Interactive experience created in anticipation of final Hobbit film

Swedish consultancy North Kingdom has collaborated with Google to create an interactive “journey through Middle Earth” in anticipation of the release of the final Hobbit film in the on-screen trilogy. 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. A Journey Through Middle Earth

North Kingdom worked closely with Google and Warner Brothers over eight months to deliver an experience, which it says shows the capabilities of the latest Google technology and communicates with an engaged fan audience.

North Kingdom UX director Alfredo Aponte says: “The target audience is fans and the developer community; it’s a Chrome Experiment so we’re trying to inspire developers and satisfy a broader audience.” 

The website, which is designed for Google Chrome has a landing page which leads on to an interactive map of Middle Earth where fans can explore 21 new locations from the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit films.

Aponte says: “At the beginning of the project we asked ourselves which kind of project would it be best to bring to life and we thought, the first film ends with characters flying on the backs of eagles so we tried to give that perspective eagles.”

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. A Journey Through Middle Earth
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. A Journey Through Middle Earth

The map uses 3D animation and highlights the paths of eight key characters in the film including Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Aragorn.

Meanwhile a new Heroes Journey’s section allows fans to “relive” sequences from the film, navigating the map to watch different clips.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. A Journey Through Middle Earth

North Kingdom has also developed a peer-to-peer battle game, which the consultancy says uses “the latest web technologies” and is touch optimised for tablets, laptops and phones.

North Kingdom says that by focusing on user behaviour and by harnessing the latest techniques it hopes to “bring new value and strengthen audience relationships between entertainment and technology”.

The site has been overhauled and updated since the last Hobbit film was released in 2012 and features new interactive adventures using the latest WebRTC and WebGL capabilities.

A Journey Through Middle Earth

North Kingdom chief creative officer David Eriksson says: “Our challenge was to really push the boundaries of what is possible in a digital experience, drawing inspiration from the world of Tolkien and the drama world that has been built up throughout 14 years of epic films.”

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