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Industry
Mobile Gaming
Our Role
strategy, design, engineering
Deliverables
Branding, App
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Winner Winner

Remote
Regulated
Gaming

Background

The Challenge

The brainchild of Playtertainment, Winner Winner is an online gaming app that invites users to try their skill at physical claw machine games, and then have their real-life prizes delivered directly to their front door.

Playtertainment wanted to stand out in the growing arcade game app market by making their experience as reactive, authentic, and instantly gratifying as using a claw machine game in real life. This means controlling a real physical machine, not a digital representation. Their main goal was to build a product with wide appeal that meets all regulatory compliance requirements governing claw games in the USA. Other goals included built-in superior customer support, buffer-free video streaming, and speedy shipment of prizes to winners.

Solution

Building a Strategy

With no established best-practices for this style of platform, Apply needed to create our own. We started by looking at the overall needs of the app from a business and design perspective and used that to inform the technological needs. We analyzed user reactions to competitor apps, and used these insights to shape a product that would exceed market expectations from day one.

In order to deliver a lag free live stream of the claw machine in real-time, we needed to find a better way of capturing and broadcasting raw footage than what was readily available on the market. We also knew we needed to get physical—and had two claw machines delivered to Apply’s HQ, so we could test out our work first hand.

Branding the Virtual Fairway

In order to connect well to a global audience, this brand needed to lean heavily on visual features instantly familiar to the arcade or fairway. Using a light, easy, and relaxed fairground look, feel, and experience as our guide, we conducted deep brand identity and naming exercises. We emerged on the other side with a visual identity, brand guide, and memorable name—Winner Winner.

To bring the brand story alive further we also designed a brand mascot plush toy inspired by the common gaming phrase “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner”.


Designing Excitement

Creating the Winner Winner app was an exercise in not only emulating a fairground but improving upon the original experience in the virtual space.

We built the levity of the arcade experience into each element of this product from wireframes to mock-ups and interactive prototypes, so that every aspect of the UX experience reflected this playfulness. Then, we engineered sound design into the product, adding another dimension to the fun. Finally, we added to the arcade feel using gamification elements that rewarded players for winning streaks and allowed them to tally up wins towards bigger prizes later on.



Streaming Video in Real-Time

Winner Winner’s success hinged on providing a lag-free live stream so that players could experience their remote claw wins in near-real-time.

A multi-second delay is typical of streaming services—a delay our team wasn’t willing to accept. Our aim was to deliver a sub-second latency across both one-to-one and one-to-many video streams.

We built multiple prototypes and reviewed a variety of vendors, finally partnering with a specialized low latency video streaming service. We proxied the video streams through a custom-built, on-premise solution that uploads recorded gameplay clips to a cloud provider. These video files also are made available to players to share on social media along with brags about their wins. The end result was a video feed with sub-second latency and effective split-channel broadcasting.

Applying Remote Control

Winner Winner’s highly polished app interface features animations, a waiting room where users can watch other players while waiting in a queue for their turn, and the flashy excitement of accumulating points and grabbing physical prizes using a remote-controlled claw machine.

All of these experiences are made possible by an advanced communication protocol developed in collaboration between our front and back end development teams. Apply looked outside the box to innovate and overcome multiple technical challenges in order to create the smoothest, most reactive online claw machine game on the global marketplace.

Results

Since launch the app has seen great results:

178 K

Users each month

570 K

New user conversion

45 K

Daily Active User conversion

2 x

Increase in users each month

7 %

New user conversion

8 %

Daily active user conversion

We’ve seen a ton of volume that we weren’t expecting to have right away, with much lower customer acquisition cost upfront. Our user numbers doubled each month from day one, with 8% of users logging in daily—a high rate for a mobile app.
Cody Flaherty, Co-Founder & COO, Playtertainment