Implementation DHL in WiC:SA

The implementation of an advertising stimuli to a World in Conflict: Soviet Assault mission had to fulfill several requirements in order to use it for this research. First of all it should become a single player mission based on a common World in Conflict environment. Therefore it was intended to modify a mission that had already been created then building a complete new one.

A mission had to be modified and  adapted with a completely new plot. To achieve something compared to that a new story line had to be designed and transcripted into the game logically, visually as well as acoustically.

Due to a lack of time while doing the actual research and the number of people that have to play the mission in order to fulfill methodology requirements, a tight time limit of ten to fifteen minutes playing time had to be set within the mission in any case.

The requirements for generating the two different kinds of advertising stimuli were set by the researcher to cope the theoretical background. The active object that has to be highly integrated into the plot should be come a transportation vehicle redesigned with DHL textures to achieve a look and feel of a regular DHL car that fill many streets in real life. The passive advertising stimuli should become a standard billboard – also redesigned with DHL textures – and placed in common spots a long the mission route.

After briefing Massive, three mission designers had to find an appropriate mission that could be adapted, think of an authentic plot that meets the requirements of common WiC missions, come up with a mission objective wording as well as script the plot (action paths, checkpoints enemy units)  into the game engine. A graphic designer had to look for suitable units that could be used for the custom-build textures. Two billboards and one transporter had been chosen, adopted and  finished with dirt and scratches in order to look more real.

Two sound designers had to look at the mission objectives and transfuse them into sound files to support the player with an auditive stimulus while playing the mission. Putting everything together took about one and a half weeks before the pretesting could start. One week before GamesCom a final mission polishing took place and the custom-build mission for this research was about to hit the field. In order to get four different versions the, reference mission was copied three times and the different variation of objects were set.

  • map berlin1 – truck & billboards branded
  • map berlin2 – billboards branded only
  • map berlin3 – truck branded only
  • map berlin4 – no branding

Besides the actual World in Conflict mission that had to be generated; a log file would be very useful and formed a new requirement itself. Therefore the researchers log wish list of the following data was part of the briefing:

  • What mission had been played?
  • How long played the subject to achieve or fail the mission in minutes?
  • How often did the subject interact with the transporter?
  • Did the user succeed and finish the primary mission objective?
  • How many hit points did the transporter have after finishing the primary mission objective?
  • How far did the subject got through the mission? (reached Checkpoints)
  • How many seconds were the banner in the field of view of the user (200m range)
  • How many seconds was the transporter in the field of view of the user (75m range)

And this is the playable result:

As well as the statistical summary after playing the mission like shown in the video:

Map: do_Mauer – DHL Billboard and DHL truck.
Total Time: 8.00 (480 sec)
Truck Health: 3600
Truck selected: 13

ProtectTruck: Completed in 363.659759521 sec
CaptureTruck: Completed in 54.2141876221 sec
Brandenburg: Completed in 68.6370544434 sec
Reichstag: Completed in 148.640365601 sec
Bridge: Completed in 39.4092712402 sec
ExitTruck: Completed in 41.9996948242 sec

Billboard1 in view: 74.9
Billboard2 in view: 15.6
Billboard3 in view: 33.0
Truck in view: 94.8

The final result was a mission based on the  World in Conflict: Soviet Assault Berlin mission. The main objective is to get „important files from the Reichstag’s archives and a Russian decryption devices from a nearby transport depot“. The user starts with three heavy tanks and two anti-air units to get the truck (DHL-branded or non-branded) with the decryption devices from a transport depot (DHL-branded or non-branded banners on the roof). After achieving this first checkpoint the player has to move on to clear the Brandenburger gate of Russian troops. Near Brandenburger gate right next to the Straße des 17. Juni appears the second branded or non-branded banner. The next checkpoint is right in front of the Reichtstag. The truck has to be placed in front of the building. While the player has to protect the truck of enemy fire the important files are getting loaded. Right after getting all the 30 files this „hit and run“ mission has to end by leaving the city via passing the Moltke bridge that has to cleared of enemies before passing. The third branded or non-branded banner appears right after the bridge right next to the last checkpoint.

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