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The First Joel!*

Coming up with an idea to ‘smash’ our 2015 Christmas film was always going to take balls, so that’s what we did. 

On-going casual conversations throughout the year in the office produced nothing. As the big day loomed, sleepless nights ensued. Doing ‘stuff’ for your own company is always the hardest!. So one November afternoon when all seemed lost, we had a meeting, because meetings solve everything.

Thinking caps were put on, red noses fitted and we began. Tick, tick, tick…..

It wasn’t until our resident cinematographer Andy Ireland, who unusually had been sitting quite quietly said, “I want to show you all a game I spent the majority of my university days playing”. As normal,  we laughed and called him names. We never normally let Andy join in any NetConstruct games! But we’re glad we did this time.

From that moment ‘Wayne Deer's B*lls to Christmas’ was born. The aim of the game was to bash balls (actually baubles, sprouts and chestnuts) against one another while avoiding the ‘end zone'. It was kind of a cross between billiards, Tetris and pinball. Well why not? The more you bash the more points you accrue. And what do points make? Prizes. 

What would people like at Christmas? A Ryobi Power Tool? A crate of Theakston’s ale? A Burton roof? Well, the answer is; all these things, of course. However, we decided on a hamper filled with festive Fortnum and Mason goodies.

Developed ‘hack-style’ by just a couple of the team and then passed to the rest of the office to thoroughly test as a prototype (playing games in work time,tsk!), we created a simple email campaign to launch Wayne on the world. The competition in the office got quite heated with everyone wanting to beat each other and our clients soon started to get addicted and leaderboard entries grew. Christmas Eve Eve arrived – the day we found out the winner. We collated the top 20 external players (sadly, no-one in the office was allowed to win) and Kelly picked the winner out of a police hat (Secret Santa present – don’t ask!). The suspense was killing everyone however, in the style of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,  the words “Joel at Thomas International” were read.

*(Now the article title makes sense, right, because Joel came first…. Geddit?)

But a Wayne Deer is not just for Christmas. Keep an eye out as he may be back for Easter……

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