OUYA partnered with fuseproject to create a revolutionary idea through Kickstarter: an open game console and controller to activate developer creativity and gamer community. People liked the idea: 63,000 ordered! 17,000 developers signed on making 170 games—more than any console launch in history!
In a world where games used to be controlled by major studios and gaming brands, OUYA cracked the model wide open and developed an open-source platform for gamers of all kinds. fuseproject started by understanding the landscape of gamers and developers, and built a system built for hacking. In addition to cracking the game development model, OUYA also went non-traditional in sales—it launched on Kickstarter. To assist with the unique packaging and distribution demands of direct-to-consumer, we created user-friendly packaging that was also shipping-friendly, and that could withstand the bumps and jostles associated with drop-shipping.
Like the film industry, the mainstream video game industry has prioritized profits over creativity. Cost is a barrier keeping small developers off of the major console platforms. Games that don’t fit into popular genres (FPS, driving games, RPG, etc) have a hard time securing funding. As a result, some of the most creative, independent games remained banished from the TV consoles.
To build the OUYA brand and product experience, we dug into the world of the indie game movement, talking to ardent players and developers to understand the human motivations that fuel their movement. The OUYA experience was crafted to offer something completely different from the big consoles—a low cost, open door community that prioritizes creativity, access and inventiveness over beefy chipsets and higher frame rates.
The unique value positioning, brand story, and product experience generated huge interest, and fueled the OUYA kickstarter to a $8.5 million raise, the second largest in the history of the platform.
From the design of the hardware to the user interface, the logo and name “OUYA”, as creative co-founders, we built a holistic brand. Both the interface and hardware are truly open; available to be hacked, changed and built upon in a real way. OUYA succeeds as a holistic experience. OUYA’s distinct mission of creating an open universe for gamers and developers alike lead to the building of a smart and adaptive system that brings the user closer to the experience they crave. It is “gaming for the people”.
OUYA’s user interface is at once simple and bold, standing apart from competitors while clearly communicating what OUYA is all about: individuality, openness and fun. The experience employs horizontal parallax scrolling in homage to classic games like Sonic and Super Mario. While working to create a sense of depth, the movement brings distinction to the medium. This type of navigation is not traditionally used in gaming experiences, but its roots in gaming history make it familiar. It immediately feels like a return to something great, to the essence of gaming that has been diluted over time. The interface is graphically dynamic, and its prominent typography serves as a visual compass, always letting the user know where they are in the experience. The hierarchy the typography establishes makes the experience intuitive for newcomers and experienced gamers alike.
Ouya’s radically small console allows it to live discretely anywhere. To achieve this, we laid out the internal components, creating natural airflow without a fan; allowing console to retain its discreet profile. Anodized aluminum acts as heat-sink, dispersing heat produced. The use of authentic materials such as the aluminum is a quality and innovative approach not generally associated with gaming, ties the product offering together in an iconic way. OUYA’s hardware reflects a belief that quality can be affordable; craft is as identifiable in a well-made game as a product’s physical experience.
- Spark Awards, App Design, Bronze, 2013
- Core77 Design Awards, Interaction Design, 2013