Kempt

Kempt - Also Available in HTML5

We often get asked what we think of HTML 5 - a strange question - like any tool HTML5 is great if it's selected for the right job. I guess we get asked because we used to be known for our Flash games, HTML5 is the expected replacement and yet we've appeared to be more focussed on high-end mobile app-games. However, between these major releases we have managed to get a few HTML5 games done and so we thought it was long-past time to do a bit of a run-down!

Stunt Guy 2.0 - HTML 5 Edition:

At Kempt we don't believe in doing experiments on our client's money or time (unless that's explicitly what they've asked for) so - if there's a new technology or approach we want to try out, we'll often come up with a self-inititiated project through which we can do the required learning. When it came to trying out HTML5 we didn't need to think very hard to come up with a idea. I don't know about you but we're obsessed with retro-games - particularly the cheap LCD ones you used to get in corner shops back in the late 80s - so, we decided to build our own one!

Check out Stunt Guy LCD Edition here.

Red Bull Focus - Test Games


This one is really interesting - produced as a 5-way partnership project between Kempt, Red Bull, Prime Decision, YNC and Hover - we worked closely with Prime decision to create a suite of games which would be a truly credible and scientific measure of focus without losing the all-important enjoyment of playing - a tough brief but hugely enjoyable to work on and I think the results speak for themselves!

Check it out at http://focus.redbull.com.

Activia Fruit Fusions - Puzzle Game

This one's hot off the press, released a few weeks ago and produced for Danone with our lovely partners at MEC. It's a simple tile-matching game designed to compliment their above the line activity for the new Fruit Fusion flavours they've just launched. The game runs flawlessly on both desktop and mobile devices and is largely being deployed as a rich media ad campaign via banners on several major networks but you can play it right now at http://danone.kempt.co.uk.

So, there you go! Can Kempt do HTML5? We sure can, how about we do one for you?!


Dragons Den and Stunt Gal Release

Well, it's set to be a very big week or so for Kempt.

On Thursday we launched the next instalment of our mobile game series "The Magnificent Stunts" - Epic, parkour-inspired, platform/runner "Stunt Gal". You now can install the complete trilogy:

Stunt Gal iconStunt Gal - Available Now!
only on the App Store (iPhone/iPad)
Stunt Guy icon
Stunt Guy 2.0 - Available now on:
Google Play for Android and the App Store for iPhone/iPad
Reg The Roadkill icon
Reg the Roadkill - Out Now!
Only on the App Store for iPhone & iPad


Then, as revealed by the BBC last Sunday and discussed by our MD - Chris Kempt on Facebook today it looks rather like we'll be hitting the screens of the UK on Dragons Den on Sunday the 17th of August - obviously this was filmed a number of months ago now and we're not able to reveal any details of how it went but as their teaser clip clearly shows we were there to pitch the (now basically finished) Magnificent Stunts project - a series of mobile games starring our mythical stunt family which launched back in May with Stunt Guy 2.0.

So, exciting stuff huh?! Will we get the money? Will Chris manage not to swear on national television? Who knows... but in the meantime:

1) Install the games!
2) Check out the BBC Dragons Den page
3) And, if you'd like to stay in touch with the project then sign up for our newsletter,



So, there you go - madness huh? Wish us luck!

Reg the Roadkill & More!

Today sees the start of an exciting series of Kempt releases. Today we've launched:

Reg the Roadkill: a sadistic take on the classic "Frogger", 100% free and iOS exclusive - https://itunes.apple.com/app/reg-the-roadkill/id889158781

Stunt Guy 2.0 1.3: A massive content update featuring:
  • All-New "Banana Time" wheel of fortune-style mode
  • 2 new 5-level films taking the total to 35 levels of mayhem
  • New and improved challenge-mode featuring Nurse Long
  • A new look for Gail Stunt.
  • bug-fixes, refinements and more!
And if that wasn't enough, in two weeks time we're also hoping to release the first version of Stunt Gal: http://www.themagnificentstunts.com/stunt-gal/ - it's an ambitious target, but I reckon we can do it!

So, why the sudden flurry of activity? It's almost as if there's something really big on the horizon huh?!


Stunt Guy 2.0 - 17th April, Whoohoo!



Ladies and jellyspoons, it's our pleasure to announce that Stunt Guy 2.0 will launch world wide on the 17th April 2014.

In Stunt Guy 2.0 Guy and Gail build on the sterling work they did in the first instalment but this time we've added a ton of new features, cars, roadkill...yes, roadkill and explosions. It also features a "free to play" model which endeavours to charm you into submission - we hope it works.

Find out more at: http://www.themagnificentstunts.com/stunt-guy-2/ and on the App Store On Thurs!

Stunt Guy 2.0 Teaser Trailer Live!

Sometimes, given that not so long ago we used to describe ourselves as a Marketing Agency, we're staggeringly bad at telling people what we're up to. My only defence is that historically our role was about creating amazing marketing assets and not getting people to them... well, that's my excuse!

Anyway, in a bid to becoming better communicators we've put together a short teaser trailer for Stunt Guy 2.0 which is now approaching beta - hope you like it!

Now Recruiting Alpha-Testers

Hi all, great news! After months of sitting in a dark room working on super-secret (well, okay... badly communicated) stuff we're finally ready to start showing off some of the fruits of our labours.

As you may be aware, we're currently working on two new games for

The Magnificent Stunts

- Stunt Gal - A side-scrolling platformer and the blockbuster remake of Stunt Guy, originally entitled Stunt Guy 2.

We're running a small-scale alpha-test for both these games and there'll be prize draws for people that provide useful feedback from testing the games.

Sorry! Applications are now closed!

Kart Fighter 3 Races Back Up the Charts

Last week saw another milestone on the epic journey that is Red Bull Kart Fighter with the release of KF3 1.1 - a significant content update which featured a new location (Forge Ahead - a fantastical steel mill set in the icy tundra) as well as new Kart Skins, usability enhancements and the odd bug-fix.

Gladly this release appears to have been received rather well as now being featured heavily around the App Store (including "Best New Game" thanks Apple!) and it's quickly climbing the charts again. The release version got into the top ten overall in most countries worldwide so it'd be awesome to see this update do even better. Dare we dream of the top spot?!


If you haven't already then check out Kart Fighter 3 now:

  • On iOS - https://itunes.apple.com/app/id657317760
  • Or Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.kempt.KartFighter3

Kempt Game Hijacked by Ling Valentine

It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and we all enjoy spotting 'influences' in the latest releases.

What you don't often see is a game grabbed by the throat and hacked into an astounding new form by a Chinese car super-saleswoman. That's exactly what happened when Ling Valentine - the car lease phenomenon and Dragons Den-defying marketing one-off - got her hands on our very own Stunt Guy - The Getaway game.

For those not yet up to speed with Ling's unique approach it's well worth checking out her website, lingscars.com, an object lesson in doing it your own way. And that's exactly what she did to our game!

So what happens when a legendary stunt man meets a Chinese typhoon? Predictably enough, total nuclear destruction - check it out: http://j.mp/LINGiOS

BIMA D-Day Schools Challenge


We were fortunate enough to be part of yesterday’s BIMAD-Day schools initiative, a national event aimed at closing the skills gap in the digital industry. Across the country digital agencies attended local schools to mentor a day of digital creativity with the students.

Our welcoming hosts were Chaucer Technology School, here in Kempt’s home town of Canterbury and appropriately enough we were to mentor a class taking up the Mobile Apps challenge with the aim of submitting the results to be judged in this national contest. Right up our street!

After getting over the shock of being back in school (so much has changed, so much is exactly the same!) we settled into our roles of pseudo-supply teachers to a room full of thirty Year 9s - “Year nine, YEAR NINE!!!” became a regular refrain throughout the day! Fortunately the class seemed to respond well to the day and were genuinely engaged.  

Like most schools the suite of computers wasn't the most current but the creative process isn't just about the speed of your processor and the version of your software. The ideas began to fly around the room from the word go, fuelled by a strong understanding of how apps work and a freedom to think up new possibilities. We had ideas from the practical - very useful medical and personal security apps - to the fantastically fanciful - pet translators and open-ended games that tapped into your dreams!

One thing that struck us was how much time was actually spent on the class PCs - just an hour in the afternoon. To us this seemed like a good balance as what makes this industry so exciting isn't the technology itself but what the possibilities it creates. However, we also left the students with a Flash demo app to pull apart and recreate. It's when you understand technology that things get really interesting - it fuels your imagination and turns brilliant ideas into brilliant products. 

Joanna Lumley Makes Us Taller


Yesterday saw the launch of the Inspiring the Future initiative, a scheme which aims to bring workplace expertise to Britain's school children using a network of volunteers from all sectors and professions.

We were lucky enough to be invited to yesterday's event and went along to Bishop Challoner school in Tower Hamlets as exhibitors, setting up our modest stall in readiness for a morning of careers conversation with the pupils.

Flattered to be involved, what we didn't expect was the arrival of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to kick things off, followed by a stirring speech from Joanna Lumley (http://j.mp/Oi4LzK) that was Churchillian in its power to inspire. You didn't have to be 16 and in full-time education to feel a foot taller after that amazing oratory feat.

We're delighted to be involved in Inspiring the Future as it's a project with aims very close to our hearts. If you're in a position to get involved we'd urge you to do so at the earliest opportunity. Find out more here: http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/

Dev (not) Required - Nice Hair Essential

*** Update - I should probably say that we filled this job... Sorry if you found this and got excited... we are always on the lookout for talented people with cool hair though. ***

Hiya,

Let's cut to the chase. We're an awesome games studio in Canterbury, Kent. We specialise in producing games for brands but also publish our own games. We rock.

We need an equally rocking PHP & MySQL developer with cool hair and skills in:
  • PHP
  • MySQL
As well as being hardcore in PHP/MySQL we'll give you bonus points if you can show us skills or knowledge of:
  • Facebook API
  • Linux administration
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • C++
  • AS3
  • Playing music, particularly drums... we've got guitar, bass and keyboards nailed.
Interested? Great, drop us a line! (We don't really give a shit what your hair looks like though.)

Kempt at Digibury on Weds 9th May

As some of you will know, we’ve been planning to have a “housewarming party” for Kempt since we moved to Canterbury back in Feb.

Sadly, time got away from me so I decided that – rather than re-inventing the wheel – it would be better to support something cool that’s already going on here and I chose Digibury - a fantastic Canterbury event that has impressed me massively over the last few months.

So, the next Digibury is this Weds the 9th and I’m buying a few drinks to get things started and so that Kempt can officially say hello to East Kent.

Please do pop along if you can make it, the content will be great (apart from my bit…) the beer will flow and the company will be awesome.

Check it out at: http://www.digibury.co.uk/

We Want You... maybe...

Great news! Kempt are hiring, check out the ad below:

Role: Digital Producer
Location: Canterbury
Salary: Dependent on Experience

Do you work in advertising/digital? Do you thrive under pressure, have a passion for producing highly creative work and yearn for projects where you can inject a bit of fun? Well you won’t want to miss this opportunity.

Who the hell are Kempt?
Kempt are an award winning producer of games for brands. We’re one of the top companies in our sector. We work for some of the coolest clients imaginable and are at the bleeding edge of the advertising and games industry. Think Advergames, Engagement, Viral, Gamification, Social Games, Mobile Games & Apps… we’re like a cheat-sheet for Buzzword Bingo! Anyway… we’re looking for a Digital Producer to join our rapidly expanding team, I wonder if that could be you?

What you need to be to apply:
You need to be an ambitious, creative, efficient, brave, wise and responsible problem-solver if you want to join our team. You need to be ready to take on a challenge and manage large projects through the studio with the support of our tightly knit and highly talented team.

More specifically, we need you to have:
• Proven production and project management experience
• Demonstrable understanding of relevant technologies
• At least 2 years relevant industry experience
• The ability to take ownership/responsibility and ensure successful delivery of projects on time and on budget
• A good eye for design and a passion for getting the details right
• An enormous sense of fun*

Got all that? Well then apply now at: http://kempt.co.uk/site/jobs/


*Not like when people say “good sense of humour required” because the boss is such an insufferable toss-pot – in this case it’s important for the work, not your sanity.

Want to help us find the very best? Share this article on Linked-In!

Kempt - Canterbury, Now Open!

As you may know, Kempt took a big step this year, we decided to relocate our business from St Albans to the beautiful cathedral city of Canterbury in Kent. Well, I'm very pleased to announce that we're here!

Kempt: Canterbury opened its doors officially on the 6th Feb, the phones and interwebs were activated that day, we had all the furniture delivered that week, the office removal was done on the Friday, by 6pm all the computers were up and running and the network was fully operational and the entire workforce was installed at their desks and working by 10am on the Monday the 13th!

So... crazy... in hindsight is was perhaps a bit foolish to try and do it all so quickly and frankly it's a miracle that we pulled it off! I'm hugely grateful for the support of the team and I promise... we definitely won't be doing it again for a while!

Back on Board and Five Award Nominations!

Last night was the BIMA AGM and the official announcement of the shortlist for the 2011 BIMA Awards. It was a big night for Kempt, not only did I get re-elected back on to the BIMA Exec (a role that I'm hugely proud of holding and therefore I'm hugely grateful to the membership for allowing me to retain) but also I'm hugely pleased to announce that Kempt have appear to have done rather well in the BIMA awards this year. Our smash hit iOS/Social Game - Red Bull - Kart Fighter which we released in June has been nominated no less than five categories!

The categories concerned are: Advertising, Consumer Goods & Services, Engagement, Content & Blogging, Multi-Platform, Social Media, Viral & PR. To say that we were chuffed with this would be the understatement of the decade, we all worked stupidly hard on the campaign and so this recognition means the world to all of us. We're also hugely grateful to our amazing clients at Red Bull for giving us the opportunity to work on the project.

I do have to confess to a degree of discomfort in making this announcement - given my involvement with BIMA and the fuss I've made over the last few years about ensuring the awards were as fair and impartial as possible - but I totally didn't rig it honest!

Anyway, there are loads of fantastic projects nominated this year so, if you're interested, you can see the full shortlist over on the BIMA awards site. The awards themselves are on the 10th Nov at Fabric London, wish us luck and hope to see you there!

Check out Red Bull Kart Fighter on the Red Bull site and on the UK App Store.

Top 10 App for Red Bull

Whoa what a week it's been at Kempt HQ! We had the BIMA schools challenge final where our schools came second and fourth, we've been at the very excellent Children's Media Conference in Sheffield and to top it all off, our new game "Red Bull Kart Fighter" which we released on monday has stormed straight into the charts and is currently sitting pretty in the top ten! It's a great game, grab it free now from: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/red-bull-kart-fighter/id443752900?mt=8

Wot no iPhone? No problem, you can play the flash version over at the Red Bull site: http://www.redbull.co.uk/cs/Satellite/en_UK/Speed-Jam---Kart-Fight-Game/001243037847705

Enjoy!

Tim Smit (Eden Project) On Radio 4

This morning I was very lucky to catch Tim Smit from the Eden Project on Saturday Live - Radio 4,  I'd urge you to listen to the show on the iPlayer if you catch this in time, but in case you don't I'd like to share a couple of quotes with you:

"part of the reason that we're a risk averse country is that most of the politicians that we have in charge of us have never had a day job and most of the people in charge of distributing money have only ever made their money on the backs of speculation, betting against their own currencies and so on, and have given up the tradition of investing in people who make things with their hands. This countries wealth was actually built on the back of men and women who made things that matched the imagination of our people..."

I think Tim hit the nail on the head here and his further thoughts on challenges we face for the future are as inspirational as they are frightening (since we currently seem to be doing the exact opposite!) however there was one point of Tim's that I found particularly interesting:

"the trouble is, if you're ruled by an accountancy fear of knowing the cost of things without knowing the cost of not doing things you can bring yourself to your knees - anyone who's ever run a company knows that very often you can kill a company in your desire to constrict access to money because you think that's prudent - the 'mumsy' way to success."

As someone that started a business from the point of view of making things, as opposed to making money, I can totally relate to his points. I have to say, I find the highly conservative attitude to business in the UK infuriating to say the least.

For example, over the last seven or eight years I've occasionally received criticism from (in my opinion) stupid people for stupid reasons: "you don't have a business plan? Tsk tsk", "You can't quote your profit margin on a per project basis? Tut tut" "you don't have a clear exit strategy? Huff huff huff" "call yourself an entrepreneur?..."

For a long time I took these criticisms seriously and quite personally and it's only relatively recently, with the right support and having done a lot of thinking/research, that I've been able to see things more clearly. The reality is that Kempt, much like our produce, is a work in progress. It's true that there are some areas that need to (and will) develop but the bits that are finished work quite exceptionally well. I started this company on my own with nothing but a laptop on buy now pay next year and the trust of a couple friends who gave us business. Seven/eight years later we have a company that's always been profitable, has an exceptionally low staff turnover, owns significant IP and somehow found the time to create some of the most successful interactive marketing material ever produced...

I have no doubt that over the next few years our business practices will continue to tighten up, but in the meantime I am proud to say that our priorities will always be our company and the remarkable things we produce. Kempt will never accused of the "mumsy" way to success!

You and find out more about the genius Tim Smit on the BBC 4 site and on Wikipedia

Kempt Showreel Hits 150k views (well nearly!)

Today I was flabbergasted to notice that our showreel has received nearly 150k views on YouTube alone!

I'm hugely grateful to all of our clients friends and fans for taking an interest and I'm hugely pleased to see that a simple video like this could attract far more traffic than your typical commercially produced viral video ad... viva games, viva democracy of content! viva virals (as long as they're games)!!!

Unstoppable Launch and TIGA Event.

Well it's been another big week for us here in the Kempt Cave. Our latest and greatest game which promotes the stunning new movie Unstoppable launched on Wednesday and is currently rocketing around the web, please do give it a try, it's a little bit different for us but I think you'll agree it's both very original and very enjoyable! As ever you can find the game all over the place but why not check it out over on Newgrounds.com.

In other news we're very pleased to say that the Kempt Showreel is about to pass 40k views on YouTube! This is brilliant if for no other reason than it's already received more traffic than most commercial viral videos get in their lifetime and the traffic is still growing! Awesome stuff.

And finally, on Wednesday I was privileged to speak at a seminar organised by the awesome people at TIGA. The event was packed to the rafters and excluding myself there were some awesome speakers. A huge well done to the TIGA team for putting on such a great event and to the hosts, Escape Studios in Shepherds Bush who have very kindly put our showreel up on their site.
Well that's it from me, have a fab weekend everyone!

Cheers

C