Thumbspire recently tapped Nice Shoes Creative Studio to create a mobile campaign for the game Timepop. The objective was to attract new gamers to the game, which challenges players to pop balloons in numerical order before the clock runs out. Nice Shoes creative director James Coulson devised the tagline “Pop against the clock” as well as four unique approaches to illustrate the addictive appeal of the game.
The campaign, which is running as in-app advertising, was a new challenge for the studio, with Nice Shoes crafting the ads from concept through completion. Coulson led a team including CG supervisor Steve Parish, VFX supervisor Adrian Winter, editors Cameron Kelly and Nicole Lana, with colorist Gene Curley putting a polished look on each piece.
Parish animated “Words” and “Clock,” which featured the tagline and a clock as balloons that expanded until they popped. “Playground” and “Portrait” blended live action and visual effects, which Coulson directed. Winter supervised the visual effects for “Clock,” which featured a young lady popping after she attempts to pop a child’s balloon.
“’Words’ and ‘Clock’ were great opportunities for doing some R&D work in the area of cloth simulation,” said Parish. “Both animations were achieved by pressurizing each object until they exploded. As the computer doesn’t always get it right, there were some very interesting bloopers along the way.”
Traditionally, many ads for games and apps focus on features and gameplay, but the NS Creative Studio honed in on the experience of Timepop, with close-ups of players’ faces as they vented their aggravation at the game’s increasing difficulty.
“I think ‘Portrait’ stands out because it showcases the emotions of playing Timepop,” said Coulson. “It’s done in an over the top, humorous manner, and it creates a curiosity to click through and find out what game could be so addictive and evoke so much frustration from players.”