Created by potrace 1.12, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2015

Developing transmedia games for new-age human relations

A collaboration with Daimler AG

A team co-led by the CDI’s Steffen P Walz has recently received the German Human Resources Award 2018 (Deutscher Personalwirtschaftspreis) in the category “Recruiting”, as a result of their collaboration with Daimler AG and their marques, Mercedes-Benz and Smart.  

Professor Walz and his team developed a large-scale transmedia recruiting game entitled, which was implemented at the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Web Summit is amongst the largest and most influential technology conferences in the world, according to Forbes and The Guardian. 

The innovative concept also drew the attention of the Red Dot Awards for Communication, culminating in a 2018 excellence award for “interface and user experience design,” which has proven to be amongst the most valued and prestigious design prizes worldwide.

The game encompassed a wider, satirical storyline that focused on compelling players into a hilarious rivalry between two “hacker” groups in real time, receiving clues and mission information throughout their game through a range of innovative portals that further their involvement in the game.

(Photograph courtesy of: Daimler AG)


Propelled by professional actors posing as “agents,” the story also engages puzzles, an interactive mobile app and the opportunity to program real cars hidden on the Web Summit expo area, while also implementing what was described as a “secret hacker portal website” that added another layer of ingenuity and innovation to the digital experience.

Professor Walz stressed the importance of “speaking digital” in order to attract digital talent, combining both the objectives of Daimler’s HR and IT departments with effective brand communication in order to incite immersion and engagement in the summit’s patrons.

“We designed something that is a design innovation experiment in the form of a transmedia game, that exhibits the promise of serious games and gamification,” said Professor Walz.

“It was a very exciting time.”

The interactive initiative was a summit-wide hit, with 547 patrons participating over three conference days, and at least one participant labelling it “the best HR initiative (they’ve) ever experienced.”

The success of saw considerable upticks in usage levels of Mercedes Benz’ developers' platform and its public APIs for interacting with car functionality, while also inciting an influx of applications for their innovative HR department.

(Photograph courtesy of Daimler AG)


 The Red Dot Award for Communication Design is one of the most sought after in the industry, selected by a 24-member jury from a field of over 8,600 international communication design works for their high design quality and creative achievement. 

Professor Walz and his team will attend the Red Dot Awards in Berlin on the 26th of October 2018 in order to receive their accolades, while will be featured as part of the International Yearbook Communication Design 2018/19, which will be published and distributed in 40 countries.

 About the Red Dot Design Award:

In order to appraise the diversity in the field of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award breaks down into the three disciplines of Red Dot Award: Product Design, Communication Design and Design Concept. The Red Dot Award is one of the world’s largest design competitions. In 1955, a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. In the 1990s, Red Dot CEO Professor Dr. Peter Zec developed the name and brand of the award. Ever since, the sought-after Red Dot distinction has been the revered international seal of outstanding design quality. More information is available at
Ryan Malcolm

Ryan is a driven student completing Professional Placement with the Centre for Design Innovation throughout 2018. After completing two years of his...

Find out more
Prof. Steffen P Walz

Dr Steffen P Walz is a Professorial Reseach Fellow at Swinburne's CDI, effective as of March 2017. He holds a doctoral degree in...

Find out more