How young gamers helped BBC to co-design nightfall

To better connect with its younger audiences, the BBC collaborated with kids aged 8 to 14 to further develop its ‘Nightfall’ game.

case_BBC Nightfall_Landscape
case_BBC Nightfall_Landscape


How it started

Children are ever connected and entertainment options are ‘always on’, so brands need to do more to disrupt and occupy this space. To meet this challenge and increase relevance and engagement with kids aged 8 to 14, the BBC created the ‘Nightfall’ game.


How we inspired change

To help guide the game’s development and optimize it for future success with 8-to-14-year-olds, we set up the Nightfall Hub online community. We recruited the kids via their parents for a 12-week period. Each week, we had a new topic – which were kept simple, language and tasks were playful and their parents were given license to help them.

Topics explored either their gaming habits, the Nightfall user experience or feedback on specific game aspects. During previous research conducted by the BBC in a lab setting, children needed time to familiarise themselves with the game each time. The Nightfall Hub members, however, became experts over time. This allowed us to efficiently go further than what is possible in a lab setting and explore very specific aspects of the game design, later levels, game balance etc.


How it lives on

Kids loved being ‘co-designers’ of Nightfall and provided a huge number of actionable ideas and suggestions for the team to act and iterate on.

Most decisions for the design direction of the game were made by the kids’ feedback – putting them at the heart of the project – allowing the BBC to proceed with confidence and take another step toward fulfilling a strategic goal to better connect with younger audiences.


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