NVIDIA
Ultimate Quest

Digital, Experimental, Game Design
Ultimate Quest is a tweet-based text adventure that blends surprise challenges, beautifully-crafted imagery, and intricate storytelling into a unique social gameplay experiment.
 
 

Our assignment was simple, create a launch campaign for NVIDIA’s newest gaming product, the NVIDIA Shield Tablet. The issue was, the perception of NVIDIA’s brand is that they just created graphics cards. How could we position NVIDIA as an expert in gaming, while creating a clever way to launch the product?

In order to help shift this perception, we looked back at the most primitive video games that existed. These games relied on a choose-your-own adventure style of interactive fiction rather than epic graphics. This homage to the roots of gaming would be the strategy for launching NVIDIA’s newest product.

The Ultimate Quest was born, a tweet-based text adventure that blends surprise challenges, beautifully-crafted imagery, and intricate storytelling into a unique social gameplay experiment. To bring our vision to life, we partnered with internationally renowned interactive fiction writer Emily Short and game concept artist Silvio Aebischer to build a dark sci-fi journey that sent players on a winding trek through a bizarre cyberpunk world full of intrigue and conflict.

We were inspired by the earliest videogames, entirely text-based adventures such as Zork I.

We were inspired by the earliest videogames, entirely text-based adventures such as Zork I.

 

Unfolding over a week, the game featured five episodes with complex gameplay mechanics, each utilizing different background art.

 
You’ve been kidnapped, confused, and trapped in a factory to do labor far beneath your true level. The friends you once knew think you’re dead, if they think about you at all. But you’re equipped with NV-level nanomite implants, meaning that you can disassemble and reassemble the world around you in surprising ways. It’s up to you to escape, confront the people who put you away, and complete the world-changing project you had begun.”

Emily Short, IF author

 

A social component allowed players to modify the game through tweeting.

 

Since the game was extremely challenging, we created a Twitter account people could use to ask for help. It was moderated by our IF author, Emily Short.

 

We produced a launch video in partnership with Imaginary Forces that revealed the product at the end of the game. Only the best and most devoted players earned the right to see the new SHIELD product before anyone else.

 

Each level was meticulously designed, even including hidden easter eggs. These little details didn’t affect gameplay, but were purely just an added bonus for only the nerdiest of gaming nerds and hardcore NVIDIA fans.

Concept art for the different ‘weapons’ obtained throughout the experience.

 
I've become completely engrossed in this game, and highly recommend it even if you have zero interest in NVIDIA or their products. It's a smartly designed, deep, and lengthy text adventure. ”

Jason Evangelho, Forbes