Its not everyday you get invited to pitch ideas for a video game to the Police. So when the opportunity arose to talk game design with Essex Police, we grabbed it with both hands. The brief was “to create an online activity that offers a ‘policing challenge’ and form part of the #FitTheBill recruitment drive for Essex Police”, and heres what we ended up developing:
#FitTheBill is an arcade card game, by swiping left and right you’ll make quick fire decisions whilst managing score of Integrity, Public Safety, Resources and Public Confidence. You’ll be hiring and firing, fighting crime and saving lives – all with the swipe of a finger.
If you haven’t played already, head to the dedicated website and play now! #FitTheBill presents users with vital information about the application process (e.g transferrable skills), whilst also debunking certain myths surrounding careers in the police force (criminal record, tattoos etc). The arcade nature of the game promotes fun and creative gameplay, whilst the narrative content ensures its embedded in reality.
Walking The Tightrope
The game is styled to match Essex Police’s existing recruitment campaign, the tagline of which is “could you fit the bill?” and uses the #FitTheBill hashtag. By matching marketing copy and art styles it offers a coherent message to potential candidates and aligns with the other aspects of the campaign (TV adverts, social media posts etc).
The biggest challenge was walking the tightrope between creating an arcade feeling but using realistic content that realistically reflects their official process and procedure. We achieved this balance mixture of real-life scenario questions and more arcade feeling “boss battles”, where you have a time limit to complete a more intense task.
This is now the third title we have developed with Scirra’s Construct Game Engine, the event-driven game engine. The beauty of Construct is that it allows us to export in HTML5, and therefore run in the browser across multiple devices and platforms. This platform agnostic approach means we can avoid App Store bottlenecks, and with the main purpose of the game to direct people to the Essex Police website we can easily forward them there without switching app.
Could you #FitTheBill?
This game forms part of a wider marketing campaign by Essex Police to appeal to new audiences, and they must be highly commended for considering the use of video games as a way of raising awareness of their recruitment drive.
We’re really proud to be using our skills to help Essex Police, and helping the force reach new demographics with their recruitment campaign.