Since the beginning, the main goal was to create a very accessible experience that would allow kids to play outside and move, without necessarily feeling like a “health app”. Because of this, a strong focus was put in the writing as well as the movement mechanics to enforce urban exploration.
Between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 I worked in a small gamedev company in Copenhagen. I was assigned to doing game design on an AR mobile game for kids called Space Agent. It was a pervasive game about urban exploration in which players would walk around the city and capture invisible aliens (identifiable mainly thanks to audio clues).
Since the team was fairly small, I tried to cover many roles. The main one was, of course, to take care of the game design. I rewrote the entire design documentation to allow for better communication in the team, and I designed and discussed the game mechanics with the rest of the team. In addition to this, I designed the entire game progression and point system, as well as tested the different game mechanics. When we organized playtesting sessions with kids, I’d made sure questionaries and data was provided to us in a useful way to drive further iterations on the project. When necessary I also made temporary graphics useful to playtest features in case the final assets were not ready yet.
What Went Right
The thing I’m mostly happy about this project is that I immediately managed to become an integral part of the team. I put a lot of tasks on my shoulders but I always managed to deliver what was needed for the project. On top of this, I think the rest of the team really valued my work and contribution, which allowed to create a nice daily working environment.
What Went Wrong
The game was entirely built around the idea of not having to look at the screen while playing the game. After a long period of time in which that seemed to be one of the pillars of the game, the project diverged to a much stronger visual component, which forced a lot of us to rework on a lot of game elements that seemed ready and even final. On top of this, the communication in the team was not great, so I always ended up having to write emails and having to act as a “middle-man” to explain new directions in the design.