Giphy Arcade has folks play, remix, and share Giphy-powered microgames. All the games are designed to be played in just a matter of seconds and easily shared by sending a link.
This kind of sharing is why Giphy has more than 500 million active users who each day share more than 7 billion GIFs, or those silly animated images associated with internet memes and recorded in graphics interchange format (GIF). Giphy is a search engine for GIFs, and it makes money via paid searches from those who want to get sponsored GIFs in front of a lot of users.
With Giphy Arcade, you can make your own games by mix-and-matching new characters, backgrounds, and music.
“We got started about a year ago, looking at making GIFs more interactive, and it seemed like a natural fit for games,” said Nick Santaniello, the senior product engineer at Giphy, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We want to differentiate ourselves from traditional gaming by making something that is real-time. It seemed like a great place to start making what we call microgames.”
The tech wasn’t easy to create, as getting such animations to work on mobile across all platforms isn’t easy, he said. It took about a year to get done.
Playing Giphy Arcade games
There are games that you play by tapping on your touchscreen on your laptop or clicking with the mouse. You can, for instance, try to get a fried egg into a mouth that is moving back and forth on the top of the screen. The game lasts no more than 10 seconds.
You can visit the Giphy Arcade web app to browse the latest games, the Giphy Artist Community, and a large network of content partners — including the exclusive launch partner, Wendy’s. To help celebrate the kickoff of Giphy Arcade, the company teamed up with Wendy’s to create custom games as well as backgrounds and characters that users can Remix into their own game play.
To play, pick any game and play it right in your browser without downloading an app. You’ll be challenged to tap, drag, and swipe your way to victory inside games that change regularly to keep you on your toes.
“They’re meant to be really rapid-fire, where half of the challenge is just figuring out what the game is,” Santaniello said. “You watch the stickers interact with each other. So we compile what we call a playlist, maybe three to 10 microgames in rapid succession.”
To make your own game, tap the “Remix” link anywhere on the site or inside a game. It will take you into one of two Remix experiences.
On a desktop computer, you’ll be able to craft your a game by selecting the sticker characters including the hero, the enemy, and the projectile. In the following steps you’ll select from over 30 backgrounds and 20 original music tracks, and give it a catchy title.
The Remix experience for mobile is the fastest way to create a game, and it’s geared for sharing on social platforms. If you answer three questions related to the template you choose, Giphy Arcade will dynamically generate a game for you that’s ready to play and to share.
“The remixing differentiates us, as we allow users to take any game on the platform and play around with the mechanics,” Santaniello said. “You remix the content with stickers from the goofy sticker library. So you can search and replace the assets in a game with stickers of your choosing.”
All Giphy Arcade games work on most devices with a web connection and a browser. This means they can be shared easily by including a link in any text, chat, tweet, or email.
This shareability is one of the big features of Giphy Arcade, as it makes it possible to add an interactive gaming element to any conversation.
“At Wendy’s, we love engaging with our customers and providing them unique experiences,” said James Bennett, The Wendy’s Company vice president of media and social, in a statement. “As the official launch partner of Giphy Arcade, we are excited to create a new gaming experience that allows our fans to not only join us in the fight against frozen beef, but to have a little fun with Spicy Nuggets, too! Our partnership with Giphy allows us to meet our fans where they are and speak in their language, while letting Wendy’s come through in an authentic way. We can’t wait to see what fun Giphy fans have engaging with Giphy Arcade and with Wendy’s.”