Whack a Mole Galway Ireland

Holey Moley – Human Wakka Mole Galway

I researched, designed, and developed an interactive play installation called ‘Mole’ for the City Alive Festival in conjunction with the Galway Hookers. I sourced funding from local sponsors and made a short video (promotional movie) of the play to promote it in advance of the festival. I sourced an outdoor space at Eyre Square for my installation and made signs with images of a mole on them for each player to stand behind. I designed and stitched fifty stuffed moles (whacking toys) that were used as prizes for players who won, placed random prize draw tickets at the installation, and also used them as promotional items for flyering. I made a sign with an image of a mole on it (to match all my other signs) and placed it inside the Eyre Square bus shelter that was advertising Mole, in order to draw attention from passing pedestrians.

I did this by researching Whack-a-mole style games and then designing an original game with a similar concept to Mole. I did research online by searching for Whack-a-mole style games and making lists of the types of items that would be used as ‘moles’, the purpose of each item, and how it might fit into my installation. I researched which materials would be best to use for each item, and also how I might make the items as well as the installation itself.

In order to design my game. I chose what types of materials I wanted for each item and whether or not it would need a cover (so that the player couldn’t see it before they tried to whack it). Each item was made with a purpose in mind, and to fit in with the look of my installation as well. I chose which types of materials would be used for each mole based on what other moles were being made so that no two items would clash or look very similar. I designed Mole to be played by 2-4 people because of time constraints, and because I wanted people to play with their friends or family members.

I made a short promotional movie for my installation by using the services of Galway City Cam. I went along to Eyre Square on a weekend to make sure that there was suitable outdoor space for Mole and decided that it would be best to place the installation inside one of the bus shelters. I used images of Mole on my signs (which had a mole shape ) in order to represent it and made sure that each sign was placed at the back of one of the bus shelter entrances so that players would have easy access to them as they entered or left the installation area.

In order to make 50 stuffed moles, I used the services of Seamus O’Dea who had experience with making stuffed toys. Seamus was able to supply me with my 50 moles straight away and gave me a good price. He also stitched the moles in anticipation of Mole being a successful installation, so that all we needed to do was deliver them and set up the installation. I also made Mole promotional items by making 50 Whacking moles and had them stitched with ‘Mole’ on them so that they would be different from any other Whacking Moles. I designed each whacking mole with a small window in the back so that you could see how many moles were behind it (like in a real Whack-a-mole game) and have them stitched with Mole on the front.

I ordered my Mole sign from Dublin Signwriters, but it took two weeks to process the order and manufacture the sign so I found another company who could supply me right away. The supplier (Dublin Decorations) was able to supply me with a sign in less than a week which was perfect for my time frame.

I promoted Mole by creating a Facebook campaign, Facebook event and flyer. The Facebook promotion included an animated gif of Mole being whacked at the top and provided links to videos that I recorded of Mole being played as well as descriptions of how to play Mole. It also included a promotional trailer that I made explaining the Mole concept in detail, and provided information on how to play Mole as well as images of some of my promotional items.

The flyer (which was designed by myself) explained what Mole was about, and had images of it being played so that people could understand what they were potentially getting themselves into. The Facebook event (which was created by myself) explained Mole in the same way as the other two and also provided a link to my promo video so that people could understand what they were getting themselves into fully before coming along.

Tommie Joyce assisted me with creating a game design document for Mole, which described how I would design and build the installation. It also had an explanation of how Mole was played, along with a brief description of the artwork that encompassed the installation space (the signs) so that people would understand what they were looking at before entering Mole.

The purpose for creating my own game design document is to make sure that each part of my installation works with another part of it to create a complete gaming experience. I will be using the information about Mole from my GDD for future projects and also use it as guidance when designing other game based artworks in the future.

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