igus goes gamification: the igumania online game makes motion plastics even more tangible
Published on: 27th July 2022
Anyone can be production manager of their own Mars Rover factory, playfully immersing themselves in the world of igus motion plastics
Unplanned maintenance and production downtimes are amongst the biggest challenges industrial companies face. motion plastics specialist igus now offers everyone the opportunity to become a production manager themselves and take on this challenge – with the igumania online browser game. The idle game was developed with the help of the Unity game platform and immerses players in the world of motion plastics. Installing igus products reduces maintenance times in production so that machine downtimes are eliminated, even in the game. The igus corporate goal is also the goal of the game: improve what moves.
As a freshly minted Mars Rover factory production manager, you can fight against the many unplanned maintenance times and plant downtimes in production. This is the scenario players face in the igumania online game. Support is provided by Rusty, the loyal robot assistant, and Dave, the igus technical sales employee, whose visit marks the start of the joint success story with motion plastics. Throughout the course of the game, the player can install various igus products: iglidur plain bearings, energy chains, flexible chainflex cables, drylin linear and drive technology and even complete Low Cost Automation solutions, such as the ReBeL service robot. At the beginning of the game, not all motion plastics solutions are available. They can be unlocked over the course of the game with the igus laboratory technology tree. Players can also experience the real/virtual igus motion plastics show (IMPS) as an in-game trade show, and learn even more about motion plastics products. Completing various tasks unlocks more perks, advantages and products – e-chain recycling, assembly line expansion, conveyor belt acceleration or smart plastics for automatic robot maintenance.
Gamification approach for more user-friendliness
But why does igus want its own game? “The idea arose as we were thinking about how to make our products made of high-performance plastics and their unique selling points even more tangible – in a very simple and playful way,” says igus Managing Director Frank Blase. igus follows the principle of “serious gaming”: the online game is not only meant to be entertaining, but also close gaps in knowledge in a playful way while communicating the advantages of igus high-performance plastics. “We have good expertise in the software sector and already offer a number of online tools – from product service life calculators to 3D printing services and configurators for linear robots. We are already pursuing the gamification approach here in such ways as using the Unity platform for our linear robot configurator, which makes it extremely intuitive. We want to further develop this approach and make our entire online experience even more playful and user-friendly in the future. Having our own online game is the ideal opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field of gamification.”
Game development: from student project to company foundation
To develop its own online game, igus has engaged the services of Cologne Game Lab, an institute at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, whose student projects have won prizes that include the German Computer Game Prize. As part of the igus student project, ten student teams took up the challenge. The task: develop a concept for an igus game within a week. The concept for “igumania” won, and the winning team was awarded the contract to develop the game. What makes it special: the student project became an idea for a company, and Arkadijs Gribacovs, Ethem Kurt and Leonard Liebler founded elads GbR for game development. “There are still relatively few entrepreneurs in Germany. We are all the more pleased that our idea has awakened the entrepreneurial spirit of young talent and provided the impetus for founding a company,” says Frank Blase. And the development of igumania will continue: after gaining initial experience and carrying out optimisations, developers are planning to launch an Android and iOS app version.
Interested? Sign up here for the link to the game and for news on game updates: igumania game registration.