Way back in December of 2011, one of my favorite video game companies were running a contest to design their new blog. I know the designers out there are reading this, cursing and saying it probably wasn’t very smart. I know it’s not good to do these “contests” it’s devoting time, skill, and money towards something we don’t get paid for and little recognition if any usually. I happen to agree that it’s a bad idea, and for the same reason I never submitted my photo works in contests either. However, this company created MASS EFFECT, only the best game series to have ever been made, and I’m a super nerd. I could not pass this up. Technically I was getting paid in store credit anyway, which was nice because I was going to go bankrupt buying stuff from them in the first place. ;) I did end up winning the contest, and they launched the site 3 months later just before the 3rd Mass Effect game released. They promised recognition, but had forgotten to actually publish the interview I did with them, eventually they realized it and published it way after the game had been released and the design had been up for a long time.
The contest details weren’t actually all that spectacular in itself, basically they just wanted people to come up with a design that they could work off of without starting from scratch. There was a lot of creative space in which I could come up with something, and basically the only rule was to include the Bioware logo somewhere plainly visible. With that, I set out to work! I only had a week and half to complete the design, I finished mine in two days from scratch and was able to give them a working demo instead of just images like they wanted.
As much I as wanted to do something cool and different with the design, I shied away and just used their existing branding to give the blog a cohesive look. Since there wasn’t many details on what the blog would entail I chose to implement most of Bioware’s games into the mix. It was only after the site had actually launched that I was told it was only going to be used for the Bioware/Edmonton team which consisted of Mass Effect and Dragon Age games (with ME being the latter). Had I known earlier I would have done some things quite different, but given the short time frame and lack of details I think it worked out great.
I used some of the existing design elements from their website. It’s actually pretty outdated, I knew they weren’t updating the site design so I took the free liberty I had and gave everything an updated sleeker look while still keeping all the main elements and brand in place. I took a few of the ideas and background from the main site and modified or used to come up with the existing brand for them. The idea was that anyone could click the blog link from the Bioware site and flow right into the new design without looking radically different. I also added several cool features which never made it into the final design (the twitter feed section, among others) but I knew that they were only going to be using the design as a base, we weren’t even promised they were going to use it if we won. I do believe that I achieved exactly what they were looking for – I did win after all! I kept the core brand, look and professionalism of the design without them having to change the core design I submitted.
P.S I totally did this blogsite with ProPhoto, which is why I was able to give them a working demo right off the bat. If this doesn’t give you an idea of how diverse you can get with the software, I don’t know what will. ;)
*Please note, the above images are an example of the work I created for them, I didn’t design the Bioware logo. All the game imagery, and Bioware logo are copyright to EA/Bioware.