Case Study: ViPR Strike

We think the enthusiasm generated by the end product proves Shiny Shoe can make almost anything exciting.

One of our most interesting challenges has been to create an engaging “run-and-chase” game focusing on a seemingly mundane topic: data storage. For this consulting assignment, we applied our numerous years of experience in the traditional game industry to a project that was a bit unusual when it comes to games.

The Connection

Mahalo Digital, a San Anselmo, CA-based B2B marketing firm, contacted us early in 2014. They represented EMC, a global data storage provider.

Mahalo needed Shiny Shoe’s expertise to build a game that would generate excitement around a new product for EMC’s annual convention in May.

Making Backup Fun

The aim of the game was to showcase EMC’s ViPR data storage product. Fortunately, Mahalo came to the table with a workable concept.

“They wanted something reminiscent of a classic arcade game, but with specific characters, representing different elements of ViPR technology,” says Shiny Shoe CEO Mark Cooke. “The rest was up to us.”

“The Rest Was Up To Us.”

building the game

Development of the game – called ViPR Strike – took about 12 weeks, with Mark, Art Director Yujin Kiem and two other staffers creating everything from original artwork to music.

The game was delivered on time, bug-free and ready to play.

In ViPR Strike, gamers play as one of two IT professionals – Gertie and Harold – and make their way through a maze-like data center collecting ones and zeros while avoiding “data center evils.”


ViPR Strikes Vegas

Once the three-day EMC World Conference got going, IT professionals were lining up to play ViPR Strike non-stop.

Gamers got extremely competitive, some fighting to win actual prizes (a number of Xboxes were at stake) by picking up prizes within the game – without getting killed in the process.

They also jockeyed for positions on the online leaderboard, similar to the ones found in an old-time arcade game, only updated for the 21st century with links across numerous game stations using the Internet and cloud services.

ViPR Fever

The competition got so intense that a handful forgot why they were at the event in the first place.

“There were a couple of guys who became extremely competitive. Their employers sent them to a three-day conference to network, but they ended up spending about 10 hours playing ViPR Strike,” says Cooke.

“It’s insane, but a compliment just the same.”

ViPR Heat

Since the conference, EMC has continued to feature ViPR Strike at numerous events.

The upshot of all this effort is that the data storage powerhouse created a lot of interest in its new product, while Shiny Shoe generated heat from other vendors at the conference, who flooded Mark with business cards, eager to learn how our team could make their IT products sexy too!