Nov 25, 2022
Launching and revamping one of Wolt’s most beloved features
You might know that in the autumn of 2015, Wolt launched its first delivery orders in Helsinki. What many people probably don’t know is that in January 2016, in total secrecy, another one of Wolt’s arguably most beloved features was launched. This feature has been the subject of innumerable Youtube and TikTok videos in recent years, and users are constantly coming up with increasingly creative ways to one up each other.
That feature is of course the Wolt Easter Egg game, also known as the Tapping Game. Originally hacked together by one of Wolt’s founders and former Head of User Experience, Elias Aalto, the Easter Egg game has brought joy to millions of Wolt users since its launch – at least those who’ve managed to find the hidden gem within the Wolt app. The idea, according to Aalto, was that if a user inadvertently taps on the screen at a specific point, an explosion of food related emojis comes out. To make sure that you’re not dreaming, the user might tap again, and again, and so begins the game. “I’m also a proponent of having some over-the-top cool features in your services to create meaningful shareable moments to promote virality”, Aalto adds. And the Easter Egg game has done just that.
Many users have also discovered that there’s a small carrot at the end of the game if you’re able to tap just fast enough to beat the so-called ‘original Wolt record’. “We wanted to give out a prize for beating the game and I created a promo code that gave five euros in credits and claimed it on the user’s behalf in the background”, Aalto explains.
Expanding operations to Sweden later in 2016 caused a small issue however – Sweden uses a different currency, the Swedish krona, so a 5€ discount wouldn’t do much good. Luckily at that point Wolt tokens had been introduced, which essentially allowed a free base delivery for an order, regardless of currency. But besides switching from five euros worth of credits to free delivery tokens, not much had happened to the Easter Egg game since early 2016. It was time for a revamp!
Glow up of the year: redesigning the classic Easter Egg game
In the summer of 2022, the game that had remained relatively untouched for the past six and a half years was given a thorough makeover during our Wolt hackathon. Wolt Hackathon is an internal event for product development people at Wolt, where a bunch of developers, analysts, designers and product leads get together to work on fun projects for an intense 24 hours. A team consisting of Wolt employees Antti Kortetmaa, Dag Ågren, Samu Rintala and Nik Zakirinhacked away for just under 24 hours to modernize the graphics and user interface of the game. “It was time to polish it up, increase the wow factor and just have some fun with it”, says Ågren, whose idea it was to tackle the project during the hackathon.
With up to 150 000 monthly players, there was no need to scrap the game altogether or come up with something entirely new. “Instead, we chose a framework called SceneKit, a 3D graphics API that none of our team had previously used, to implement a fresh new look and bring the graphics of the game up to the new decade to stay true to our Wolt brand”, Ågren explains. “We wanted to use the hackathon as a chance to learn something, get to know new people and to work on something outside of our everyday work projects that would also delight our customers. The next step for us is to move from SceneKit to our own 3D rendering to support Android and maybe even web.” Once the basic building blocks were in place, the team aimed for a constant 60 frames per second no matter what would happen on the screen in order to enhance the performance of the game – even on older phones.
“Originally the game was much harder as the phones couldn’t run it at 60fps. This seriously affected the rate at which the app could register touches”, Aalto explains. “I haven’t really played it as much on the newer hardware so my record is a meager 69.”
Over the years, the game has reached a wide audience and gained a fandom that attempts to reach new records with creative methods, like using electric hand mixers to speed up one’s fingers. And what is Aalto’s favorite way to cheat the game? “Moist q-tips on an electric toothbrush – inventive and supremely effective.”
The revamped Easter Egg game is now available to selected test users on iOS. If this is the first you’re hearing of the entire game, get searching and playing!
P.S. Think this project sounds interesting? Good news, we’re hiring! Check out our open roles 💙