Team: Ann Lei, TzuWen Liu
My Responsibilities: UI and UX Design, Game Concept, Research, and Visual Diagrams
Timeline: 14 Weeks
Software: Photoshop, Illustrator, Unity 3D, Vuforia
Although technology makes our lives more and more convenient, on the contrary, it further the distance between people. From children to teenagers, to adults, almost everyone is addicted to computer, communication, and consumer electronics. This trend especially worsens the grandparent-grandchild relationship in the 21th century. With factors such as language, technology growth, and physical distance, it is harder for grandparents and grandchildren to maintain the relationship.
We started by designing an interactive game, which is easy to understand and play with. We know it would be stressful for elder people to get to know a completely unfamiliar field, so we tried to make the user interface as well as the game be as simple as possible. We want elderly people not to be afraid of technology and think that it could be easy to use.
The technique we applied in this project is Augmented Reality. It is a technique that adds virtual objects to the reality we ordinary see. It increases the feeling as if the user were right in the scene, and make the application more interesting. This game can be played at any time and anywhere.
We used Unity 3D and Vuforia to develop this AR game app. By taking the build-in connection function in Unity creating the one on one game pattern. In the game, there are three kinds of monsters, each monster represents different points, with time limits either to gain points or lose points. By throwing the ball at monsters, while trying to avoid balls from the other player, the game will trick users into moving, which can bring benefits to both the elderly and the young.
From grandparent’s point of view, they want a game that could be easy to play with. Since the purpose of playing the game is only for getting close to their grandchild. A user-friendly interface would be easy for elderly users to remember how the game works. We also made the buttons in the game bigger than buttons usually are. It would be easier to tap on and clearer that doesn’t need to be memorized.
From grandchildren’s point of view, they not only need a game that could improve their relationship with grandparents, but also an interesting game. Hence, we designed three monsters to increase the excitement. Each monster has different purposes and points. With the time limit in the game, they need concentration to win the game.
Since the average age of the world population is growing, it is necessary to develop applications that are appropriate for the elderly, to keep families connected. The characteristic of this study is that it is applicable for both the young and the elderly. It is a game for a wide age range. We tried to simplify the game, and make it a game with not only virtual objects, but also connects with real life. This will help with the prevention and treatment of cognitive disorder to the elderly. As well as increase the diversity for the game.
Reflections & Further considerations
We have taken the app for users, including ages from 6 to 65, to test the usability and functionality. From the result, users can easily understand how the game works. However, some teenagers respond that the game feels a little out of control. If we had more time, we would try to improve the tracking speed, as well as the diversity of the monster.
Another thing we would like to improve is the log in steps. Now the users need to enter the IP address to be in the same game. However, I found that difficult not only for the elderly but for teenagers. We would like to try to let users set up accounts and enter a code to enter the same room.
Thirdly, the visual designs definitely need to be more clear and well-designed. For the buttons in the game now are all simple shapes with texts. I think we could simplify them to illustrations. Since I truly believe "Less is more." is the principle for design.