Location-based game Gbanga Zooh 2009 revisited

Location-based game Gbanga Zooh 2009 revisited

By Sunday October 9th, 2011 Game, Game Business No Comments

This post is part of the showcase series of mixed-reality and location-based game projects, Gbanga has realized over the last 4 years.

Gbanga had several successful games before mafia-themed Gbanga Famiglia. With more than 4 years of experience in the mixed-reality location-based gaming market, Gbanga has developed some special titles ranging from edutainment titles like Gbanga Zooh through e-tourism applications like Gbanga Ballenberg to a seasonal promotional advent calendar Gbanga Santa. During the next weeks, we’ll be reviewing some of our showcases with you.

Gbanga Zooh, the mixed-reality location-based game was designed for the Zurich Zoo and caught people’s attention to endangered animals. Gbanga released (virtual) wild animals all across the city that needed to be saved by the players. The quest was combined with cross media promotion (flyer, posters, website, and newspaper) to reach a maximum of attention.

Introducing a new game genre and create walk-in customers

Creating this pioneer gameplay for Gbanga Zooh was superb says Gbanga’s CEO Matthias Sala. “As early as 2009, Gbanga presented a completely novel solution for business where customers interact with brands in a fun and special way with today topics such as mixed-reality, location-based gaming and gamification. Throughout the campaign, Gbanga could virtually export the Zoo experience to the city; alert people outside of the Zoo about ecological and environmental issues and generate walk-in customers.”

“It’s fun to mix a scavenger hunt and collecting of virtual items” says player FlohEinstein

Educational fun on J2ME devices

The educational gameplay was also simple to understand. After the player has downloaded the app onto his phone (the mobile game was running on low-tech feature phones long before smart-phones were popular), he started collecting virtual animals that are located at physical locations all around the city. He then picks them up into its cell phone inventory. In a second phase the player returns the endangered animals to the physical zoo.

There, the player can trade off the animals for virtual seeds at a virtual zoo desk. The seeds are specific to the habitat of the animal (“orangutan clambers up trees”) and the seeds are the reward for all the work in the first phase. The third goal is to rebuild the wildlife living space of the animals.

Balanced gameplay through circle of life

To do so, the player sows plants in the virtual parallel world. If the plants thrive and prosper, the animals from the zoo return (“many trees attract the orangutan”). When abandoned, the created plants rots, the habitat is endangered again and the animals need to be saved by another interested player – the play and biological cycle start again.

About Gbanga

Gbanga is the cutting-edge game studio focusing on mixed-reality and location-based gaming beyond check-ins. Since 2007, Gbanga delivers mixed-reality games in Switzerland and around the world. Besides releasing it’s own games, Gbanga investigates new technologies together with innovative partners.

Client: Zoo Zürich, APG Affichage
Campaign Gbanga Zooh Save the Amur Tiger!
Year: 2009
Concept and Creation: Gbanga
Production: Gbanga
Platforms: Symbian, Java Mobile Edition (J2ME)

For more showcases, visit gbanga.com/gameography.

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