As soon as we saw this one we knew it was going to be a crowd pleaser. Working in collaboration, J.K Rowling's Pottermore and California-based Active Theory's enchanting 3D, responsive experience Discover Your Patronus is the well-deserved winner of October's best site. For those of you who voted, thanks for the clicks! The winners of WLOKS nature bundles can be found at the bottom of the article, over to Pottermore and Active Theory to share topline insights of how they delivered the magical Patronus experience to Harry Potter fans.
One of the most famous magical elements in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World is the Patronus. The Patronus Charm is a defensive spell which produces an ethereal guardian or protector, taking the form of an animal. Pottermore's Patronus experience is set in a 3D animated environment that suggests danger and features originally-scored music and a responsive soundscape. By summoning a single happy memory and then responding to a series of short, time-sensitive multiple-choice options on screen, users are able to discover and ultimately be presented with their Patronus – which has been chosen for them using J.K. Rowling’s own secret algorithm. Patronuses are drawn from animals both familiar and magical, although magical beasts are amongst the rarest Patronuses. The user’s Patronus then becomes a part of his or her wizarding profile on pottermore.com.
This online experience leverages many modern, performant and reliable SaaS cloud services. The main site components are hosted on a cloud application server giving scalable application services mainly written in Groovy with extensive sets of unit tests written in Spock.
The front end build uses Active Theory's Hydra framework along with ThreeJS to render the interactive world. Custom tools enabled us to export 3D models from Cinema 4D and Maya.
To work effectively under high load the site is cached behind a CDN, and we used Gatling.io for performance testing. The full application is assembled, tested and released using an automated cloud build pipeline which provides the continuously evolving site that you see today.
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