Visual inspiration for bomb disposal game – Dassault Mirage 2000

Focusing less on the layout of the HUD here, and more on the picture quality of the following images and video. The grainy, distorted image quality, for me, adds to the sense that a dangerous, critical operation is being carried out. This is amplified by the electronic beeps, blips and dings heard on the demonstration video which seem to warn the pilot of a dangerous manoeuvre.

By Joey Meuross

Visual inspiration for bomb disposal game – F-15 Eagle HUD

Below left is a diagram which explains the complex HUD found in an F-15 Eagle fighter jet, and on the right is a photograph of the HUD in use. While the user-interface in our game is not, by any means, to be designed with this level of information, there may be certain elements we can imitate (Airspeed, Altitude, Horizon Line etc.). My idea is to display something similar, in-game, but for visual effect purposes, adding to the functional, military aesthetic of the game. Also note picture quality of the camera on the right-hand image. I think it would be very effective to imitate this picture quality with the inbuilt AR drone camera, to add to the visual style of the game.

By Joey Meuross

Visual inspiration for bomb disposal game – F-16 HUD

I have carried out some research on heads up displays (HUDs) found in fighter jet aircrafts. I feel the bomb disposal objective of the game and the AR Drone device lend themselves to a functional, military aesthetic. The HUDs and user-interfaces for the current AR drone games follows a more fun, child-like design, which we feel looks tacky and un-sophisticated. I would like to design something with a more realistic, serious aesthetic, giving some weight to the bomb disposal objective, targeting it at a slightly more mature audience and separating it from other augmented reality games on the market. While the visual style of the game may look stark, unfriendly and functional, the playability of the game will hopefully be balanced by intuitive controls and clear, achievable objectives.

I found some good images and a video demonstrating the HUD in the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. Halfway through the video, note the on-screen warning accompanied by a warning sound and voice. We could implement something like this into our game if the player is in danger of activating a bomb. The complex graphic on the HUD would be replicated for visual effect in our game, as opposed to giving over-complicated information.

By Joey Meuross

Visual inspiration for bomb disposal game – Camera Filters

For the bomb disposal game concept, the player may have access to some nifty camera tools, vital for locating and de-activating the bomb and ultimately succeeding in the game. I drew initial inspiration for this concept from popular stealth games Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid, which offer the player various camera tools such as thermal imaging and night-vision to progress through certain levels. Considering the theme and objectives of our game, the visual style could draw inspiration from the functional, hi-tech aesthetic found in screen based military technology. Of course, the AR Drone does not come with thermal or night-vision technology built in, but it may be possible to imitate these devices with camera filters/overlays.

By Joey Meuross

Augmented reality games currently on the market for touch screen devices

Below are some examples of games currently available utilising augmented reality technology. Apart from the Red Bull racing game, they all work in a similar way, using the devices camera as a backdrop to a simple 3D mini-game. In my personal experience with these type of games, I’ve found them to be initially engaging. However, once the augmented reality gimmick wears off, they quickly become repetitive and inferior to more sophisticated non AR games on the market. Our challenge is to design a game using current camera based AR technology and the AR Drone which remains engaging and doesn’t feel like a money-making gimmick.

Toyota 86 AR
Augmented reality game by Toyota. You need to print off a piece of paper, and then by placing the piece of paper in the camera frame you will see a 3D vehicle and some cones appear on the screen, with the camera footage in the background. The idea is to direct the car around the scene, drifting around the cones and getting points.
http://www.toyota86ar.com/

Red Bull Augmented Racing
In this game you design your own tracks by laying out real Red Bull cans on the ground and then photographing the layout using the iphone’s camera. The app processes the layout and generates a race track which you can race on in-game.

AR Defender
Augmented reality tower defense game. The device’s camera acts as the background to this game, giving the impression that a tower defense war is happening right in front of you.
http://www.ardefender.com/

AR Invaders
Classic alien invasion gameplay, but uses the device’s camera for the background, so the player can imagine they’re shooting aliens in the material world around them.
http://invaders.soulbit7.com/

AR Basketball
Uses the device’s camera as the background and places a virtual basketball net on the screen. You need to print out a piece of paper, which acts as a reference for the camera, so the ball bounces on the ground/platform in front of you.

By Joey Meuross

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