Liz Cable, Programme Lead for Digital Marketing at Leeds Trinity University, has contributed to the development and launch of the first real-life immersive experience of detective mystery game June’s Journey.
June’s Journey — A Party to Die For, a marketing campaign by the German gaming software company Wooga, marks six years since the release of the mobile game and tasks players with finding hidden object clues as they attempt to figure out unsolved cases.
For this anniversary celebration, the Wooga team, who specialise in ‘games with thoughtful stories’, wanted to create an immersive event to bring their fans from all over the world together. Winners of its ‘Hidden Talents’ contest, which challenged players around the globe to prove they were the biggest and most creative fans of the game, were invited to play along at a live meetup. The event, that took place at the Broughton Hall estate in Skipton, North Yorkshire, was set in the 1930’s and as three different mysteries unfolded players were also filmed for a YouTube series – which contains secrets of its own for the audience to solve.
As part of the transmedia marketing campaign, which reached an audience of over five million, players were encouraged to promote their involvement on social media. Transmedia marketing tells stories across platforms, encouraging fans to follow the story into different channels and formats. The campaign also included a web series, live stream of the launch event and behind the scenes footage from the production of the game, all of which has been posted on the June’s Journey YouTube channel.
Liz played a key role in the creation of the immersive experience, designing puzzles and narrative-based props, and ensuring everything flowed smoothly. In her role at Leeds Trinity, Liz regularly uses game-based learning in her teaching as an alternative to classroom and computer sessions due to the creative and engaging nature of it.
Liz Cable, Programme Lead for Digital Marketing at Leeds Trinity University, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the plotting and puzzle-making for this 1933-set immersive experience. Everything I teach about hybrid and digital marketing, from community management and interactive storytelling to transmedia production was used in this project. Some of our first-year students designed graphics for the authentic-looking props in the game, and I hope to involve more students in future projects.”
Kathryn Penny, Deputy Head of School of Digital and Screen Media, said: “I would like to congratulate Liz on the brilliant results of her hard work on this immersive experience. She has managed to bring digital gaming into the real world with brilliant games mastery. Leeds Trinity University are fortunate to have an expert such as Liz on the programme team for the new BA in Games Design, as are students who can draw on her depth of knowledge and experience.”
Tomás Cofré Villalón, Game Designer at Wooga, said: “Working with Liz on the puzzles for our 6th anniversary murder mystery at Broughton was a professional dream I thought I'd never fulfill. Her insight into structure, pacing and emotion within the play-space of physical puzzles provided for some truly memorable, emotion-packed moments for our players that managed to feel exciting not only in person, but on camera as well.”
A Party to Die For was officially launched at an event streamed from Berlin earlier this month, which is available to watch on YouTube. June’s Journey is available to play on Apple and Android devices.
Liz will be talking about her experience at Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism and Media Week 2023, taking place 6 – 9 November. The full line-up of speakers is now available online.
For more information on Leeds Trinity University’s BA Games Design degree, which will welcome its first cohort of students in September 2024, visit the website.
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