Xploro
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Xploro

by benskinner on 31 May 2019 for Rookie Awards 2019

Xploro is an educational history game for iOS, which brings together mobile AR technology and spatial multiplayer game-play mechanics in a fun and and interesting way designed for children aged 8-12. Think of the experience as "Where's Wally?" meets "Carmen Sandiego". . . Team members: Ailisha Sabalburo, Alexis O'Connor, Benjamin Read, Benjamin Skinner, Calum Anderson, Chana Corna, Chloe Barson, Conor Stack, Fengyuan Xi, Hamish Lawler, Illia Statkevych, Jemima Blackman, Jessica Lubbe, Jorge Arturo Hernandez Ruiz, Luke Avis, Mathilde de Bretteville, Matina Akes, Miriam Bowie-Johnson, Monica Stringer, Muhammad Muzammil, Nicole Goh, Philip Billones, Samantha Chui, Sarah Hoskins, Siraphob Suttidaechanai, Wen Tan & Xuan Jiang

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Xploro is an educational game for iOS which combines augmented reality (AR) technology and spatial computing multi-user game-play mechanics to help make learning collaborative and fun.

Xploro was created to fill a gap in primary school education, focusing on Australian primary school curriculum. Our research showed that children aged 8-12 would be taught predominantly about local history, not extending to global historical events. We felt there was a need to expand their historical knowledge in a fun, playful and collaborative way, using the latest and greatest tech for familiar consumer devices.

Xploro is one of the final projects for the UTS Animal Logic Academy (UTS ALA) 2018 cohort. It was developed into a full experience over 14 weeks, with 25 masters students involved. The development allowed students to apply their film based CGI processes to emerging real-time technologies and practices in an innovative way.

It started as a self-imposed challenge to combine AR, mobile hardware and multiplayer games, exploring collaborative spatial mapping and multi-user experiences. After winning an internal pitch, a goal was set to successfully submit the application to the online app store for the world to see. During the course of the project, the cohort was presented with not only the challenge of having 25 junior artists working together to create a market ready application, but the development experience tested them to apply film based CGI processes to emerging real-time workflow. Whilst a big mindset shift in design thinking and digital content creation challenged students, it also ultimately showed the keys to successfully transfer these processes and skill sets to a rapid changing and agile workflow, which is expected when developing experiences for the real time space.

Xploro was built with Unreal Engine 4.20 and has been developed for iOS12 and ARKit 2. A mixture of C++ code and UE4 Blueprints have been used to develop a mobile networked augmented reality experience. A combination of Windows, Mac, and Linux workstations have been used during the development period. Xploro has been made using a mixture of the agile SCRUM methodologies, as well as continuous play-testing, and has prioritised weekly testing and transparent clear project development. Xploro also uses photogrammertry of real life artefacts, donated from leading archival institutions such as The British Museum and Swedish History Museum, as educational components that the users unlock and study alongside educational content that is rewritten for primary school children.

For more about the project please visit https://animallogicacademy.uts.edu.au/xploro/ to download the application (free), user instructions, how to videos, and enjoy this unique experience.

Thank you.


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