To make Google Hangouts even more awesome than they already were,
the creative team at Goodby dreamed of an inter-agency, hangout-based ping-pong
tournament where friends and colleagues could compete for honor, glory and internet
points! The twist would be that users
would control their paddle via webcam and face tracking rather than the
traditional mouse and keyboard. Brilliant!
This was a killer project and we were thoroughly jazzed to
be brought in as the development partner.
The challenges were huge; transform the sketch of an idea into an honest-to-goodness
online, multi-player, 3D action game - driven by face-tracking and living
within the Google Hangout environment. Then,
create a front and back-end tournament system to showcase participation and
rankings. No sweat!
After four months of spectacular prototypes and sensational development,
the first phase of the game’s release was launched. We customized sets of traveling live-event
kits (comprised of four player laptops and one game server) and sent them off
to AdWeek, Google events and the lobbies of popular Ad Agencies around the
world. Then, the game went truly live as
the tournament site was launched and opened to the public.
To date, 22,000+ ping-pong games have been won through expert reaction time and superior face-recognizability-ship.
Watch four boys play ping pong with their faces.