Group Meeting: MORFO & Putting It All Together

For this group meeting we all already created our animals. We also made an image for Greg The Guide. Here are a few of the images:

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The next step was to animate all of the characters with the MORFO app and implement them in our game. We managed to fix our ARIS game and created plaques for each animal, added an icon to them, set locations and added media to the plaques.

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After that we decided we would just put one animal for each group member into the game and chose the lion, elephant, penguin and giraffe. For the sake of the presentation, we set the trigger of the animals to QR code since we cannot present our game in the zoo and it is easier to demonstrate with QR codes in the class room. (We left Greg’s trigger on GPS and simply enabled the game to be played anywhere)

Capture

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ARIS Basics & Content Creation

In this week’s lecture we learnt more about ARIS games and the platform in general. I set up an account for our group so we were able to try out a couple of things before we actually started to create the game.

At first we were going through the basics of ARIS and learnt more about objects such as plaques, conversations, items and scenes. It is also possible to create quests in your game and users can unlock  content which is really cool and interesting to implement in a location based game, since everything is not straight forward anymore.

We checked out some alternatives to ARIS such as Taleblazer, Scramboo and there is even a company called Locomatrix which is based very close to us but overall I liked ARIS most because of the easy user interface.

After playing around with ARIS we moved on to content creation. Our lecturer informed us about some great apps like MORFO, which makes it possible to animate characters. We got some examples of characters that we used to create little voice-over animations.

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The next thing that we looked into was Aurasma. It is one of the world’s leading augmented reality platforms. I already mentioned Augmented Reality in a previous blog post, so make sure you check it out if you have not already. Aurasma put very interesting content on their website and I liked one video specifically – They experimented with augmented reality at the Disney Star Wars Weekends 2015 and enabled people to engage with certain objects and let them experience augmented reality.

> CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO <

Game Concept & MORFO Characters

This week we were meant to develop the concept of our game. We received a couple of characters that we can use to experiment with MORFO and also an example how we can plan our location based game.

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Our idea was to have a leading character in our game which is a zookeeper. Children then go to the animals and listen what they have to say (scan QR code for the purpose of the demonstration when we present our game in class) and they tell their stories and ask the kids questions about the previous animals.

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Here you can see my first attempt of drawing the leading character of our zoo game:

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But unfortunately (or fortunately) someone had a better suggestion.

 

 

Context Aware Design

Our next challenge is to create a location based exhibition, game or trail. Our lecturer told us more about QR codes, RFID and a lot of other tools that we can use.

QR codes

… short for quick response codes, are very handy when it comes to location based games, but also for many other scenarios in life. It is a 2D bar code which can be read by simply holding the camera of a mobile phone in front of it as if you are taking a picture. Usually those codes are being used for promotional codes or so people do not have to remember difficult URLs and they can just scan the code and a web browser opens on its own and redirects you to the website you want to go. Over time people found more uses for those codes such as for location based games! They are very easy to use and you can also generate them with very little effort on websites like qrcode.kaywa.com or qr-code-generator.com!

RFID

… is pretty great because people do not actually have to scan anything like QR codes. RFIDs use electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. On the lecture slides there was a great example of a student bar in Westminster where people can order drinks and chat with other people in the bar using their phones and RFID.

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Augmented Reality

…  is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. This new technology blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell so you can basically modify what you can see on the camera and put objects wherever you want. I found a great website who has many blog posts about this topic in case you are interested in that – Augmented Reality Trends.

MORFO

… is an app that makes it possible to animate faces. It is pretty straight forward and easy to use, you just have to upload your picture of a face and then set the points for mouth and eyes. After that you can record yourself and the app will animate your uploaded face to your voice-over.

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After the lecture we got into groups and started brainstorming. We decided to make a location based game for kids based on GPS/QR codes. We used a new method called “A-Z method” where we thought about different places that we can use for our location based game and we had to go through the ABC and think about a place for every letter. The very last one “Zoo”  for Z was the one we decided to focus on.

Our general idea was to get kids go out more often to the zoo and learn more about animals. The game should educate children in a funny and entertaining way. I looked up some zoos nearby and we eventually decided to take the Drusillas Zoo Park as location for our game.