What is a blockbuster, actually?
The term blockbuster was coined in the 40s, but had nothing to do with film or anything positive, really. During WWII it was a term used for bombs dropped from airplanes, that were capable to destroy whole city blocks. True block busters.
After the war the word was used to describe anything with a huge impact on society. Blockbusters became the associated with movies only in the 1970s.
The first official blockbuster in the film industry was Jaws from 1975, created by Steven Spielberg. Today, a blockbuster is generally understood as a movie with high budget and a wide target group.
Toys, games and gadgets
If you are a fan of a blockbuster, you can choose to surround yourself with merchandise connected to it. Keychains, phone cases, towels, hats, T-shirts, you name it. But the merchandising product to rule them all are toys and games.
The first big blockbuster to use the power of hundreds of thousands of people wanting to get their hands on one of their favourite characters (even if they were way smaller and made from plastic or plush) were George Lucas’s Star Wars in 1977.
In the next years, most of the big and smaller movies followed and added not only toys, but also computer games and boardgames. But you don’t really need to buy a toy or a game to relive the adventures of your heroines and heroes - all you need is your imagination.
Since the Trip to the Moon in 1902, through Frankenstein in the 30s, till Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Avatar or Indiana Jones today, many kids and adventorous adults were immersing themselves in the beautiful world of LARP (live-acting role play) and simulation games.
With time, we started to understand the power of games and playing for the personal and team development not only of kids, but also adults more and more. And so in the last 50 years, many games based on these great stories and adventures started to develop.
Probably the first pioneer in this area in the Czech Republic was Jaroslav Foglar, who started to create elaborate games for the summer camps that he organized. Now these games are an integral part of all summer camps, and the companies are starting to use their benefits too. Of course the goals, possibilities and limitations of a summer camp and a company event are very different.
That’s why we are creating games focused on team building, communication and soft skills, that will allow you to live through a thrilling story and try many adventures in just one action-packed afternoon or a full day.
And how to better inspire players to immerse themselves in another world for a while than to re-create something they already know and love - Hollywood blockbusters?
How to create a company event based on a blockbuster?
The first step is to use the movie as the basic setting for your game. The biggest advantage is that you don’t need to explain this world, its rules and many of the characters to your players.
Most of them will know it and will be excited to explore it. There is no need to create new characters, cool names or elaborate story lines. Plus, you don’t need to design and sew costumes, just buy the costumes and props for the characters online - thanks, merchandising!
Of course, you will not be able to buy everything, and it is great if some of the parts are handmade, but it is a great start.
If you want to create a game based on a blockbuster, start by getting to know the world properly - watch the movie, read the books, understand the motivations of the characters and the rules of that specific world.
It is also good to write down anything that seems interesting and might help you when creating the storyline for your game. If in doubt, get back to the basic premise of the movie you are building on.
Who is the target group of such a game?
If you are a fan of a series of books, movies or a TV series, there is nothing better than be in that world for an afternoon - meet your heroes and heroines, fight the sleazy villain and live through many adventures there. And even if you are not so much into it, it is great to explore a new world full of adventures. And maybe you will become a fan, too!
But how is playing some game beneficial to the team, you ask? Well, let me explain. When you are playing a game, the whole dynamic of the team changes. Gone are the troubles you try to solve everyday in the office, forgotten are the little problems between the colleagues, erased is the hierarchy.
When your less-than-favourite colleague saves your team from being eaten by a giant by his archery skills, you see your manager running around with a sword with her pants all covered in mud or you notice the calm leadership skills and logic of this timid member of your team when trying to escape the imminent flood, you get a completely new viewpoint on your colleagues.
You build trust when overcoming obstacles or climbing, make beautiful and funny memories to talk about during the lunch break (instead of Karen and Josh doing that horrible annoying thing again) and create new connections and ways to work together.
In the game the team is working to save their bare bottoms or even win, in the office to create great products or experiences for your customers.