24 Mar

Creative Design Lab: Contextual design week 2

This week, I visited the location of my game, Abbots Wood. While I was there, I used the app on my phone to log in to ARIS. As a player in the game, I took photos and made notes on the map using my phone’s GPS. I concentrated on gathering images I could then use to animate characters, inspire players to find similar objects or use to simply teach players about those objects.

I took a number of scenic photographs, and a number of close-ups to get an idea of the area in which the game would take place.

Trees in Abbots Wood Pine Cone

After going to the location, it gave me a better idea of what was available to work with.

I did some research in to gaming, and the idea of this game layer. I found this interesting TED talk (below) that describes the game layer that I will be looking at in my location based nature trail.

I am looking into two different game ideas: the first is a treasure hunt, where the player is required to go to specific locations and find specific objects (a combination of real and virtual). The second is a narrative version, with characters that the player can ‘talk’ to and a sequence of tasks to complete for a reason specified within the game.


Over the next week I am going to create a version of the game, starting at the meeting point and following the trail where users are required to pick up objects along the way. This includes physical activities such as ‘find a pine cone’, placed on the map near some coniferous trees, and virtual challenges like picking up ‘treasure’ on-route.

It encourages the player to continue down the nature trail, and interact with nature in a fun way.


This version will include more of a storyline, and characters to talk to and interact with. I will look at storyboarding the game and creating characters with a personality and details like whether they are trying to help the player or hinder them.



I looked into existing games and technology related to my proposed project. I did some research into Geocaching, a ‘real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices’. It is a very successful project with hundreds of thousands of active players. The fact that it is popular makes it far more appealing, but also the interaction with real-life objects.

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