As Legendary prepared to re-launch the franchise of Tokyo’s iconic radioactive monster, Godzilla, they needed to make a splash at one of the most talked about entertainment events in the world – San Diego Comic-Con – without getting lost in the shuffle. Needing a solution that would tie digital innovation with a killer event experience, MJD was tasked with helping Legendary bring the highly-anticipated Godzilla Encounter to life.
From an Idea to a Reality
We began this project with a series of ideation sessions to figure out the user experience, potential design cues, and overall functionality of the app. Pictured here is the initial set of sketches produced for the project. In total, more than 100 sketches were created detailing multiple screens, user flows and important app functionality.
UX Documents – Wireframes
A great deal of effort went into creating wireframes that accurately captured the user experience for the app. From rough sketches to multiple rounds of wireframes, the app began to take shape. The wireframes allowed us to ensure that user flow through the app was tight, and that it told the story while giving fans an incredible digital experience that complimented the physical experience at Comic-Con.
Geolocation and Beacon Close Proximity Technology
One of the key technologies of the Godzilla Encounter app was Geolocation. Legendary rented a warehouse seven blocks from the San Diego Convention Center and proceeded to create a Universal Studios level attraction inside. The scope was amazing – a miniature Tokyo was built, complete with rare Godzilla artifacts, a noodle bar, a pneumatic elevator, and giant screens that gave visitors their first look at the reptilian beast. The challenge for the mobile app was getting users to the warehouse location. We used Qualcomm’s Gimbal technology to create a geofence around the building, and then built a Geiger counter interface to lead users to the nuclear monster. Starting from the Convention Center users would point themselves in the right direction of the warehouse and the Geiger counter would start to click and the needle interface would start to rise. As they moved closer towards the event location, clicking sounds and dangerous warning animations would continue until they reached the location, found the monster and entered the experience.
Once inside the experience, users were challenged to find five Japanese language posters with the “Translator” portion of the app. Upon finding a poster, a user would hold their phone up to it and magically see the text translated to English. Qualcomm’s Vuforia augmented reality software was used to create this effect. Upon collecting all five posters, the user would unlock exclusive, never-seen-before content – key art from the upcoming movie.
Photo Filters and Social Sharing
To add a little fun and spread the buzz about the movie, we created smartphone camera enabled photo filters that let users snap shots of themselves at the one-of-a-kind Godzilla mega-event. Users could then send their photos to friends and family via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
- Amazing nationwide coverage in USAToday and numerous pop culture sites and publications – both before and during SDCC
- Over 10,000+ downloads in just four days
- Tremendous buzz and excitement for the experience caused the Legendary team to expand event hours to meet high demand
- Thousands of people safely made it through the experience – only three reported casualties from Godzilla’s city rampage
Awards and Recognition
We have been humbled and honored with the recognition the app has received to-date. We’ve won a Gold and Silver OMMA Award, a Gold and Silver W3 Award, and are currently finalists for a few year ending awards as well. While the work was never intended to garner awards – we just wanted to make something awesome – the recognition has been much appreciated.