Arcade wins StoryFutures & National Gallery commission

Arcade has been named as the winner of StoryFutures’ latest StoryLab commission.

StoryLabs are open innovation events that fund exploratory work in immersive storytelling, with previous StoryLab partners including Heathrow Airport, the Discovery Channel and the Roald Dahl Story Company. This £170,000 commission saw the return of The National Gallery for their second StoryLab, this time looking for a partner to develop a child-led immersive experience for 7-11 year olds, focusing on ‘the art and science of nature’. As an additional twist, the brief includes a focus on exporting the experience to China, with the potential to install an adapted version at a cultural institution in Shanghai.

This incredibly competitive process initially saw Arcade named as one of four shortlisted teams who all took part in the three-day StoryLab experience itself, including a series of fascinating creative and technical sessions and even an opportunity to run some rapid focus groups with the target audience of Year 4-6 primary school children! A mere week later, the teams watched each other pitch, and we were thrilled to learn we had been selected as the winning team.

“We feel incredibly honoured to have been entrusted with this opportunity,” said Arcade CEO Jon Meggitt, “R&D projects always brings inherent uncertainty and risk, but there’s no doubt in our minds that we will deliver something astonishing for these world renowned institutions and their audiences, and repay the trust they have placed in us.”

Designing with and for children is always hugely enjoyable and rewarding. It does also bring certain challenges, but these will be nothing new for the Arcade team, having recently launched the MunchMunch creativity tool for Norwegian school children with the MUNCH Museum; brought Year 4 kids’ monsters to life in The Museum of the Imagination, part of the Camden People’s Museum; and developed Roxy the Ranger to engage kids and their families at SEA LIFE’s London Aquarium. We look forward to applying everything we have learned through these projects, but also to learning so much more from our partners and, in particular, the young co-creators we will work with along the way.

The project is due to launch in Q1 2022, so an intensive 10 months await – wish us luck!

Welcome Goldsmiths Masters students

We are thrilled to welcome three new interns to Arcade! All three are studying for a Masters in VR/AR at Goldsmiths, University of London and all bring a wealth of exciting talent.

L-R: Arcade interns Jagoda Wrobel, Markus Sauerbeck, Shahd Sherief

Jagoda Wrobel

Jagoda Wrobel, whose name apparently means blueberry or strawberry (depending whether you’re in Poland or the Czech Republic!), has a background in branding but wanted to get out of her creative comfort zone and explore how new immersive technologies can be used to engage with consumers on a new level. During her time at Goldsmiths she began to see how much VR and AR have to offer, and is hoping to expand her horizons and discover even more about these amazing technologies while she is with us.

Say hi at jagoda@arcade.ltd or connect on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Shahd Sherief

Shahd Sherief graduated in computer engineering, and was employed in a very technical R&D job, but told us she felt very creatively trapped. “I reached a point where I felt like my creativity and love for music, artistic expression was completely suppressed,” she said. “And that’s when studying V/AR in the middle of a global pandemic comes in! It has been a breath of fresh air to create pieces that still allow me to make use of my technical skill set, but to also express myself artistically. Working at Arcade, and being exposed to the extremely creatively exciting projects underway has so far been lovely. I hope for nothing more than to contribute to their development!”

Say hi at shahd@arcade.ltd or connect on LinkedIn.

Markus Sauerbeck

Last but by no means least, Markus Sauerbeck studied Design in Germany, focusing on Virtual Reality and UI/UX. During his studies he spent six months working and living in Singapore before coming to London to begin his Masters at Goldsmiths. He tells us he is ‘kind of obsessed’ with explored London on his bike and finding great spots to look out over the city!

Say hi at markus@arcade.ltd or connect on LinkedIn.

Jagoda and Shahd started their internship in mid-April whilst Markus joins us at the beginning of May, and all three will be with us throughout the summer. We cannot wait to see what they can do, and hope to be showing off their incredible work very soon.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League AR Meal Box? Tasty…

When our friends at Wonderland Restaurants came to us with an idea about augmenting one of their gourmet ‘at home’ meal boxes, we were seriously excited. But when they said this wasn’t just any meal box, but a ‘Mother Box’, launched to celebrate the hugely anticipated Zack Snyder’s Justice League, we were 100% in!

Launched as a WebAR experience on Zappar, diners can access background material and mini challenges on the Justice League’s leading superheroes.

Check out some of the highlights of the experience below, and feel free to drop by Wonderland At Home, where you can still order your very own Mother Box until May!

The Vixen Returns!

A Vixen’s Tale, the award-winning immersive experience created for Welsh National Opera, has been adapted for installation at ALTASH, a digital festival in Ashford, Kent, curated by tech-oriented dance company AΦE.

A Vixen’s Tale was originally installed at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, but now our plucky Vixen and her friends find themselves appearing in a series of shop windows. Audiences can scan a series of QR codes and access scenes from the experience via Instagram filters. The result is a completely fresh take on A Vixen’s Tale, with the same unmistakable illustrations and animations from the wonderful Xavier Segers, but presented in an entirely new way.

You can try all four of the ‘seasons’ of A Vixen’s Tale for yourself by scanning the QR codes or tapping the images below:

SPRING

SUMMER

AUTUMN

WINTER

Hello, Abbie!

We’re delighted to announce our newest member of the team, Abbie Peach! She joins us with bagfulls of expertise and enthusiasm, and a desire to make the impossible possible – just don’t ask what her spirit animal is…

Welcome to Arcade, Abbie! Tell us a bit about yourself.

‘ello, I’m an AR Designer & Developer from North Yorkshire! I studied Digital Media at the University of Leeds and since then, I’ve been exploring the interactive design world and developing my skills within mixed reality.

We’re thrilled to welcome you to the team, even if you are from Yorkshire. So, what have you done that you’re most proud of so far?

I am most proud of getting the opportunity to work on some amazing AR projects for Facebook and working across loads of exciting productions at The Walt Disney Company! Also, seeing people (particularly celebs that I love) use my Instagram filters is a very rewarding moment!

Bet it is – here’s to seeing many more. What are you most looking forward to, working at Arcade?

I’m looking forward to learning all things AR & VR with the talented team! Also, to be involved in some really exciting projects that I can boast to my friends about.

Boast away! What excites you about immersive technologies?

I love bringing my imagination to life through XR and making the impossible feel possible. Combining design with technology has always been what I’ve loved to do! I think it enhances everyday life and it excites me that we don’t know what technology might come next so there’s always something new to experiment with.

Love that and couldn’t agree more! So, what do you get up to in your spare time?

I often find myself on my computer making personal Instagram filters, but when my eyes are getting too square, (pre-covid times) I love to go exploring cool art/design exhibitions and finding the best places to eat! I also have an old film camera that I like to snap some pics with.

Culture and cuisine, the perfect combination. Music of choice?

I listen to all sorts to be honest, in the day I usually like to listen to some Neo Soul/R&B/Hip-Hop. But, I have many guilty pleasures and love to blast out 00’s pop from time to time!

So long as it’s only from time to time. Anything else you think we should know or are prepared to admit to?!

Luckily I didn’t do this in my interview with you guys, but once in an interview, they asked me what my spirit animal was… I panicked and replied “dolphin” so they asked why and I said that I can make a really good dolphin noise. They asked me to show them so I did my amazing impression… then I didn’t get the job *face palm*

If you’d busted that out in our interview, we’d have hired you on the spot. Thanks so much for talking to us Flipp-, I mean, Abbie, and welcome again to the team!

If you have any questions for Abbie you can check out her LinkedIn profile here, or give her a shout at abbie@arcade.ltd.

MunchMunch added to Digital Catapult Success Stories

MunchMunch, the fun, innovative creativity tool that celebrates the artistic philosophies of Edvard Munch, was developed by Arcade in partnership with MUNCH and Digital Catapult. Ahead of its launch later this year, Digital Catapult – the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre – has added a comprehensive case study to its ‘Success Stories’ pages.

Read the case study here, or to find out more and see what immersive technologies can do for you, please get in touch.

Hello, Zach!

Hire alert!! Zach Thompson-Howley joins Arcade full-time as a 3D Designer after an internship in which he wowed us with his incredible commitment, curiosity and character! We just hope he can keep himself out of A&E…

Welcome to Arcade, Zach! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thanks! I’m a self-taught 3D artist and programmer always eager to learn absolutely everything and anything I can.

That’s a big goal. So, what have you done that you’re most proud of so far?

Most of the things I have made that I am most proud of have actually been during my short time here at Arcade. The scope of the projects that I have worked on have been far more grand than anything I had tried to produce personally. In my short time I’ve already worked on some fantastic challenges such as making stages for virtual gigs, or a segment of a dense forest.

And brilliant work it was too. What excites you about immersive technologies?

Immersive technology is an incredible bridge between a user and a machine. Allowing people to engage with technology in a way that really pulls them into the experience. The added depth of feeling like you are inside of the tech brings something that nothing else can.

Nicely put! So, what do you get up to in your spare time?

You can usually find me walking my dog, playing games, learning a new song on my guitar or a new recipe to try to make for dinner.

Yum! Music of choice?

The music I listen to is what I call dad metal: Megadeth, Iron maiden and Metallica along with lots more! I like to listen to the type of music I enjoy playing.

Now you’re talking. Anything else you think we should know or are prepared to admit to?!

I am extremely accident prone! If you think there isn’t a way for someone to hurt themselves on something, don’t worry, i’ll find it.

Stay safe, Zach. You signed that workplace accident waiver, didn’t you?

What wai-

Nevermind! Thanks for talking to us, and welcome again to Arcade.

If you have any questions for Zach you can give him a shout at zach@arcade.ltd.

MunchMunch shortlisted for Art Explora Award

MunchMunch, the innovative creativity platform for school children, has been shortlisted as one of 30 potential winners of the hugely prestigious Art Explora Award.

Created in partnership with Oslo’s Munch Museum and Digital Catapult, MunchMunch is a creative and entertaining mobile application for Norwegian school children, aged between 9-11. It will inspire students to engage with Munch’s unique way of thinking and creating, by combining analogue and digital elements. The experience will consist of a digital tutorial, followed by an analogue drawing exercise. By transferring the drawing into an AR view, the user is able to place the drawing in their own surroundings and to continue working on its expressions with effects only made possible by digital means.

The award ceremony and announcement of the winning projects will take place on December 3rd. Learn more about Art Explora and tune in for the awards here: https://artexplora.org/en/the-2020-edition-of-the-art-explora-academie-des-beaux-arts-european-award/

Arcade part of team selected for FestivalUK*2022

Arcade is thrilled to announce that our submission to FestivalUK*2022 has been successful! We have been selected as one of 30 creative teams, out of the 299 teams who applied, for the research and development phase of the Festival that culminates in pitching our idea to the Festival panel.

FestivalUK*2022 is a programme created to celebrate the best of UK STEAM, ultimately commissioning ten large scale public engagement projects that will showcase the UK’s creativity and innovation to the world, and we join an incredibly exciting team now competing for one of those ten commissions:

  • London Marathon Events (Hugh Brasher and Penny Dain, Lead Organisation)
  • Imperial War Museums (Ellie Head and Michael Hoeschen)
  • National Physical Laboratory (Sundeep Bhandari)
  • Welsh National Opera (Emma Flatley and Tianyi Lu)
  • NTS Live (Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura)
  • Dr Rashmi Becker
  • Kinjal Dave
  • and, of course, Arcade (Jon Meggitt and Alex Book)
The full set of teams can be found here: https://www.festival2022.uk/the-r-d-the-30-creative-teams  

Alex Book, Arcade Chief Strategy Officer, said: “We could not be more proud that the FestivalUK*2022 team have looked at this incredible collaboration of creative talents, and selected us as one of just 30 teams tasked with thinking big and coming up something truly spectacular. We are so privileged to be a part of this process, and so excited to see what we come up with.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of team lead London Marathon Events, said: “We’re hugely excited by this amazing team and working together on a vision for engaging with millions of people in Great Britain and around the world. This is a wonderful opportunity to create a truly innovative project that will live long in people’s memories.”

The full FestivalUK*2022 press release can be found here: https://www.festival2022.uk/press-area

The Vixen Wins!

A Vixen's Tale Poster

Congratulations to the Vixen’s Tale team and our client Welsh National Opera, on picking up a Bronze award in the highly competitive and prestigious Creativepool Annual 2020! Entered into the ‘Wave’ category for innovation, the judges loved A Vixen’s Tale‘s mixed physical and digital experience, and the way the augmented reality presented such an expected face for opera.

A Vixen’s Tale launched to the public in the Millennium Centre in Cardiff late last year. During its first three weeks the installation welcomed 5,939 recorded visitors during the opening hours alone, with over 80% of groups including younger audiences – a key metric of success for WNO.

A Vixen’s Tale has been shortlisted for several awards, and was selected for inclusion in the Creative Review Annual as well as Creativepool’s Annual 2020.

“We are so proud of our little Vixen,” said Simon Hobbs, Arcade Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer, “she just keeps going and going and we’re praying she has the chance to get out into the world again soon.”

A Vixen’s Tale was due to be installed at London’s Southbank Centre in May and potentially embark on an international tour, but plans have had to be put on ice for now because of the pandemic.

The win for A Vixen’s Tale follows success at Creativepool in 2019, where Arcade won with Roxy the Ranger, created for SEA LIFE’s London Aquarium.

Read more about A Vixen’s Tale here, and SEA LIFE’s Roxy here.

To find out more about Arcade and our award-winning work, please get in contact.

Arcade Creative Pool Awards
Arcade's 'Roxy the Ranger', created for SEA LIFE's London Aquarium, won at Creativepool in 2019