Manchester United Find Fred Game
Manchester United Find Fred Game
Manchester United Find Fred Game
Manchester United Find Fred Game

Manchester United Find Fred Game

The client wanted to boost membership and also collect email addresses for marketing. They had used the Find Fred concept in print and now wanted to turn it into an online game and incentivise entry.

I started by creating the mechanism for finding Fred. Players would move their mouse over the grid and then click on the square where Fred was. The game was javascript based but I used PHP to create the structure, setting the grid size and Fred’s coordinates then generating the grid┬áprogramatically. I wanted to make it as difficult as possible for someone to cheat by looking at the source code, so I tried to make the variables with the coordinates in obscure and buried in the code.

The game had a nice ‘hint’ feature, which after 30 seconds would appear and offer help in finding Fred. When the user moved their mouse over the grid with the hint feature on, the square would be overlaid with a coloured square. The square would be more red if it was close and blue if it was further away. To achieve this I calculated the distance of each square from the coordinates of the square where Fred was and then used some maths to create a smooth radial gradient between the red and the blue.

Once players had found Fred they could enter the competition by giving their details, after which they would also be prompted to share with their friends. I used Google Analytics to track events throughout the game, and also stored information about how long players took to find Fred, how many attempts they had, if they cheated etc. With this data I was then able to see how easy/difficult players were finding the game and then make it easier/more difficult accordingly.

The image heavy design was a little difficult to achieve whilst keeping the size of the page as low as possible. I sprited and optimised images, combined and minified scripts and cached everything.

The game was played over 60,000 times in a few days, with over 20,000 new email addresses collected. Win.

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