Raakku

Bringing an Assembly Line Puzzle Game to Life for Luuppi Oulu Museum and Science Centre

Bringing an Assembly Line Puzzle Game to Life for Luuppi Oulu Museum and Science Centre

Raakku game

The Challenge

The Oulu Museum and Science Centre (Luuppi) were planning an exhibition to showcase the development of Oulu’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry. Additionally, they had a very clear vision of how they wanted to give visitors an experience that was eye-opening and compelling. It also needed to be fun and engaging. Luuppi approached LudoCraft with an idea for an assembly line game that relied on player co-operation: Raakku.

Telling Stories Through Gameplay

Luuppi presented their idea to LudoCraft. This would play a big part of a story they were designing, revolving around a fictional inventor and his Raakku device. Based on real-life interviews and background information, this tale would be a major part of the exhibition. Collaboration, something that is the heart and soul of our work, was clearly going to be a big theme. This is why we were so eager to work alongside Luuppi!

The Puzzle of Raakku

Development comprised of how best to present the co-operative puzzle game and how the mechanics could work. Of course, strong teamwork would be an essential component. We also ensured that it complimented both the fictional Raakku narrative and the factual information that influenced it. Once development was completed, LudoCraft received a plywood model of the game machine to trial.

The Solution

Once everyone was happy, the final version was built and became a proud centrepiece of the exhibition! Raakku gave visitors a tangible and immersive link to the story that Luuppi wanted to tell. For LudoCraft, the chance to work on a project that showed off the proud history of our hometown was gratifying.

Showcasing Oulu as an ICT Hub

As part of Finland’s centenary celebrations in 2017, Oulu Museum and Science Centre (Luuppi) was given the opportunity to design a brand new multi-format exhibition. Combining different elements such as photos, videos, and custom-made installations is always a challenge for museums. One of the key components in this exhibition would be an interactive device to be used by visitors, which is where LudoCraft came in.

The exhibition (‘The Hype in the Arctic Silicon Valley’) would explore what is commonly referred to as the ‘Oulu Phenomenon’. This was the information and communications technology (ICT) industry boom in the city, which started in the 1960s and peaked in 1999. Oulu had become a worldwide hub for this sector and the attention that it was getting from overseas was growing to an extraordinary level.

The exhibition had to cover a lengthy and wide-ranging period of history. Because of this, Luuppi had the idea of using a fictional narrative to bind everything together seamlessly. They planned to combine real-life interviews and background information to inspire story of inventor-engineer Toivo Ruokko and his Raakku device. The machine that they would make for the exhibition would show how Raakku is assembled via an embedded playable game for groups of visitors to engage with.

When we were approached by Luuppi to work with them on the Raakku game, they already had a very clear and solid idea for what it should be. We were really eager to collaborate with Luuppi straight away. Through many fruitful and productive chats, we found a way to make a game that enhance their storytelling and bring Raakku to life!

Using a Fictional Assembly Game to Understand Real Industry

Raakku is an approximation of the processes that all machines perform. After all, every device we use has an input and an output. Raakku subsequently turns this basic concept of how technology works into what is an intricate-but-rewarding puzzle game.

In summary, the game comprises of three assembly line parts. One person has to sort through a selection of items, another one stacks them, and the last player packs them. Using the different joysticks on the machine, teams have to move all their pieces to the right of the screens. The job is complete when there are eight full rows, all nearly arranged in the same colour. Points are given out for each area that is accurately filled by the packer. However, if players are not quick enough then some parts will disappear altogether.

Of course, completing Raakku successfully requires logical thinking and really strong teamwork skills. Without the sorter, the stacker’s job is trickier, which makes things harder for the packer. Therefore, everyone has to be on their A-game in order to complete the game!

We really focused on creating a balanced game that supports logical co-operative play. Because of this, the final version needed to have no lag but also not be too sensitive to human touch. It felt appropriate that, given that one of the exhibition themes is how machines and devices successfully operate, these were some of the challenges in our development phase!

The History of Raakku

Blending Fiction With Reality

The Raakku device brings to a life a fictional story that illustrates the ICT boom in Oulu via an engaging puzzle game. Co-operation is vital, which makes it a great activity for groups of families, friends and tourists alike.

An Immersive Experience for All

Combining narrative storytelling with archival interviews and background information makes for a well-rounded and detailed exhibition. By creating an assembly line game, Luuppi and LudoCraft have added another layer of immersion for visitors.

Creating Interest in ICT

Through understanding the inner-workings of how a machine like Raakku would work, it gives visitors another way of exploring the history of ICT in Oulu and the mechanisms of the devices that have come out of the sector.

LudoCraft Way of Working

Sanoja (jos tarvitse)

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Tipping Our Hat to Oulu’s History

LudoCraft’s development phase consisted on gameplay mechanics and the artwork. Furthermore, we were keeping contact with Luuppi every step of the way to ensure we were on the right track. Once the museum were happy with how Raakku would operate, work on constructing the machine itself began.

Luuppi made their own physical prototype made from plywood – a full-scale replica – which we then tested at our HQ. This gave us an opportunity to see first-hand how the digital game and physical machine would blend in the exhibition. After a collective thumbs up from us, Luuppi could then move onto the final stage of the project and build the game.

We couldn’t wait to see the final version at the museum ourselves, and it left us awestruck! Raakku became one of the key centrepieces of ‘The Hype in the Arctic Silicon Valley’. It was a truly successful combination of our gaming expertise and Luuppi’s exhibition building knowledge.

This was such an enjoyable project for LudoCraft to work on, for two main reasons. Firstly, collaborating with Luuppi all the way through the process was incredibly rewarding. Co-operation is in our DNA and we made for a good team! Secondly, we are proud of the ICT roots of our hometown. Working on a project that tips our hat to the companies and individuals that paved the way is extremely gratifying.

Want your own game solution? Get in contact!

Anne Ryynänen
Global Sales & Brand Manager
E-mail: anne.ryynanen@ludocraft.com

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