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

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