22.05.2012

Bitforge games become Olympic

The Zurich start-up Bitforge has developed three “Swiss Games” for Presence Switzerland. The games will play an important role at the House of Switzerland UK 2012 at the Olympic Games in London.

A few days ago Presence Switzerland, part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) presented the concept of the House of Switzerland at a media conference in Bern, at which the head of Presence Switzerland, Nicolas Bideau, explained: “With the House of Switzerland we want to provide a space to welcome our athletes and their fans and to make Switzerland a sensation in London. I would like foreign visitors to the House of Switzerland to come out saying: wow, the Swiss have done something very creative here!”

A collection of games for mobile telephones and tablet will play a central role. “With the production of “Swiss Games” we are venturing into new areas in communications; for us they are an original and contemporary instrument for conveying information about Switzerland, says Nicolas Bideau. “

Upon questioning Presence Switzerland stated that the games were developed together with Bitforge. The seven year old company from Zurich started as game studio and today belongs to the leading companies in the production of client-server- solutions and mobile applications.

“Swiss Games” is a compilation of three games:

  • The “Talerschwingen” app combines a traditional source of music with a futuristic design and encourages the users to take up music-making themselves. The skill lies in oscillating the bowl just the right amount. The coin is dropped into the bowl and the user must try and keep it there as long as possible, gradually collecting "Swiss Coins". These Swiss Coins can be exchanged for special bowls or genuine prizes in the House of Switzerland.
  • Heidi on the Move takes players through various thematic landscapes in Switzerland: town/culture, mountains/sport, transport/energy, politics/history and research/economy. In this classical “jump’n run” game, the player tries to manoeuvre the principal figure, Heidi, past obstacles and through the various scenarios and to collect as many “Swiss Coins” as possible.
  • Swiss Shots is William Tell in miniature. This augmented-reality game has been produced exclusively for London and guides players through the House of Switzerland a bit like on a scavenger hunt. The mobile device’s camera functions as a virtual crossbow that must be used to hit the very real postcards depicting Swiss-design objects. Concealed behind the postcards is digital information about their motifs.

The "Swiss Games" are being launched in the framework of the House of Switzerland UK 2012 at the Olympic Games in London and are going to be used again after that for Switzerland’s communication abroad in other projects in foreign countries.

The "Swiss Games" are part of a new product line of creative communication resources which are being developed by Presence Switzerland and used to reach various target groups abroad. The aim is to provide information about Switzerland in a varied and contemporary style without abandoning the reference to familiar and traditional aspects. In addition to that, the "Swiss Games" are also an expression of the creativity of the successful and still-growing Swiss game design scene.

The "Swiss Games" are being produced with the support of the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia, as well as the City and Canton of Zürich.

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