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WESTERN UNIVERSITY SYDNEY

WESTERN UNIVERSITY SYDNEY

Timestorm Online Game

Services

Strategy

Behavioural algorithm

Visual design and development

The Brief

Most universities only talk to high school kids in Year 12. But by this stage, most of them have already worked out which uni they want to go to. And sadly UWS isn’t likely to be on their radar. So we decided to talk to school kids earlier than other unis do. To do so, we set out to create an engaging online game that opened a dialogue between high achieving students and the University of Western Sydney, in the years before students make up their minds about their higher education. It’s no secret that students who score higher ATAR scores end up going on to university. But finding out who those students will be, years before they sit their final exams, is a secret any university would love to know. And we figured out how to do it. Based on parents’ occupations, and subjects the kids were studying, we identified the students throughout Greater Western Sydney who were most likely to have a high ATAR and who had the intention to attend university. This became our core audience. Now we had to talk to them before the other universities did.
The Brief

The Strategy

Our big idea saw us take the high school syllabus and turn it into playable interactive content. Think PlayStation for high school. We called our game Timestorm. In it we buried complex algorithms based on NSW Board of Studies findings, and more arcanely, the Ohio State leadership model. The Ohio model was developed back in WWII to determine which soldiers were officer material. So while our students were playing a time travel fantasy game, we were learning how they thought. We measured their ability to take on knowledge, attain knowledge, adapt knowledge, their persistence in the face of problem solving and how they made ethical decisions. Timestorm gameplay took place online, on the social learning platform Pango. Players controlled a time traveller from the future sent back to crucial moments in Australia’s past and present. The first series of Timestorm launched in January 2012 to critical acclaim from educators and students alike. We had identified a core group of young students for UWS to communicate with and focus their recruitment efforts on. And UWS was now a serious consideration for this group. Every time they achieved in-game milestones, Facebook Connect would publish the UWS brand to their timelines, cementing the university as a real strong choice for their higher education.
The Strategy

The Results

The first series of Timestorm launched in January 2012 to critical acclaim from educators and students alike. We had identified a core group of young students for UWS to communicate with and focus their recruitment efforts on. And UWS was now a serious consideration for this group. Every time they achieved in-game milestones, Facebook Connect would publish the UWS brand to their timelines, cementing the university as a real strong choice for their higher education.