for cut corners.
The game went live in tandem with the start of the AGP 2012. The launch was coordinated with Apple to be part of their week-long promotion of the Formula 1 on the App Store. As a result the game was placed number one in a special racing game category ahead of leading big-studio games Real Racing and F1 2011. The category was promoted in the main panel on the front page of the App Store with the logo for R.S. Challenge being used to represent the entire category for the duration of the week and the game was also featured in the 'New and Noteworthy' section.
The game was also built to run on three PC's connected to simulator driving rigs enabled with force-feedback which were used to run a three day competition for the best lap time as part of Renault's marquee installation at the AGP 2012. Over a thousand people played on the setup over the three days, with the winners coming back for a final shoot-out for an iPad2 and other prizes. There was a special celebrity race off arranged with champions Robbie Maddison and 'Mad Mike' Whiddett racing against each other. The game was also promoted during the event over F1's on-site radio station.
Three months after launch as sales were tapering we injected a strategic $15k in mobile advertising spend, which saw the game rising from no rankings to 26th in the Sport - Games category and 75th in Games-Simulation.