Discovery Channel Lends Handy Ted Your Hand

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Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel "HomeWrecker"
Feeling stressed? Got the urge to take a chainsaw to the nearest wall or a blowtorch to the nearest pipe? Well, viewers of Discovery Channel's renovation reality show Canada's Worst Handyman no longer have to indulge their destructive impulses vicariously. Interactive agency and advergame developer Fuel Industries has developed HomeWrecker, a website chock full of mini-games that utilize interactive video technology to put players right in the middle of the show's do-it-yourself action. "Video is a passive medium, but the internet isn't," says director of creative marketing Sean MacPhedran. "Would a consumer rather watch destruction—or destroy?"

The answer is most decidedly the latter, as players get to help Handy Ted renovate his apartment by completing a series of four challenges. Using Fuel's innovative Hot Spot Video technology, each game melds traditional video with virtual graphics to simulate first-person experiences of hammering floorboards, fixing electrical wiring and more—all without the hassle of messy cleanup or bodily harm. "We built a set that we could play with, cut holes in without worrying about pipes and electrical, etc.," says MacPhedran. "Then we used photo resources from the set to recreate the scenarios in photorealistic flash games. The result is an experience that flips between video and realistic games quite seamlessly, where your action in the game leads to the outcome in the following video."
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