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In Drive Buy, everyone works for Buy Corp. Buy Corp are a massive corporation who control retail, advertising and a load of other stuff. Most importantly to the game, Buy Corp control the brainwashing advertisement screens that “persuade” customers to buy their products. As a driver, you have to race in your delivery vehicle to get the stuff to customers as quickly as possible.

The game world has the job of telling the story of customer retaliation against Buy Corp, in this case, graffiti that plasters the walls of buildings. The message is clear: customers don’t want to be hypnotised or spend money on stuff they don’t need, but Buy Corp is highly persuasive. It’s David (the customers) vs Goliath (Buy Corp) and you fit in somewhere in the middle.

Inspiration

Some sketches of early graffiti designs. Notice some that are directly related to spending like ‘Snip’ and ‘Just Browsing’ which were rejected as they weren’t pushing the message hard enough.

The graffiti styling was captured from looking around our local areas: Dalston, Clapton and Hackney Wick – it’s everywhere! Some of our favourites are ‘RED WINE’ and ‘SHITHOUSE TO PENTHOUSE’ pictured below, showing the uptick in natural wine drinkers across the city and the gentrification of Hackney Wick.

Graffiti is a perfect insight into what people are thinking.

John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ was also a big inspiration for the theme of Drive Buy, but more from the side of the corporation’s brainwashing technology.

The idea of Delivering parcels came from Deliveroo, Uber and Amazon – three companies that are always in trouble about working conditions. Human rights, modern slavery, tax evasion and zero hour contracts are all topical subjects that play a role in Drive Buy borrowed from these real world corporations.

Drive Buy brings these subjects subtly to the surface by placing drivers in the predicament we often find ourselves, going along with incremental negative change over time that leads to monumental changes in living conditions, especially for people who are most vulnerable to systems of support being removed.

However, it’s a fun to play delivery racing game that subtly hints at this subject matter through the game world and doesn’t take itself too seriously. After all, it’s meant to be an enjoyable experience.

A credit card ‘on fire’ felt like a cool way of showing spending binges.
Some coloured sketches showing dollar symbols and the word profit dripping with excess paint.

Final graffiti

Look Away from the screens!
How do you boycott a company that uses brainwashing technology? The letter ‘o’ in Too are two eyes being brainwashed.
Inspired by Charlie Brooker’s Screen Burn series that ran in the Guardian. We really like the idea of the brainwashing screens being burnt into the retinas of the customers.
Powerless to the screens, powerless to spending every last penny.
More, More, More!

As you play Drive Buy, you’ll notice these messages around the game world. Have a look around and see if you can spot any hidden messages or finding meaning in the levels that you may otherwise speed past on the way to make your fastest delivery yet.

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