Students’ party game is a hit with award judges

Date 1.12.2017

A lip-reading party game devised by creative students from the University of Northampton has picked up a coveted design award.

Come Again?! sees one player don headphones to drown out noise, before trying to decipher words and phrases read out from cards by the other players.

The game was a hit with judges at the D&AD New Blood Awards 2018 – which recognises creative talent around the world – who rewarded the students with a highly sought-after Wooden Pencil award.

The winning team of Graphic Communication undergraduates is comprised of Taylar Wong and Ben Webb, both from Northampton, and Bryony Barratt, from Rugby.

Taylar said: “The brief was to create a party game that appeals to 18 to 35-year-olds and so we conducted some market research and found the majority of respondents wanted something that is funny and easy to understand.

“We also found Cards Against Humanity is a big hit with our age group, so we knew we wanted to make it a game that involved cards.”

Once the team had developed their idea into a prototype, they tested it out on their friends, and found they had a hit on their hands – you can watch a video of the testing session via the awards website.

Bryony said: “Our friends loved it. It’s interactive, it’s very silly and can be picked up almost instantly. We all played it before we went for a night out, and our friends wanted to stay in and keep on playing it, which was a good sign.”

The students are now in their final year, but developed Come Again?! while in their second year.

Ben said: “We understand it’s quite unusual for second years to be short-listed for the awards, we were competing against around 500-odd entries, the majority from third years and graduates, so we couldn’t believe we won the Wooden Pencil.”

Trevor Brown, Programme Leader for BA Graphic Communication, said: “We normally only run the D&AD competition for final year students, as the briefs are often very challenging and demand a high degree of conceptual thinking and finish.

“However after a visit from D&AD in February during the University’s Changing Futures Week, the second years were excited by the briefs and were up for the challenge.

“The winning group decided on tackling the Hasbro brief and it was clear very early on that their concept was not only innovative and engaging but genuinely entertaining.”

Alex Taylor, Subject Leader for Design and Photography, said: “I am incredibly proud of them for winning what is always a hotly contested award. D&AD get hundreds, if not thousands of entries from all around the world, so it really is a gold star to win one at any level. To do this in the second year of the degree is a major accomplishment.”