Wonderful Weekends

During production we were able to reach a balance by leaning into each other's strengths. The Google team helped lead the product insights, and we provided technical recommendations.

- Active Theory Team

Can you briefly describe your project and the concept behind it?

The Wonderful Weekends concept stems from a Google event held in Chicago, Illinois in September 2019. The physical event deployed a large gumball machine in Maggie Daley Park that people could play with to learn about Google products and engage with their city. Since the physical location was only accessible to some, we recreated this gumball experience for Google in a digital build.

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

We created a physics-based 3D game to make learning about Google products fun and engaging for the user in a way that a static site often does not. As with many of our projects, we used our internal Javascript framework in order to ensure the 3D intensive experience would be performative across a range of devices.

What breakthrough or “a-ha” moment did you experience when concepting or executing this project?

Given the gumball machine in the digital experience was a series of branching paths, we needed to make sure that the development of this stayed manageable, as we didn’t want to get stuck needing to create endless combinations of mechanical interactions and Google product suggestions. In order to manage this, we created a series of different paths that users could explore (e.g. sports, arts, food, family) and this would keep them on track within a theme and ensure we didn’t need to create too much content.

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

The site is built with WebGL using an internal JavaScript framework, Hydra.

How did you balance your creative and technical capabilities with the client’s brand?

Working with Google, we shared the same creative vision of ensuring that we could recreate the event outcome--learning about Google products. During production we were able to reach a balance by leaning into each other's strengths. The Google team helped lead the product insights, and we provided technical recommendations. With this approach, we were able to work as a single unit to align on creative executions that everyone was happy with.

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