So named because it suggests “prepared and ready to go”, interactive agency Preloaded has worked with some of the biggest names out there.

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Preloaded was conceived during the summer of 1999,” says Rob Corradi, an art director with this interactive design agency in London. “A group of us were working at different agencies and we all felt that creativity was suffering in the rush to make money during the boom, and that this needn’t be the way things were done. So we took the plunge and quit our jobs.”
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Finding a name for the company took some time he says. “At that point, there were very few single-word dotcom Web names left. The name Preloaded was a real find – it had a good ring to it, felt slightly edgy, but also suggested ‘prepared and ready to go’.”
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Moving into Hoxton, which was still cheap at the time, the four friends combined freelancer earnings to meet the monthly outgoings and steadily started to build up a list of clients, creating simple games and microsites. 
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“Within a few months we managed to attract some great clients,” says Corradi, “including Channel 4, Freeserve, Codemasters, and Kellogg. It was all pretty much production work at that stage and it felt great.”
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The bubble burst of course, but Preloaded survived, and as Corradi says: “Things are pretty good right now … The resulting digital creative landscape that was built from that point has been on much stronger foundations.” He says the industry as a whole is much more professional and pragmatic. 
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“Nowadays, digital creative agencies like ours are crossing over into areas not normally our domain, and as a result, doors are opening for us to new clients … In fact these days big clients are happy to go direct to a smaller agency like ours – it feels like progress.”
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Looking back, Corradi can pinpoints the first big break: “Probably the day the agency Mother gave us a call and said they’d heard of us through the grapevine and wanted to get together.” They worked together on an online emailer called Yours Truthfully. “A simple system designed for people to say what they liked to whoever they wanted, but anonymously.”
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While that was well received but perceived as risky by the lawyers, the relationship with Mother flourished. “As a result they introduced us to Coca-Cola and convinced the company to allow us free reign to create a site for a new soft drink they were releasing called Alive. The site did phenomenally well and got us our first set of awards. Unfortunately the drink itself didn’t do so well. Still, they weren’t deterred as Coca-Cola approached us directly to redesign the main UK site a little while later.”
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As well as Coca-Cola, Preloaded has worked with MTV, the BBC, Channel 4, Sony, Nike, and EMI. 
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For a company with such high-profile clients, the team is surprisingly small: only eight full-timers plus freelancers. “The team’s pretty multi-skilled,” says Corradi. 
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The company’s output is mainly in the leisure and entertainment markets – “a keen interest in the subject matter helps on those late nights,” says Corradi. But the team finds that as they mature, the projects they are offered are becoming increasingly more challenging and diverse.
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“In the early days we would have a few ideas and execute the one the client liked. Now we do much more planning, focusing on the user and their experience.”
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<h2>Awards</h2>
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“It was decided that a site that had an explorative nature while being original would encourage visitors to spend more time experimenting. The inspiration was the old arcade game Rampage, in which giant monsters battled it out in a city, eating tiny pixel people. We owned the arcade machine, and the client loved playing it whenever they came round, so we knew we were onto something.

“By the time we finished developing the ideas for Tongs, we’d moved on from the original concept. The site that eventually went live in mid-2001 featured a full scrolling city environment populated by people you can interact with.

“The weather is set to be the same as London by using live weather data. So if it’s raining in London it’s raining in Tongsville. The length of each day and the phase of the moon are calculated using the longitude and latitude of the Hammer and Tongs' studios, allowing the city to gradually change from day to night appropriately.

“Since the launch, the site has undergone two main updates. The first coincided with Hammer & Tongs moving to new studios on a barge. We ran a canal through Tongsville as a result and added a whole range of new areas and hidden extras to the city. The second update has just gone live and ties in with the release of the Hitchhiker’s movie.”

Spooks
www.bbc.co.uk/drama/spooks/games/index.shtml

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“Spooks proved to be a milestone project for us, both conceptually and technically,” says Corradi. “It may sound slightly clichéd, but the end result has proved to be something far beyond just another Flash Web site. 
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“The final project consists of 20 games, an interactive video-based narrative, a 3D GRID environment, and carefully-tracked performance statistics measured against other Spooks players and an OS style hub that ties all these elements together.
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“The basic premise was to design and develop a virtual training console located within the M15’s GRID centre of operations. Realism was integral to the user experience. The entry point to the site is a 3D environment modelled using 3DS Max and developed into a parallax scrolling scene within Flash MX.
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“The interface itself needed to house both 2003’s Spy Academy games and 10 new training tools. We developed a mini operating system that acted as a hub. the new games had to be high-impact but work on low bandwidth, while still having enough replay-ability to ensure there weren’t any games that could be classed purely as fillers in the set. 
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“Achieving the balance between addictive gameplay, technically competent execution, and the feeling of realism that you’re interacting with genuine MI5 applications could well have been a nightmarish task; but due to the whole team working towards a common goal, with the same vision, the games feel spot on.
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“Six months down the line, the project has proved a resounding success. User feedback has been immensely positive, with many players relishing the increased complexity the new games have brought.”
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