WolfMatch, the first iPhone game released by NC State, hit the iTunes App Store last month. The free Match 3 style game was developed by Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA) in partnership with Spark Plug Games, a local company founded by alumnus John O’Neill.
Modeled after popular matching games such as Bejeweled, WolfMatch features an eight-by-six tile playing field and 17 levels of game play – one for each letter in NC State University. Players score points by swapping tiles to match three, four or five in a row. When a player clears all the tiles in a letter, he or she advances to the next level, and on the way can read fun facts about NC State’s history.
WolfMatch Catches On
WolfMatch put DELTA in front of more than 56,000 fans when it flashed on the jumbotron at the first NC State home football game on Sept. 4. In the days that followed, more than 700 people downloaded the game.
DELTA doesn’t see WolfMatch as just a game, but rather as an innovative component of its new marketing initiative. Future releases will expand the collection of fun facts to include information about the many distance education disciplines, programs and career paths at NC State.
“Our job is to support NC State faculty and students in teaching and learning with technology,” said Dr. Tom Miller, DELTA’s vice provost. “To be effective at that requires constant innovation, and WolfMatch is an excellent example of that.”
He noted that 98 percent of the student body is engaged in online gaming.
Real World Experience
“We wanted to try something new,” said Mike Cuales, DELTA’s associate director of Creative and Multimedia Services. “Branded games are emerging as an effective way to engage your audience with your brand.”
It also proved to be a learning experience for a group of students. Interns worked with staff from DELTA and Spark Plug Games to create branded assets and game tiles representing the various programs and career paths at NC State. They also helped write code for the application.
“Designing graphics for the WolfMatch game was an eye-opening experience,” said David Drews, a senior arts applications major. “It was great to get my hands dirty on a project with a need for such a wide range of visual elements. WolfMatch really exposed me to the user experience and forced me to create graphics that used the player’s intuition.”