Brief

The NFS Heat Studio is a companion app for unleashing the users creativity and exploring customization options for their dream ride.

Through a 10-week campaign of weekly car drops, players customized vehicles that were integrated into the game, complemented by an AR feature for real-world visualization and even got their best rides featured in bespoke trailers for the upcoming game.

The app, downloaded 2M+ times with users engaging for over 24 minutes daily, led to 5M+ unique designs and 57M+ views, fostering a community of co-creators and personalizing the gaming experience.

My Role

Experience Director

My Responsibilities
Client
  • Electronic Arts
  • Ghost
Type

Companion app

Year

2019

Awards & Mentions

VIDEO

Case study for the NFS Heat Studio app

CHALLENGE

Bringing back a 25-year-old franchise from the dead, and on top of that for fans with high expectations. This required finding a context that appealed to both long-time enthusiasts and the new generation of gamers in a new and exciting way. Challenge accepted.

SOLUTION

Months of dedication went into crafting the NFS Heat Studio companion app in Unity. From meticulously designing UX flows to producing an array of cinematic teasers for upcoming cars, every detail was carefully considered. Connecting EA’s Frostbite engine assets to Unity presented its challenges, as did integrating EA’s user system to seamlessly track user progress and facilitate transfers to the game. Despite the hurdles, our team somehow survived, ensuring a fun experience for players as they started customizing their rides. For 10 weeks leading up to the game’s release, we engaged the community with weekly car drops, enabling them to collect and customize their preferred rides. These personalized cars were seamlessly integrated into the game at launch, allowing players to showcase their unique styles on the streets of NFS HEAT. Additionally, an innovative AR mode brought these custom creations into the real world, offering an immersive experience of their designs in any setting.

Feature Breakdown

We ended up with these features to design and produce for the final product:

  • A workshop 3D scene where the player can customise their ride
  • Photo booth where you can:
    • Take beauty shots of your custom builds
    • Record videos with preset cameras and edits
    • AR mode to place your ride in the real world and capture
  • A garage to browse all your favourite cars
  • Car drop scene to reveal new cars each week
  • Custom unique secret car reveal scenes for all secret car drops
  • Bespoke trailer for Need for Speed Heat with your favourite custom ride featured in the trailer

RESULTS

The app became a hub for creativity, allowing players to design their dream rides and seamlessly transfer them into the game when it was released. With positive feedback from users and a growing community of car enthusiasts, the NFS Heat Studio companion app proved to be a game-changing addition to the NFS franchise.

  • 2M+ downloads
  • 24+ minutes daily usage
  • 5M+ pre-launch designs with 57M+ views

SHOTS

Enjoy some random shots from the project. More to come when I dig up the work files from a hard drive that is currently somewhere, somehow and sometime.