Behind The Scenes

There’s room on the bandwagon: Inside the Jeremy Lin arcade game

Try to hop on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon with the new ESPN Arcade game.

If you’ve been resisting the Lin-clincation to join the Linatics who can’t get enough of the Lincredible and Linspiring Knicks guard — in other words, if you haven’t jumped on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon — it’s time to give Lin.

ESPN’s Interactive Gaming team went with the flow this week, creating the “Linsanity! Edition” of its Jump on the Bandwagon game, which launched Wednesday.

Michael “Buck” Bucklin, whose title for this week is associate manager of Lintegration, and Jeffrey Ghiringhelli, product Lintegration specialist, put the game together in record time.

We asked Bucklin a few questions.

FR: Love the “bandwagon” concept. How did the idea come about?
Buck:
The Bandwagon game started with [Denver Broncos quarterback Tim] Tebow. All the debate and dialogue about Tebow was breaking on Twitter and flooding Facebook newsfeeds with stuff like, “Are you on the Tebow Bandwagon or not?” We just wanted to join the discussion in a unique way, so we launched “Jump on the Bandwagon: Mile High Edition,” which challenged you to launch a Tebowing fan onto a wagon being driven by a bronco. It was admittedly goofy, but it worked and spread quickly. We knew we wanted to do it again when the time was right.

FR: How’d you get this game launched so quickly?
Buck:
When Lin dropped 25 and 7 on the [New Jersey] Nets, my only thought was to grab him for fantasy basketball. During Lin’s three-game run, Jeff suggested the bandwagon game, but we still weren’t sure it would last. When Lin lit the Lakers up for 38, we lost our minds and bombarded our development partner with emails. Jeff and I worked all day and night with the developer to launch the game on Wednesday, the day after Lin’s game-winning bucket against the [Toronto] Raptors.

FR: What’s your high score?
Buck:
I’ve topped out at 12,200. Jeff is still a rookie, so he’s currently stuck at a lowly 10,150. I’m glad my victory is now public. In reality, we’re both rookies. Four users have already submitted scores higher than 20,000, and I’m sure it won’t be long before someone figures out how to top 25,000.

FR: Any tips? Optimal launch angles, etc.?
Buck:
If you’re looking for a high score, you gotta work fast. I launch the redhead right at the bandwagon. She’s light, so she’ll fly right in and save you time. The dude with the awesome mustache is the tricky one because he’s so heavy. Don’t even attempt to launch him when the bandwagon is far away.

FR: What’s next for you guys?
Buck:
We’ll have to wait and see. It was just a week ago we decided to go with Linsanity, so who knows what could happen next week. Jeff and I feel confident the next storyline will present itself during March Madness. The good news is we have a system in place to turn new games around quickly going forward.

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