07 Apr

Creative Design Lab: Contextual design week 4

I have spent this week putting together the narrative game.

The plot goes as follows:

1. User goes to the meeting point, which opens the first quest, along with a quest to collect ten pieces of treasure.

2. User must walk along the path to find the tall trees.

3. When the user has found the trees, a character pops up.

4. The character is a pine cone called Betty, who asks for help. She wants to find her friend Peter. She says she will give you a reward as a thank you for helping.

5. The user then can talk to Peter, then again to Betty who gives you a piece of treasure as a reward.

6. Further along the trail, there are some flowers. There is some treasure amongst them.

The game continues along this theme of helping creatures/collecting treasure. The aim is to get the user to feel compelled to complete the game, and in doing so walk along the trail, as well as looking and interacting with nature.

Editing the ARIS game online.

Editing the ARIS game online.

I found using the online editor very easy to use. It’s possible to get a game up and running in a very short amount of time.

I edited the notes I made on the map to make sure my game followed the correct path, and linked to the location of objects (using the GPS on my smartphone – see week 2).InventoryScreenshot

The treasure collected goes into the users inventory.

It was really important to test the game as I was creating it. Testing the prototype highlighted issues with the gameplay and various loopholes. One important one was I realised that after finding Peter, the user could talk to Betty and collect the treasure from her an infinite number of times, thus completing the game. I went back into the editor, and created a requirement that meant the treasure could only be collected from her once. Each piece of treasure had to have this requirement, allowing each player to collect the treasure only once, but allowing an infinite number of players.

There are a lot of elements that I added to the game as I discovered what was possible with ARIS. For example, I added a piece of treasure that only popped up when the user followed the instructions to find and take a picture of an insect and upload it to the the map. I added this piece of treasure to the map with a requirement that the user has to have ‘created a note with an image near’ the location. The only downside with this is the image could be of anything… it would be good if there could be some sort of recognition for specific items. At the moment, there is quite a lot of responsibility placed on the user to play the game correctly.


I tested the game using the ‘quick travel’ feature, which allows the user to cheat the location aspect.

The game could be expanded to have different levels, longer paths and different areas of the park. As this is the first game I’ve created using ARIS, most of this project has been about ideas generation and learning the boundaries of the technology.

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