Inspiring young girls to take up an interest in Engineering was the aim when Women of Engineering produced the book “Suzie and Ricky – The Crash Landing”. This was precisely the brief that The University of Sheffield’s Engineering Department wanted to reinforce when they approached Field to create a digital presence. With the campaign set to be rolled out across schools throughout the UK, there was a lot of pressure to create universal appeal and inspire emotion in kids and parents alike.
Our approach took the form of an animation and website, which featured a set of in-browser games to engage young children with all different aspects of Engineering. The first step was to approach the book with a fresh pair of eyes, re-imagine the characters on paper through hundreds of sketches of different forms, body shapes and personalities. Local animator Ben Hall was on board to help us bring them to life, with the final games and animation oozing with personality. They all feature a new, age-appropriate imagining of the suite of characters, from the main girl Suzie to Mike the Alien’s worried parents!
We used the game development framework Phaser to overcome the challenges which the games presented to us. The built in physics engine allowed us to focus on the thinking behind the games, where we wanted to hit home how interesting and engaging all the different aspects of engineering can be.
Crash Landing went live with a flurry of social media activity, after being debuted in Parliament on a grand day out to London. Whilst the team were showing the new website, animation and games to MP’s and Engineers in Westminster, the campaign was a hit over on Twitter and the feedback we recieved was out of this world!