Concepts

To elaborate further on my previous post about rapid practical game design, here is how it turned out with my current project. The context is that the tourist roadsign system currently in place in Utrecht is inconsistent and isn’t up to standard. They are planning a new tourist roadsign system in the city, that is going to be placed in this year and they would like a game that connects to that. The game has to encorporate four core values: Historic, Talented, Innovating and Personal. Given those core values, we’ve depicted three goals as restriction for our design: Exploration, Utrecht and Learning.

In the end we ended up with three concepts which we pitched to the city of Utrecht;

  • The first concept was a crazy taxi clone, in which you had to move tourists from one tourist attraction to the next. The style was very absurd and cartoony, with roadblocks flying saucers, huge laser and so on to make it attractive, interesting, and most of all fun to play.
  • The second concept was city golf. In this concept the city was modelled somewhat like a miniature golf course, and you as a player had to play the ball into the hole which in this case was a tourist attraction in the city. When you hit the ball, the ball would go up so high that you could see an overview of the city. The idea then was to let the player run the character to where he played the ball by manuevering through the streets, and get to the hole as fast as possible.
  • The third concept was birds. In this concept you had to guide a flock of birds through the city to a certain tourist location using so called sources. Upon selecting a source, the birds where attracted to the source and fly in that direction. As all buildings in the city were obstacles, the player had to anticipate when to select a certain source in order to savely guide the flock further as crashing into buildings meant that you as a player lost birds in your flock. The goal was to get as many birds as posible to the other side of town. We found a very cool style to go with it and I will definately show some stuff later, as the city picked this concept to go into production 🙂

As you can imagine, all of the three concepts lay heavily on the restrictions we’ve chosen before prototyping and also incorporate the core values which we were given.

What is very cool is that other students from Utrecht University that are also in the same type of project, are currently experimenting with augmented reality games. They’re creating a physical boardgame that is augmented with patterns that can be recognized by a camera connected to a computer, so that they can place 3D objects in the image of the camera on screen and do cool stuff with that. If you’re interested, theres a game currently in the IGF Finals this year called Mightier, which also used the concept of augmented reality (although in a different way). I think it rocks 🙂

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