AR Language Game – Niantic Lightship Global Jam

Developed while employed at NekoLogic GK

Genre: Location-based AR Game
Platforms: iOS, Android
Timeline: 1 week, for Niantic Lightship Global Jam
Team: 5-person core team + 2 more collaborators
My Role: Game Designer, Lead Artist
Tools: Unity, Lightship ARDK, Firebase, Flask

Highlights:
• Contributed heavily to core mechanics and concept
• Communicated ideas verbally and with concept art and mockups
• Created all in-game graphics and UI designs
• Helped test builds, track bugs, and record process during the jam

Short video about NekoLogic’s team and Kanji Walker’s development during the jam

OVERVIEW

Kanji Walker is a geolocational AR game that combines language learning and exploration. The core gameplay is built around capturing Japanese kanji characters by visiting landmarks, parks, businesses, etc. within real Japanese neighborhoods. When within range of a location you can start scanning, starting a simple puzzle game where you can add a kanji from the name of that neighborhood to your collection. It also introduces players to interesting and historical places in the area, helping make the kanji more memorable with context and encouraging more exploration.

Walker Watch UI Animation Mockups

Linking it all together is the in-game Walker Watch device which displays important functions like the minimap and Kanji Book and serves as an easy-to-understand framing device. We also were able to utilize Lightship ARDK’s semantic segmentation to have scannable locations appear as beacons in the sky, drop location puzzles directly into the environment, and add effects like pixelated skies and clouds to add to immersion. While we were not able to complete all of the gameplay concepts such as player-made structures during the jam time period, I’m proud of what we made and think it could be a great full release, especially with multiplayer features.

DESIGN PROCESS

• Assessed team strengths (such as geolocation experience)
• Researched Lightship functions we could use

• Brainstormed concepts
• Made rough mock ups
• Helped define geolocation data structures

• Feature/asset list
• Bug/feedback sheet
• Made greybox UI based on earlier concepts
•Started testing

• Helped with final submission
•Worked with director to refine mechanics and direction to use in Niantic Ventures application

• Helped with testing and documenting our process
• Added more buttons to expand UI features
• Made animations and effects

• Reassessed priorities
• Pitched watch idea as way to organize UI and metaphor
• Started making final assets

CONCEPT ART & WORK IN PROGRESS

Concept art created by myself in collaboration with Ceren Gunes