Instead of placing a standard “in construction” sign on its website while it undergoes a redesign, bicoastal production company and design firm Brand New School decided to use the space to stage a fun (and more difficult than it seems) 8-bit video game to entertain visitors who happen to drop by.
Dubbed “Brand New Game,” the game’s concept is simple: an 8-bit student, Johnny Applesauce, wearing a backpack and accompanied by his trusty pink pet worm, Linus Wormser, must gather apples for the teacher by hitting the spacebar to jump. If Johnny misses and hits any of the obstacles – piles of books, mop buckets, a snarling wolf and so forth – he falls on his face and it’s game over.
Of course, there are endless lives in this free game so however much time the user wants to spend procrastin … er, trying again … is up to them. The course is different every time it’s reentered and the obstacles get increasingly silly the further the player progresses (not that this player experienced that). An upbeat chiptune soundtrack accompanies the game play.
Sharp-eyed players will catch Easter eggs that pay homage to the game’s origins, such as a tribute to the 8-bit era cult classic film, The Warriors, as well as Google Chrome’s T-Rex, from their offline scrolling survival game, “Dino T-Rex Runner,” which may have served as inspiration for Brand New Game. The ultimate goal is to beat your own score and maybe even wind up on the game’s high scoring ranker.
“We know that there are usually a few kinks to be worked out once a new site is live. But no one wants to see a ‘Pardon Our Dust’ page,” said BNS Creative Director Chloë Greene in a statement. “Rather than cross our fingers and hope for zero disruptions, we decided we’d build a fun diversion into the process.”
“Reframing a roadblock as an opportunity to have fun or discover something new felt like a very New School-thinking approach to a lifeless ‘Coming Soon’ page,” added BNS Executive Creative Director and Director Chris Dooley, Brand New Game is an expression of that impulse. So instead of saying, ‘come back later,’ Brand New Game is literally saying, ‘stay and play!‘”
Brand New Game will be the sole feature available on the studio’s landing page during the week they’re building the new website (although sometimes the in-progress website peeks through), and it will be permanently playable after the website’s launch.
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