As a first time blogger for Celebrity, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Ivonne Paris and I am preparing to celebrate my 8th anniversary with this fine organization. I often have a hard time explaining what I do as Manager of Product Development, because the list is so long and varied. My friends and family think my job is fun… and it certainly is!
Game On, one of my favorite all-time projects, has just come to life aboard Celebrity Reflection. Nothing is as exciting to a creative mind as to be given a blank slate with which to dream. So, when our team was assigned this project… Well, let’s just say our painter’s palette went Technicolor!
The journey began way back in the summer of 2011, when it was announced that the space known as the Card Room was to get a revitalization with something vibrant and exciting to mirror the modern direction our brand was going in.
Step one was to gather a group of brilliant minds and put them in a conference room for a couple of hours with nothing but white flip pads and markers. The ideas started to flow and I attempted to capture them all. We had so many amazing concepts, from a Man Cave outfitted with its very own beer bottle vending machine to a Ship Navigation Simulator and beyond. Then, the ideas were vetted for feasibility.
First filter – Will our guests love it?
Second filter – Does it mirror Modern Luxury?
Last filter – Can we execute consistently in a shipboard environment?
Several weeks later, We Were given the green light to proceed with the following direction: Create a state-of-the-art, interactive, digital environment where guests can play on their own or socialize with friends.
Our blank slate consisted of this floor plan on Deck 9.
We turned to our design team as a source of inspiration and were delighted to find that their concept boards were a magical assortment of deep, rich colors with a fanciful motif.
To build this creation, we chose to go with a company in Hamburg, Germany, that had done similar installations. We collaborated with their team to develop game offerings that would provide a balance of nostalgic games in a modern digital platform. We also included others geared to offer hours of fun with the side benefits of stimulating the mind and improving cognitive abilities.
In April of this year, we sent out an invitation to a broad group of colleagues and received fantastic participation in, what we dubbed, The Game On Lab. It’s amazing the kind of results you get when you invite a group of adults to come play games and enjoy refreshments in the middle of the afternoon!
From this exercise, we determined that people’s taste in games is about as varied as their taste in art, which meant that in order to be able to please the largest amount of guests, we needed more games. These eight made the cut:
Bumpers - A modern twist on the traditional game of marbles, where you cast your game piece onto a moving platform to earn points. Bump your opponents out along the way, but watch that you don’t end up falling in the void.
Snag ‘Em - A fast and fun game for up to 4 players, where the object is to collect like colored gems in the allotted time. Having five of a kind earns you more points. Bonus rounds let you steal from your opponents and add to the frenzy.
Checkers - You have to jump a couple of frogs before you become crowned prince in the digital version of this classic favorite.
Team Draw - Find your inner Van Gogh as you challenge your opponent to interpret your art on the screen.
Word Power - Sharpen your mind, expand your vocabulary, and challenge yourself to solve a puzzle with this innovative, interactive, and addictive play on a classic word search game.
Memory - The Memory Game works your brain with spatial layouts and pattern recall. You must take a quick mental “snapshot” of the grid so you can select the correct squares. Speed + Accuracy = Success!
Think Faster - Race against the clock to improve your reaction time, increase alertness and awareness, and enjoy the benefits of faster cognitive processes. It’s as simple as matching the current symbol to the one before it… or is it?
Moving Puzzle - A visual brain twister awaits those who dare attempt to put the pieces of these fast moving videos back together again.
And, yes, you can still play a basic card game here if that’s among your favorite pastimes.
Next, we set to work creating the storyboards that would animate these games. Taking from the whimsical tone set by the ship’s designers, we were inspired to frame them in such as way as to be reminiscent of an old time amusement park juxtaposed with the high-tech, touch-screen environment of the tables.
As the programmers began to bring the games to life, we received delivery of our very own touch-screen setup, so that we could commence testing them and developing the instruction screens. It’s great to know that we have so many friends at Celebrity who are willing to help me out!
Now that the ship is completely finished, we’re pleased with the final installation of this fun, new space.
As you may have surmised by now, I’ve got about the coolest job anyone could ask for. However, my favorite thing about what I do is coming back and watching all of you have fun and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Now you know the secret of why I am always smiling.
Manager of Product Development