WHERE'S

2015, personal project | Game Design

"Where's" is an Android game I'm currently developing with a friend. The game is a social game in which friends can challenge each other and check their orientation by asking them to point in the direction of different countries, based on their current location. The user has 5 seconds to point with his device to the right direction and if he is wrong, we show him the right direction. 

I'm currently working on the visual design, interaction design, motion and the whole user experience and we are preparing for the release of the first "designed" version.

The main design challenges I was facing are first, making the user understand how to play and how to use his phone in a way that is not trivial. We are used to interact with the screen and here, we point with the phone itself, like some kind of compass. 

The second challenge is to bring in the added value of both improving peoples orientation in their environment and also improve their geographic knowledge. 

Follow us and download the app to see it grow.          https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zca.wheres

 

How to play Where's? In this screen we teach the user how to play the game. We are used to interact with our screens by touch and therefore it is not trivial to explain to the user that here you play by moving the device itself. I wanted to create an explanation that feels like you are already playing. No need for reading long explanations, just learn it by doing it. The user is asked to tilt his phone just like in the illustration shown. Once he tilts the phone to some random direction, we tell him to which country is he pointing right now, so it is a completely customised and surprising experience. 

 
  Animated intro screen. The world illustration is spinning while the pointing hand stays still, pointed at different places, according to the globe's rotation. 

Animated intro screen. The world illustration is spinning while the pointing hand stays still, pointed at different places, according to the globe's rotation. 

Menu screen - the user can play alone or challenge a friend by choosing the country he will be asked to point at.

Play screen - the user has 5 seconds to point to the right direction. The hand stays still while the circle is rotating like a compass according to the movements. 

The main challenge behind the experience of the game was to give the user the feeling that something is happening when he is pointing at different direction. My first sketches were of different kind of hands and playful ideas around the element of pointing. As I tried to actually play with this design, I realised that except for the numbers count down, while I'm playing, there is actually no indication that something is happening as I move my device. The solution came from the very essence of the game. Since the game a combination between a map and a compass, I used the very mechanism of the compass to show the movement, only here there is a pointing hand instead of an arrow.   

 
  One of the first sketches

One of the first sketches