Defense Decoder

4-screen blitz-simulator puts users in the cleats of an NFL quarterback, enhanced with machine-learning insights.


  • 3d
  • ui design
  • motion capture
  • unity
  • gaming

Project Overview

The Brief

AWS Next Gen Stats needed a standout activation to anchor their presence at the 2023 re:Invent Conference and highlight their partnership with the NFL.

To bring their advanced AI/ML powered stats to life, we created an original football simulator highlighting the Blitz Probability stat through a uniquely custom game mechanic. Inspired by this latest AI-powered breakthrough, we provided real-time data and insights, giving users the tools they needed to identify defensive schemes pre-snap and set them up for scoring the winning touchdown.


Gameplay Overview

Playing as the QB, the objective of the game is to advance down the field and score a touchdown before time runs out. With each down, players must watch the defensive team and correctly predict where the blitz is coming from.

Beginning at their own 50-yard line, users have 60 seconds on the clock as they attempt to reach the end zone. Just like real football, players can gain and lose yardage and earn another 1st down before using all 4 of their downs. The game’s main challenge is managing the clock and deciding whether to act quickly to make selections with less data and insights or to take more time, waiting to utilize more AI-powered data on screen at the risk of more time tickling off the clock.

Defense Full Width 01

Motion Capture

Requiring the nuanced movements of an entire defensive front-7, the Xsens Awinda motion capture system allowed us to capture the movements of a former pro-football player to deliver an incredible range of game animations. We developed a post-pipeline allowing rapid hand off to the engineering team, delivering true-to-life animation sequences in an incredibly short timeline, all captured in our office.

re:Invent Results

The game’s striking visual presence made it a standout at the launch - garnering international press coverage, kudos from the NFL and many amateur QBs lining up to take their shot.

With a compelling, accessible way of turning complex concepts into entertaining gameplay, we helped break new ground for AWS marketing in front of more than 55,000 attendees, with thousands of plays through just three days.

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