Since 2012, ENGIN Creative has focused on developing multi-platform communications, retail experiences, branded environments, and interactive activations. They’ve also been using The Wild in their design and immersive vr presentation workflow for about a year now. I caught up with the creative team at ENGIN, who recently completed a new project with their client Fanatics for the Golden State Warriors retail experience, and got an inside look at this major achievement in their portfolio.
Tell me about the recent project (Golden State Warriors retail experience) you used The Wild for. What was the challenge they were trying to solve, where was the location, and what was their creative directive to you?
Fanatics has historically been a .com and “transactional retailer” only. They tapped us to create a 10,000-square-foot immersive experience for a consumer who is becoming more demanding in their expectations. The retail experience is in the brand new Chase Arena in San Francisco, a cutting-edge, mixed-use development anchoring Mission Bay, between Dogpatch and South Beach. The store is zoned to encourage consumers to interact more with the brand. We were able to balance the realities of commercial retail with engaging retail theater moments. There is a concierge, a photo booth, a personalization station, a locker pickup for products, a DJ booth for local DJs on game night, and sprinkled throughout the store like easter eggs, you'll find rare and exclusive product.
Why did you choose to use The Wild for this project? Can you talk about the key benefits that working in VR gives you?
We’ve been working with Fanatics for a while now, and we’ve learned that the more details we can help them show to the sports organizations they’re pitching to, the better. We design all of our retail projects in SketchUp, so it’s a natural evolution to move the model into the VR space. The Wild allows us to engage with our clients in a new and exciting way. Once everyone dives into VR, they become a kid again, and walking a client through their space virtually is way more impactful than showing them static designs. Using a real-time fly-through, we're able to bring the space to life, answer questions, and dive deeper into our concepts.
Did using The Wild save you time, money, labor, etc.? How so?
The Wild enabled us to present in an impactful and unique way that resulted in winning the project. That's huge! It was so easy for the decision makers to get a feel for the design in our initial pitch. There were very few changes after, so there was definitely a savings on time and labor. We see The Wild as a tool that shines a light on our value as experienced retail designers by allowing us to actually walk our clients virtually through their space. The biggest advantage here is early sign-off on final concept and design. This is great for projects that might have a challenging approval process or tight timeline.
The Wild enabled us to present in an impactful and unique way that resulted in winning the project. That's huge!
Before The Wild, were you using any AR/VR walkthroughs or visualization software or apps?
Before The Wild, there simply weren't any strong SketchUp to VR applications on the market that we considered using. Where have you been all this time?
What VR headset does your team use, and what does your overall setup look like?
We’re using the HTC Vive VR headset on a PC laptop. We have a dedicated VR room in our studio that has been working out well. We've even had clients in the space, working through their project with us in our studio. It's a great way to collaborate.
The experience in The Wild is so good that, when you walk the physical space, you feel like you’ve been there before.
Are you happy with the outcome of the retail space? Do you feel like seeing it in person is similar to how you experienced it in The Wild?
We’re very happy! With VR, we're able to engage with our clients in a completely new way than what they've experienced before. The finished store wasn't very far off from our initial pitch, and walking through it in real life is just that much more exciting. The experience in The Wild is so good that when you walk through the physical space, you feel like you’ve been there before. It's like you can show your client the future today. What's not to love about that?
ENGIN Creative Team:
Curtis Maddox - Creative Director
Darin Dougherty - Associate Creative Director
Jerry Inscoe - Sr. Designer
Daniel Webb - Sr. Designer
Craig Fuller - Sr. Designer
Brian McWhorter - Program Manager
See how your design team can collaborate, ideate, and present to your client in The Wild by getting started here.