ComplexLand

Once it became clear the pandemic wasn’t going away any time soon, everyone was forced to adapt. So we created something completely new: ComplexLand, a five-day virtual experience, with just about everything you would’ve expected to see IRL.

- Jam3 Team

Can you describe your project and the concept behind it?

ComplexLand is a 3D e-commerce-enabled video game where users can shop from over 60 brands. The free, immersive virtual experience featured exclusive drops, shopping, music, food, concerts, and the full Complex Networks community. All are accessible from both mobile and desktop with just a link.

Tell us about your initial moodboard, wireframe, or prototype. How did things change throughout the process?

The final version isn’t all that far off from the original concept pitched. There's a ton of elements in there that go back to the pitch deck. While the tight four-month timeline meant some ideas had to go, all the key pieces were there: food trucks, shopping, having a stage you go to with panels, plus the idea to structure ComplexLand as an open-world game where visitors hunt for exclusive drops, a major element of the real ComplexCon.

What influenced your chosen technical approach, and how did it go beyond past methods?

Once it became clear the pandemic wasn’t going away any time soon, everyone was forced to adapt to this “new normal”. We also knew people were already tired of “virtual events” that were really just a Zoom meeting. So we created something completely new: ComplexLand, a five-day virtual experience, with just about everything you would’ve expected to see IRL: killer performances, the latest fashion, sneaker drops, even food trucks.

When did you experience a breakthrough or an "a-ha" moment during this project?

We have experience using tech to help eliminate the problems brands were having at the original ComplexCon: democratizing drops, while discouraging resellers & fights. Video games were also key inspiration. Think of games like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which features a video game mechanic where players are directed to investigate a map in order to uncover key items — the exact mechanic we used for exclusive drops.

What web technologies, tools, and resources did you use to develop this?

This was a WebGL experience, since we wanted people to be able to experience from everywhere, on any device, without having to download an app. Calling ComplexLand technologically ambitious is an understatement: We had countless platforms and services integrated like Shopify, and Radio.co, as well as incredibly robust front end and back end applications for CMS and e-commerce sync, as well as product drop capabilities.

How did you balance your own creative ideas and technical capabilities with a fair representation of the client’s brand?

We work in a very collaborative way, so there’s always alignment with our partners from the get-go. Gaming helped inspire the feel of ComplexLand’s open-world channeling the lo-fi feel of ‘90s-era games. The world is also very much inspired by streetwear. This idea that shoes have grids on them, and cities do too. We started looking at different shoe silhouettes and different types of grids and translating that into a physical environment.

How did the final product meet or exceed your expectations?

This was a huge success: a first-of-its-kind virtual destination combining gaming, fashion, and shopping in a universally accessible experience. Fans were able to customize their digital avatars, access their favorite brands & artists, and experience hype drops.

 All while brands connected with influencers, sold out their products, and solidified their brand’s street cred. It was such a hit, ComplexLand 2.0 is coming back this year!

Why is this an exciting time to create new digital experiences? How does your team fit into this?

We’ve always been digital-first and it’s been amazing for digital creativity. Some highlights, besides ComplexLand, we also partnered with Spotify to create an AI, deepfake version of The Weeknd that uses your listening data to create a personalized experience; we also created a painted, frozen-moment flythrough for Medal of Honor that won Site of the Year at the FWA & CSSDA. CampaignUS also named us Digital Innovation Agency of the Year!

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