Last month we launched a small prototype of a new project called A Fork in the Road. Somewhere between a game and a storytelling platform, it works using the path and road network of the city as a framework to tell branching stories. In its current incarnation players use text messages to relay content and every junction has multiple directions, allowing players to decide how to progress. The prototype ran for four days in the American city of Indianapolis to coincide with a games festival called GenCon and we aimed to learn how both players and writers responded to the mechanic.

Last month we worked on Better Than Life, Coney’s 45-minute interactive theatre piece designed for a small live audience and an unlimited number of people online simultaneously. Though created for a paying public, it was very much a research piece, an exploration of modes and markets for development in the digital arts. By blending elements from theatre, gaming and TV, it set out to explore how drama is generated when agency is given to audiences online and in a physical space to influence a single narrative world. Can you create theatre that is equally compelling for both audiences?

We were asked by London-based experience design duo Bompas and Parr to design a Kentucky Derby - a traditional horse racing game commonly seen at funfairs - but with a bawdy twist. The game was to form part of their Funland Exhibition at the Museum of Sex, New York.

Recently we've been deploying a series of experiments to trial elements of the game mechanic. One thing in particular that we've been bearing down on is a detail in the way territory is captured. Though it is easy enough to log player GPS locations, a more difficult task is to make this data applicable to the game. For example, if you imagine two players run​ ​along the same route, their paths will look similar, but they won’t actually be identical...

Now we’re in the final week of Kickstarter fundraising for Run An Empire, I thought it might be good to explain why we wanted to make the game in the first place. (You can back it here by the way) A bunch of ideas and observations sort of fell together into a basic “Run An Empire” shape over a year ago. Probably the closest analogy I can conjure is from an episode of nineties muppet sitcom Dinosaurs. In episode 215 (Power Erupts) pubescent Hypsilophodon Robbie “Bart Simpson” Sinclair comes up with an idea for sustainable geothermal energy by combining different objects and systems around (more)

We are in Ballard country. Through the window is his proto-city. Not the airport itself, but the spaces that grew around it, turned from London and it’s institutions, freed to be a new type of urban, a city built for speed.

In Ahmedabad they play in rusty old cars, they play catch in the crowded street and cricket in a 4 foot wide alley. In some sense play, and the constant re-articulation and contestation of space, and the consent achieved through public visibility is play at it’s most powerful.

Opportunities will shape our urban futures in exciting ways, whilst impending challenges will redefine how we understand urban. The decline in the efficacy of antibiotics will affect how we live together and rising water levels will terraform cities from London to the Ganges Delta. Designers and makers will have a responsibility to explore what those futures are, and understand how we’ll live when they get here.

Today we’re super excited to announce the launch of our Kickstarter campaign for Run An Empire - a game we’ve been working on, where players compete against each other to capture territory in their local environment by running (or walking) around it. The Kickstarter page is here. We’ve been a fan of games like Starcraft, Civilization, Risk and Go for most of our lives. Run An Empire for us represents the kind of strategy game we’d love to play ourselves – taking the strategic thinking required for digital and board games and injecting it into the real world, where physical actions can (more)

We’re thrilled to announce that Hello Lamp Post has been nominated for a Design of the Year award at the Design Museum. We’ll be exhibiting along with the other shortlisted projects between 26 March – 25 August 2014.

    HLP_mock_up
    The Playable City
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    Marks and Spencer
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    Design Museum
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    Unbox Festival
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    Wilfred Bagshaw
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    La Gaite Lyrique
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    The Law Society
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    Marks & Spencer
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    Pan Project
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    British Council
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    Tom Sawyer Effect
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    Open Draw
    Immersive Reading Room
    Hodder & Stoughton
    The Experience Value of Risk
    Anti-Design Festival