The End Experience

The prototype is finished, and so are we. Almost. Before releasing the prototype completely from our slippery hands we want to convey what some of our users thought about it, and what kind of experience we managed to create.

Our goal, as it turned out to be, was to create an game for those who already owned an AR Drone. An generalisation of that user was summorized in a persona early in the process. However, those users are hard to track, and is in a limited number. For us to be able to test our prototype, we turned our heads towards the regular gamer, you and I.

Our approach was to show the prototype (the video) to some people and note down their reactions, and the overall experience.

The feedback

“This game looks like the first to go beyond the simple format of flying the AR drone, instead creating a full game with atmosphere and interesting puzzles.” — Female Gamer

We managed to create a game that balanced the use of augmented reality and the real world. This resulted in a game that people would want to play if they got the chance, but not for too long. Our feedback showed us that It might get a bit monotonously after a while, doing the same things over and over again.

“It’s actually a great example of AR using, and you can make it more competitive, by adding scores, and make it like a competition game for quadcopter users.” — Game Programmer

By adding a competitive mode, for example competing against scoreboards or other quadcopter users, we could improve upon our game experience. Making it more immersive. Another aspect is to add more games with a variety of gameplay, for example shooting games, precision flying, and more. However, to stay true to our concept, hence  the experience we have created, we have to stay in the world of military drone-flying. This would be challenging because of our concept of using mostly sound as augmented reality. But that is a challenge we want to meet, since we are going to continue this project beyond the scope provided by the university. The wheels are spinning, and we might release this game at one point.

— Written and conducted by Marius Haugen

We would also thank all of the people that were able to take some time to watch our video. The feedback have been really good and constructive.

User journeys

Completing first level

  • Click on application symbol
  • Watch loading screen, a short brief about the game
  • Press round button next to “initiate”
  • Watch short brief about mission
  • When the user gets contact with the drone he can press “Take off”
  • Fly the drone in the direction of the sound and on screen visualisation of bomb position
  • When the user is in the right direction he gets a notification about turning on the infrared camera filter.
  • Fly towards the bomb
  • Turn off infrared camera
  • Land in front of bomb
  • Press “deactivate”
  • Solve puzzle
  • Push the right buttons before the time runs out
  • When bomb is deactivated it will turn off and the mission is completed.
  • Will get a brief about the completed mission, then filed away.
  • Have the option to go to next mission.

Turn of in-game sounds

  • Click on application symbol
  • Watch loading screen, a short brief about the game
  • Drag the sound bar all the way to the left

—Written by Marius Haugen

Graphics & Application

I have worked some more on the graphics for the application, which will be used further in the visuals inside the game. Here is the result:

The visuals are rough and angular, but is still modern and easy to look at. The same principles as you can see in the colors and style can be used for all graphics inside the game. Because the application mostly will be used in daylight, there have to be high contrast. We will be able to achieve this by using bright colors on a dark background.

— Written and designed by Marius Haugen

Visual concept of interface and application

We had a brainstorm around the style and feel of our game. I was given the task to design the visuals surrounding the game and how it was supposed to be presented.

After establishing that we were creating a military operation I did some research into other similar games across platforms. In addition, I had to dig into military visuals. As you can see on the logo for the U.S. Air Force they use a lot of stars and edges. This was something we wanted to explore.

Because the mission that our user would get was a bit stealthy, we wanted this to be represent in the visuals. You can see on the following stealth plane that they are blending a lot of colors like green and blue in with black to “hide” the plane in with the surroundings.

We have created a name for the game which represent both the scavenger side, the stealthiness and the military side of the visuals; “Project Raven”. This gave a lot of inspiration into the visuals. Which you can see in these early sketches of the application.

I will work further with these sketches to make graphics we can use inside the game and for our application.

— Written and designed by Marius Haugen

A game for the Apple App Store

We have, after some discussion and research, decided to develop an concept that is purposefully designed as an game for the iPad. Which means that we are developing a game that are going to be published through the Apple App Store.

The reason for this decision is mainly because of the market we are aiming for. Which is those who bought the AR Drone because they had an iPad that they can control the unit with. They will not relent to buy the application if it seems appealing, even though the price is higher than the other games.

We are trying to make the concept a bit different from other AR games that are out there for the AR Drone. Because the audience are more mature, they do want a game that are a bit more sophisticated than the other games that are out there today. The application we are developing is aiming to give the user an experience of being in a military division that are using drones to dispose bombs.

To create the right atmosphere for this, the graphics, the story and the gameplay, have to be modern, true to the concept and not “flashy” or childish. We have started this process by making the ingame interface much like an HUD (heads up display) for a fighter jet plane. The military feel will be carried out throughout the design.

— Written by Marius Haugen

Scope of Work / Proposal

Background

With the emerging of AR in games, we have been given a project to explore the effective use of AR Drones in gameplay for either iPad or PSVita.

The proposition

After looking at the current customers of the AR Drone, we are proposing to make a game for the iPad which the user can buy in the Apple App Store. Which is the same place they currently are buying similar games, and is a platform for publication that works very well. By making a game where we focus on the experience of AR, in comparison with the games out there today which seems gimmicky, we will get the user to actually enjoy the gameplay.

Aim

We are aiming to explore the use of AR in a better way that is done before on games for the iPad that uses the AR Drone as an essential part of the gameplay.

Target market

The user in which Parrot is marketing the AR Drone towards are younger males that share an interest about new technology, gadgets and RC models. We aim to produce a game that is suitable for these users and is in their line of interest.

Scope project team

We have three people available for this project; one user experience designer, one lead designer and one 3D artist. Together we will be able to create an visualisation of the gaming experience with a video which will function as an mockup. It can be used in further development as an asset for how a game such as this should look and feel like.

Process & deliverables

The natural process from here will be to expand on our idea of using AR sensible. The different people that are in this project will be doing their own part of the work and get together sometimes to review each others accomplishments. Then deliver a prototype with all decisions presented.

Creative concept

The object of the game is to navigate the AR Drone through the environment, searching for and deactivating as many bombs as possible in the given time. To give the right setting for this task the user will be given an interface inspired by the HUD (head-up display) you can find in fighter jet aircrafts. The user will be given different tools to locate the bombs e.g. sound navigation, thermal-imaging and night vision, then some puzzles to deactivate the bombs.

Technical audit & scope

Because we do not have an coder/programmer in our group we are not able to make a working prototype. Instead we will showcase our prototype in a video demonstration. The game will therefore be modeled (3D program: Maya), designed (photoshop and illustrator), animated (flash, Adobe After Effects and Maya) and filmed (because it is a game that uses the world around the user as a platform for gaming), then we will edit it into a short film.

Evaluation methods

To evaluate the game we are going to perform user testing. This will be done two weeks before due date so that we will be able to do some changes according to our feedback. Another one will be performed in the end so that we can explain what we have done right or wrong.

Timing plan

The three members of the group have been given different tasks in a , which are graded after importance and due date.

— Written by Marius Haugen

Some early ideas outside the brief

This was an idea where the user would interact, and play games with a creature that appear out of an real object in front of an phone.

This is a bigger idea where a room or a whole building is set up for augmented reality. Where they could either play games, change the architecture and so on as described in the second picture.

— by Marius Haugen

Description of our potential users

By looking at the campaigns for the Parrot AR Drone, and how it is distributed, I have figured out the target market for this product. Which will give us the information we need to aim the project towards the user we are creating the best possible gaming experience for.

The Parrot AR Drone (version 2.0) is, right now, priced at £279.95 (source: ). Which is quite expensive for a device which is controlled by an iPad/iPhone that the user also have to own, which is priced from £319 for the iPhone and £399 for the iPad. Therefore we have a limited market in which the user have to own an iPad/iPhone and an AR Drone.

The user in which Parrot is marketing the AR Drone towards are younger males that share an interest about new technology, gadgets and RC models. They usually have a lot of money or are passionate about their interest. They often own similar devices that does other things, e.g. a game console like the Xbox, a RC plane or a LEGO Mindstorms NXT.

There are some apps/games on the Apple App Store out there right now which is made to interact with the AR Drone. The games usually have a dark interface with glowing lines and objects. One of these games is the AR.Rescue 2 which is described like this by the manufacturer:

“AR.Rescue is a first-person view (FPV) piloting game in Augmented Reality. It is played solo using an iPhone®, iPod touch® or iPadTM. Place your special AR.Drone target on the ground and the game starts. Help the aliens to return to their planet on board their rocket. Recover the pieces of rocket scattered in the atmosphere, get rid of the nasty Crunchers and try to beat the clock on every mission. ” — (source: Parrot)

I have created an representation of the collective understanding of our user in a persona. By designing with the users needs in consideration we will be able to create a product that the target market will enjoy, which may lead to a good user experience.

Persona for the AR Drone game project

Other markets that the AR Drone is suited for is people that are into filming (because of the on board camera that records clips which is stored on the iPad/iPhone). There is even a where some of the footage is captured by the AR Drone. People that are generally into RC models or/and robotics is also a source of users. Because of the complicated, but understandable mechanics, the AR Drone is actually used in teaching robotics.

— Written by Marius Haugen

Testing the Parrot AR Drone together with the iPad

The whole group were out testing the Parrot AR Drone yesterday. We used the iPad as an control unit and got some essential observations. 

First of all, the quadcopter is hard to control, and the user (in this case myself) needed some practice before he got comfortable with the way the aerial vehicle is handled. The reason for this was mostly because of the combination of how the aerial vehicle operates and the controllers on the iPad.

After I pressed “Launch” on the iPads touchscreen the drone lifted automatically, about one meter above ground, then I was left to control the unit with three different controls. It used motion to get the device moving in any direction I wanted. To change the direction of the camera, basically to spin the drone, I had a touch based joystick. And the third control was another touch based joystick which I, honestly, did not understand the function of. But I need some more practice to understand the “intuitive” controls, as it says on the package.

It is a device that handles differently from other vehicles, e.g. planes, choppers, RC cars, because of its four propellers that enables it to hover like an UFO. but this device, in inequality with an UFO, is identified, and is known as the Parrot AR Drone. It is a new way to fly a object, and will be tested further for the team to figure out how to make the controls implemented, or made easier, in our own application. You can see our testing in this video:


from on .

The next challenge will be to make an game for the iPad which uses both the AR Drone and the addition of augmented reality.

— Written by Marius Haugen