The BoARd Game
The BoARd Game is a mixed reality, room scale interactive narrative designed specifically for the Microsoft HoloLens. In this narrative, the player is helping a girl called Claire to escape a life-threatening board game.
The player will guide Claire through puzzles that explore different interactions and designs to the end of the game which resets the world and returns everything back to the normal. The narrative is inspired from “Honey I shrunk the kids” and “Jumanji” and the design is inspired by works of MC Escher and the game Monument Valley.
First things first
Before starting to work on the experience we decided to explore HoloLens as a technology to understand its limitations and affordances. To do this we reviewed the best experiences that were already developed for the HoloLens and then, as a team, brainstormed and noted what worked and what did not work in that experience. We then analyzed the data to identify common design/experience constraints that we would have to employ for our experience.
Identified experience constraints
The experience should be short and episodic
- Using the HoloLens for extended periods of time can be nauseating for people
- Short episodic experiences allow people to take breaks
The experience should be driven by a strong narrative
- We found out the novelty of the technology wears off pretty quickly if the experience is not engaging
- To provide an engaging experience we decided to make the experience a narrative-driven one
Need new forms of interactions
- The AirTap gesture is difficult to perform and has low accuracy detection
- Due to this, we decided to explore new methods of interactions and rely very little on the AirTap Gesture
Sidestep field-of-view limitations through a narrative construct
- The HoloLens field of view is pretty small and breaks the immersive experience
- To sidestep this issue we decided to come up with a narrative construct that could explain the narrow field of view
Employ spatial sound
- Spatial sound improves immersion in a mixed reality environment.
- Spatial sound allows us to draw interactor attention in an environment and is therefore good for discoverability of interactions
Augment environments whenever possible
- Augmenting environments by overlaying virtual elements onto the real world becomes crucial for immersion
- It adds to the perceived coolness of the experience and makes it more magical