http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/basic_lightbulb.svg

The Idea

We wanted to create a board game with a digital component that allows for a dynamic gameplay environment, and a randomly generated scenario for increased replay value.

We used mobile camera-based augmented reality to retain the traditional immersion with the physical play surface, while allowing players to interact with the dynamic elements as if they were a part of the board.

Initial User Survey

Are players ready for a board game with a mobile component?

64
Would be open to using a mobile phone to play a board game.
73
Of users open to using a board game to play, would like to see information overlaid on the board digitally.
77
Of all users feel that physical interaction is crucial to enjoyment of a board game.
http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/software_layout_3columns.svg

The Paper Prototype

This allowed us to test and balance the basic gameplay.

http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/arrows_stretch_diagonal1.svg

The Pivot

To create a more immersive, and accessible experience, we switched from an Arduino board to a simple play surface.

http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/arrows_squares.svg

Board Prototypes

With our design, we tried to communicate themes of the unknown, vague suspense, and danger.

http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/software_layers2.svg

Digital Prototype

Used Marvel and Invision for clickable wireframe prototypes, found there was a lack of intuitive user path. Redesigned interface to be more predictable, give better feedback, be more accessible with larger text.

http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/arrows_keyboard_up.svg

Augmented Reality Integration

The mobile camera based augmented reality projects 3D objects on the board for players to see. This exciting technology allows players to interact with the digital and physical portions of the game simultaneously.

Our application of  AR here ensures the players remain immersed in the physical experience.

http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/arrows_keyboard_up.svg

3D Printed Player Pieces

3D Printed characters add an element of physical gameplay, while providing another avenue to express our sci-fi theme.

http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/basic_elaboration_todolist_search.svg

User Testing

  • Users were unsure of available actions. We added more starting information, and a timed life support slider to facilitate urgency.
  • Made changes to play surface for ergonomic ease of play.

Final Product

How it works

http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/basic_cup.svg

The user is given a randomized win condition by the ship’s AI.

All players get a different goal. They must complete their goal before the ship is destroyed, or the life support system is depleted.

http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/arrows_slide_right1.svg

User rolls by using the mobile camera to look at the die marker, and roll the dice that appears.

User moves the number of spaces on the die.

http://unfathomablejourney.com/wp-content/themes/salient/salient/css/fonts/svg/arrows_keyboard_down-28.svg

If a player reaches a room, they can use their camera to look at the room marker, and interact with the 3D object that appears. They can then access a room menu that allows them to use ship components and items to further progress towards their goal.