Tiger Beer’s Street Food Festival 2020 Goes Virtual With Avatars
Online bazaars have become the new normal during COVID-19, as gatherings and crowds (especially in public spaces) are now regulated and discouraged.
All other events have pretty much gone virtual with several parties putting their creativity in mind to see how they can enhance the experience.
This year, the annual Tiger Beer Street Food Festival has also gone from being a physical event to a 100% virtual and totally unprecedented event.
It takes place from November 6 to 29 every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Physical to virtual
How it works is that it lets you explore various brands of catering with an avatar walking around, controlled by your WASD keys.
F&B booths are more than just ad boxes on a web page, they are actually virtual booths manned by another avatar performing cooking moves.
Before you can access all of this, you will first need to register and login. Once done, you will be prompted to create your avatar.
Stylistically, the choices are rather limited, but it’s the idea of including a more personal feature like this that matters.
Once your avatar is complete, you can name it and then start your walk through the festival.
Street Food Central
You first stumbled into an arena called Street Food Central, where you can see all of the new avatars of real people being born.
This is where you’ll also find Namewee, who is the guest performing for the duration of the festival.
As you venture into Street Food Central, you will notice that there are NPCs that will allow you to play games for rewards.
These are simple activities, but they help bring back some life and much-needed interactivity that many virtual events lack.
Unfortunately, in order to earn rewards from the Tiger Beer Hunt game, you will need to log into the event early enough, as even at 3pm the rewards codes will all be redeemed.
So you still technically win, but you don’t get anything for your efforts.
As for the other game, Tiger Crystal Mountain Climber Challenge, there will be a ranking. Being in the top 3 will put you in the running to win a Tiger Beer Grand Prize.
Otherwise, you can get a daily reward in the form of discounted F&B orders.
You’ll also find the Drinkies bar in the arena, and clicking on it takes you to the Drinkies webpage where you can buy beer of all sizes.
In the lower left corner of your screen, you’ll notice a chat option, but it only gives you several preset lines about complimenting another avatar or saying “hello” and “cheers”.
In the streets
If you stop and look around you will notice that there are 3 large gates which are basically portals to different areas: Selangor, KL and Penang.
Entering either will transport you to a street littered with NPCs, and on your left and right you’ll see rows of food stalls.
Delivery can only be made to restaurants 9 miles from your location, but it’s hard to really know which stalls are off limits for orders until you enter your delivery address later.
When you click on a stall, the experience becomes your fairly standard online food delivery.
Put the items in your cart, fill in your personal information, make your payment and wait for your order.
You can choose the date and time of delivery. However, first write down the individual opening hours for each booth, as they vary.
A significant advance over standard virtual events
Don’t expect anything like The Sims or Second Life, but compared to what we’ve seen so far, it’s a big improvement for virtual events.
It’s a strong, bold move from Tiger Beer, and based on how well it got people talking, we’d say it paid off.
Other than the good initial impressions, I think there is still room for improvement.
For games, if the rewards run out, it should be obvious before you play. This way, people don’t feel like their time is being abused, but can still choose to move forward knowing that they won’t get anything.
It would be nice if the chat feature was also more customizable and you could chat with other avatars (not NPCs). I’m pretty sure it can keep people on the page longer and add to the gaming experience. For now, it’s kinda boring.
In the very streets where we have all the stalls, there are no avatars of real people, as mentioned before. All you see are NPCs.
That takes away the experience a bit, as she feels more “lonely” in there. It would be cool to see real people in there, with their orders appearing in a chat box as they put things in their shopping cart.
But these are all small things. One of the main issues I encountered was actually extreme lag. While it started out well (albeit slow to load) it got slower and slower then I got logged out.
After that, I could no longer access the site, neither on my laptop nor on my phone, on Wi-Fi or mobile data.
My colleagues did not have the same problem, however. So, I suspect it may be my underperforming laptop and phone, and poor Wi-Fi.
Maybe the site isn’t optimized, or my tools just aren’t good enough.
Either way, if this is a common experience for those of us with lesser quality devices, it would be nice if Tiger Beer could come up with a workaround for this.
In the end, however, it was an interesting experience. This paves the way for more creativity in virtual events and lets other players know they need to improve their game.
It will be interesting to see the results of the event, whether the turnout was equal to or greater than what physical Tiger Beer street food festivals normally attract.
- You can read more about Tiger Beer here, and his virtual street food festival here.
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