Ringling College made its first-ever appearance at this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Gaming Expo in Austin, Texas! Through a partnership with Flight School Studio, Ringling Game Art students developed a multi-level virtual reality game that has players washing dogs in a high-speed environment. The game, titled Wet Dog Corp., was brought to SXSW as a beta-version in order to project a release date in the future based on feedback.
Students from the Design Center developed branding for the game, while BOAD students coordinated the SXSW activation planning and promotion. The Collaboratory held weekend immersives to bring the plan to life. In total, about 150 people including students and faculty worked to develop the one-day-only event that took place on March 15, 2019.
Guests who attended the Wet Dog Corp. activation were in for a memorable experience! While waiting to play the VR game, participants enjoyed the competitive analog-version, where tennis-ball blasters were used to hit targets on a conveyor belt. Additionally, Austin Pug Rescue brought adoptable furry friends to create a ‘Pug Petting Zoo’, attracting dog lovers and even some instagram-famous dogs to stop by! A photo-op setup gave participants the opportunity to capture polaroids of themselves inside the game whilst posing with props.
The cross-departmental project was a major success that exceeded attendance projections by more than double! Over 1000 people attended the activation, while 10,000 people followed the activation online. A smaller Wet Dog Corp activation will occur on campus Saturday, April 13 for Accepted Students Day.