Skip to content

All About the Filth Fair Game

March 28, 2011

Filth Fair is a great little word puzzle game that I’ve been producing for the Wellcome Trust to tie in with their Dirt season.  It’s been developed by Toytek.  The game is for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and the Web (as a Flash game).  Here’s a screenshot from the game:

Filth Fair Screenshot

There are lots more images here.  The best way to see the game is to play it!

Filth Fair Web Version

Download Filth Fair for iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad

There is also a Facebook fan-page here, The aim of the game is to find and uncover 331 hidden words from within a huge (and real, not digital) detailed and amazing painting by cult artist Mike Wilks.

Below is a preview trailer for the game:

And some fun blurb written for the game:

Roll Up! Roll Up! The Filth Fair is Coming to Town!

For many months now Wellcome and Toytek have been building an experience that explores the issue of ‘Dirt’. Yes, Dirt!  As part of the upcoming season by the Wellcome Trust, a veritable cornucopia of delights especially prepared for your delectation and amusement (and disgust!) is currently under construction.  Once completed in March this year, the Filth Fair game will be unleashed to infect the delicate sensitivities of gentle-folk.  This game takes the form of an eye Pad”, “eye Phone” or “eye Pod Touch” iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and also telegraphonic web game of hidden words and meanings. Central to this gaming experience is a huge painting by Mike Wilks, a noted and famous artist for his 1886 1986 bestselling book ‘The Ultimate Alphabet’.  This game has over 300 hidden words buried in objects.  The player’s task is to find and identify all the words. It can be done via cryptic clues, descriptive clues or word-substitution.  Prizes and awards, not to mention acclaim, awaits those who can identify all of the objects within the Filth Fair.  Entrance to the Filth Fair will be free!  Visitors are advised to bring an active curiosity and a strong stomach.

Also of interest to the many visitors is the display of craftsmanship that has gone into the creation of the Filth Fair.  The central painting is not some digital-virtual hocus-pocus – oh no!  The central painting is a real painting, painted by a real painter!  Oh yes, this marvel has been rendered using non-digital paint on a non-virtual canvas in a real London studio.  Be ready to marvel at the “real made digital” before your very eyes!

Those curious to see the many sights and puzzles of the Filth Fair and those wishing to compose strong disapproving letters to their local newspaper about it’s imminent arrival are advised to follow the Wellcome “Twitter” musings and/or to sign up to the “Face Book” page;

We had previews in Gamezebo, Pocket Gamer,,, Touchaholics and Metro:

Filth Fair in Metro

Making of Filth Fair Video
We also produced a short film about the creative process going from a physical paintning by Mike Wilks to a digital game. This was featured by Pocket Gamer, Design Week and on the Wellcome Collection site.  Here is the video:

Once the game came out, a few rejections by Apple over content while getting passed became news about the app (and also here too).  We also got reviews at Gamezebo and on 148apps.  There is also a big article about the game at the Wellcome blog, looking at how the idea came to be:

We wanted to create game that everyone could explore at their own level, and looked long and hard to find the right people with the right approach. What emerged from this process is a puzzle/trivia word game developed by Guildford-based developers Toytek. They had already received a degree of acclaim for their work on The Ultimate Alphabet app, so we took the core idea for this game and made it, well, dirtier.

The final result is an amazing central image, which comes from a real painting by cult artist Mike Wilks. The richness of the image meant that we could place objects in the image that were also in the exhibition, so linking the two experiences. Mike took ideas and objects from the Wellcome Library (including objects that are in the Dirt exhibition) and worked them into a collage of themes and colours. Being able to make these part of a game is especially nice because much of the content we consume nowadays is created and delivered in the digital realm.

Straight after launch the game went to No.1 in the US iTunes Store for Education and Trivia.  In the UK it was 24 and 13 for the same categories.  It got a great write up in Design Week:

It’s a captivating image that you could pore over for hours, even without the competitive element, and a great way to get people engaged with the exhibition’s theme and objects.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: