BlastARs was conceived, designed, and developed in ~36 hours at the Creating Reality Hackathon @USC where our team of two placed as finalists in the top 4 among 50+ projects. This case study will focus on the design process, but if you're particularly interested in both the design and development aspect of the project you can check out our hackathon devpost.
Our team was challenged to create an augmented reality experience in the innovative entertainment category. In the current augmented reality landscape, shared real-time experiences are limited to single player usage. Unfortunately, these experiences can't exist without the use of external hardware. However with some creative engineering from my developer, we were able to devise a way to create a shared augmented reality experience without the need for anything outside a mobile device. From a design perspective it way mission to not only design the UI and flow of the product, but also wrap this innovation in a fun and captivating way.
How might we deliver a compelling multiplayer augmented reality entertainment experience under strict time constraints?
We decided to wrap our creation through a multiplayer shooter game within an alien vs. astronauts theme since first-person shooter games are a style of gameplay that most users are familiar with. In order to make the game more interesting and leverage the real-world environment, I pushed for the inclusion of object recognition which gifts users the ability to "scan" bananas (one of the most easily recognized objects) in order to heal the damage players have taken and regain blaster energy.
Because this was a new style of interaction, I had to design the process of syncing phones into a user friendly way. I went straight into sketching out the storyboard which highlights the user journey in discovering potential opponents, syncing user's mobile phones into the shared augmented reality scene, and the gameplay. Since we were under strict time constraints, I had to forego the wireframe process and went straight mock-ups in order to hand off assets to my developer. With the remaining time, I scoured the internet for royalty free sounds to integrate within our game in order to create a more captivating experience.