Team-Based Augmented Reality Assignment

Due Date: Thursday, April 13, 2017

Submission Instructions: Share assignment materials on Box

Assignment Description:

This assignment involves designing a narrative that involves going out into the world to play. Augmented reality "blurs the line between what's real and what's computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell" (http://computer.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htm). Closely related are alternate reality games in which players are asked to cooperate in some kind of collective, imagined scenario.

There's a tremendous range to what you can do with augmented or alternate reality scenarios. Working with the same teams that we used for the game design assignment, you will come up with a concept and author the following materials:

A game or scenario concept (there's no rule that these have to be games, but they usually are)
4-5 User play narratives (one per team member)

Game Scenario

Your game scenario should be about 750 words long. It should read like a pitch, which is to say that it should convey what the game is, what you need to play it, and why it might be fun. Basics logistics belong in this summary, as do specifics.

User Play Narratives

Approximate length: 750 words each. Many augmented reality scenarios attempt to superimpose a fictional narrative onto our world. For this part of the assignment, you will write a narrative that represents a fictional character playing your game. The idea is to write the narrative in a way that makes it clear (through a story) what your game is what it's like to play it. The narrative should be immersive, and its narrative voice should give some sense of what it's like to inhabit a space "inside the game." The total number of user play narratives should be equal to the number of team members, but how the documents relate to each other is up to you. For example, they could be four different first-person narratives covering the same play-through experience, or four episodes in one fictional character's travels through your story world.

Depending on your game or scenario's premise (for example, if it's like "World without Oil" below), you may opt to do a limited play-through of your concept to generate the material for your user play narratives.

Examples

Geocaching (minimal augmentation, only existing technology is needed to play)

Geocaching is a real-life treasure hunt in which players use a GPS system to track and receive "caches," or small containers. These containers could hold anything, usually notes or small, fun, or useful items. When taking an item from a geocache, you must leave something of equal or greater value in its place.

https://www.fleetmatics.co.uk/resources/articles/geocaching-and-other-gps-games

World without Oil (alternative reality simulation, story-driven, only existing technology is needed to play)

At heart WWO is very simple. What if an oil crisis started on April 30, 2007 - what would happen? How would the lives of ordinary people change? ... Because an oil crisis has deep and subtle effects, we asked everyone to help us imagine what an oil crisis would really be like. That's how people played the game - first they read the official news and what other players were saying. Then they told the story of how a shortfall of oil was affecting their own lives, and what they were doing to cope.

http://writerguy.com/wwo/metafaq1.htm

Pokémon GO (less story, need app to play)

Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns where you live—and even around the globe—to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you walk through the real world, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you're near a Pokémon.

http://www.pokemongo.com/en-us/explore/