Orcs Must Live!
It started with a reasonable request – “I want dancing orcs.” That was what my manager said to me while working on new trade show ideas for our game, Orcs Must Die! I didn’t want it to feel gimmicky, though, so I set to work with my team to create a campaign that supported this idea. What we ended up with was an anti-marketing campaign called “Orcs Must Live” in which we actively and humorously marketing against ourselves in a bid to communicate the humor of the game and draw more attention to it. The campaign saw a group of orcs dancing for attention and actively protesting our trade show booths with “Orcs Must Live!” signs, handouts to convention attendees about how to humanely interact with orcs during the show, and the website and video linked to below. The video was created in partnership with Rooster Teeth, and mimics common non-profit sympathy videos.
As a big fan of pop culture, I find parody of pop-culture to be one of my favorite forms of humor. Modelled as a parody of the Discovery Channel’s famous “Shark Week”, “Orc Week” was developed as an annual sale and celebration of all things “Orcs Must Die!” To really hit the messaging home, I worked with my team to build out a full brand identity for Orc Week, a series of humorous infographics about orcs, and directed a series of short mockumentary trailers. All of this material was distributed to press and across social media and a custom website, which you can view at the links below.
Oath of the Arctic Prince
When it comes to my approach to marketing, storytelling is essential. I believe that people always need an emotional hook to hang their hat on. When it came to a series of forthcoming updates for the game “Orcs Must Die!”, we had only a list of features in a Trello board to start with. Working across all departments, I led a team to develop these updates into a cohesive story that would be told over the course of three months via custom-build websites and in-game features. While each site communicated the features that accompanied the game updates, they also provided a context via a larger story about rebellion, enslavement, humiliation, betrayal, and revenge. You can see all of the custom websites built for this campaign at the links below.
Orcs Must Die! Interactive Walkthrough
Orcs Must Die! is a game that finds its stories from player choice. Communicating how player choice can make a difference in the game is difficult in traditional trailers. Utilizing YouTube’s annotation system, I narrated and directed an interactive gameplay walkthrough video that acted as a “choose your own adventure” trailer for the game. At various points in the course of a level playthrough, players are given the choice of what traps to utilize next, and as they trailer plays out they are allowed to witness the consequences of their choices in real time. With more than two dozen possible endings, we turned a single trailer into a unique story for everyone who viewed it.
In the winter of 2004, things were looking bleak for Superman on film. Fans were angry at Warner Brothers for what was percieved to be a series of high-profile failures while trying to get a new Superman movie off the ground. It was amidst this community backlash that I opened a website called BlueTights.net to foster more positive action from the Superman fanbase and open a dialogue with WB about what we all wanted from a Superman film. Thankfully, WB responded positively, and my site teamed up with the production team of Superman Returns to blog the film’s production and to distribute a series of behind the scenes video journals from Director Bryan Singer. For about two years, BlueTights.net was the most visited Superman website online, and boasted a weekly Superman-focused podcast with 25-30K listeners.
Griddle Me This
When she was four years old, my daughter was diagnosed with a wheat allergy. It’s different from the more common Celiac Disease, but the result is effectively the same – a gluten free diet. If you’ve ever eaten gluten free, you’ve probably realized that it’s not always the best eating experience. To that end, I set out to make some fun foods for my kids, including trying on a gluten free buttermilk pancake recipe. To liven things up even more, I threw the batter into a condiment bottle I had around the house, then used the bottle to draw fun pancake shapes on the griddle. After posting a few photos of them online, the requests from my geeky friends and followers started rolling in at a feverish pace. My kids and I spent the next couple of years making shaped pancakes for our family and friends every other Saturday morning. My pancake work has been featured on MSN Food, Mashable, shared millions of times on tumblr, and was even in a Marvel comic! You can see most of the pancakes for yourself at the link below.
Want to know more?
These projects represent just a portion of my capabilities as a creator and creative leader. If you want to see more about what I can do, visit my LinkedIn or Behance profiles below!