igus introduced igumania, an online game that allows players to experience igus products creatively. Players of the game assume the role of production manager of a Mars Rover factory.
Unplanned maintenance and production downtimes are among industrial companies' most significant challenges. Motion plastics specialist igus now allows anyone to become a production manager themselves and take on this challenge with the igumania online browser game.
The game was developed with the help of the Unity game engine 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 game's goal—to improve what moves.
As a freshly minted Mars Rover factory production manager, players fight against the many unplanned plant and maintenance downtimes in production. Support is provided by Rusty, the loyal robot assistant, and Dave, the igus tech-support rep, whose visit marks the start of the joint success story with motion plastics.
At the beginning of the game, not all motion plastic solutions are available, but they can be unlocked over the course of the game with the igus laboratory technology tree. Throughout the game, players can install various igus products. Players can choose from iglide plain bearings, e-chain cable carriers, chainflex cables, drylin linear and drive technology, and even complete low-cost automation solutions, such as the ReBeL service robot.
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. Players can also experience the real/virtual igus motion plastics show (imps) as an in-game trade show and learn more about motion plastics products.
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," Blase continued. "We want to develop this approach further 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. Their student projects have won prizes that include the German Computer Game Prize.
The task was to develop a concept for an igus game within a week. Ten student teams took up the challenge as part of the igus student project. The idea for igumania won and the winning team was awarded the contract to develop the game.
What makes it special is 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," Blasé said. And the development of igumania will continue: after gaining initial experience and optimizations, developers are planning to launch an Android and iOS app version.
To learn more or to sign up for news on game updates, click here: igumania game registration https://content.communication.igus.net/en/igumania-game