To support the release of a new series of the hit kids’ TV show, Danger Mouse, the BBC were looking for a game that would target a very specific demographic – eight to nine year olds who love strategy. As a TV show, Danger Mouse is incredibly fast-paced and often ridiculous, taking the audience on a ride through a world of bizarre storylines. At its core however, the show is all about friendship and team work. Our challenge was to design and build a strategy game worthy of the Danger Mouse brand.
Working with the BBC we developed the super-ridiculous strategy game, Danger Mouse: Super Awesome Danger Squad. Making a game all about strategy afforded us some breathing space to create an original story and script for the game. We started with the central theme of teamwork and decided to explore the idea that everyone around Danger Mouse had been captured (both friends and foes) by some illusive villain. Playing as Danger Mouse, you had to team up with both friends and foes to get to the bottom of the mystery and free all characters from the DM universe.
In order to successfully design and build a game based on a well-known brand, research and attention to detail are key.
We devised a suitably mad-cap story and wrote an original script for the game, which was voiced by titans of British comedy including Alexander Armstrong, Dave Lamb and Kevin Eldon. Working with such a high-profile IP meant that we had to collaborate closely with the brand and senior stakeholders to ensure everything we created met the brand’s approval.
Writing comedy into gaming can be really tricky, particularly when it has to replicate the style of comedy that the TV show is known for. Making sure we had the right level of complexity to keep the target audience engaged was also important. To test our assumptions, we conducted a number of user testing sessions at a local school. The kids were full of ideas and helped us to improve the user experience by making sure the more complicated elements to the game could be easily understood.
Danger Mouse: Super Awesome Danger Squad launched on the CBBC website and due to its success, was followed with an update which featured more characters and levels.