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What is the future of gaming?

In 2014, Hasbro tasked me with visualizing what the future of gaming might look like based on a year long research project assembled by their consumer insights team.

At the time, the top trends reported were:

  • The exciting future of augmented and mixed reality
  • Wearables, like smart watches and helmet cams
  • Mobile phones were cited as a teenager's most prized possession
  • Always-on games, like Farmville and World of Warcraft

From parents, one of the biggest complaints was that video games were turning their kids into "zombies" -- given the opportunity, kids would sit inside and play a console game all day. If they were told to go outside, they would continue playing games on their mobile device.

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how can we design a pervasive game that encourages time away from the screen?

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Glitch: A mobile game that literally goes viral.

Concept, 2014

Glitch is an augmented reality experience that addresses the challenge of creating a meaningful digital and physical play system by introducing a wearable device that augments digital play.

Like many good games, it stars with an engrossing story: Imagine a universe in which a universal source code has been discovered -- and cracked. The source code is now slowly corrupting, and code has taken a life of its own in the form of Glitches. You have been given a special Decoder that allows you to find these Glitches out in the real world. Pass through an area with a Glitch and your decoder will be infected by it. View and battle the Glitch using your iPhone and try to capture its source code. It's up to you to discover how to fix it the universal source code, or use the glitches to your own advantage.


How do you play Glitch?

  • Players can catch Glitches - digital creatures, and earn MetaBits - valuable in-game currency, by wearing the Glitch decoder throughout the day.
  • The Glitch decoder will randomly generate glitches based on environmental conditions like temperature, brightness, time of day, and step count. When a Glitch is generated, the player may play a simple mini game on the face of the watch for a chance to catch and decode the Glitch. Players are encouraged to be active -- the more steps that your watch registers, the more MetaBits you collect. 
  • Once home, players can scan their Glitch into the app to view in augmented reality, customize, and battle. Players may upgrade their Glitches with new armor and attacks by spending MetaBits, the currency generated by step count. Finally, players can access the Universal Network -- a digital world map where players from around the world can send their Glitches into battle. 
  • The Universal Network is where you encounter other players. Clear 'Corrupted Nodes' on the map by battling from the outside in, until you reach 'Mother Brain', an ongoing live battle with the source of the corruption. Thousands of players participate in the battle to decode the 'Mother Brain', and participating players earn valuable code snippets used for upgrading their Glitch for the next corruption event.
 

Going Viral

Player's decoders can talk to each other via low energy bluetooth. Your Glitch will hop from Decoder to Decoder until it loses a battle!

 Set your Decoder's guardian Glitch -- This is the singular Glitch that will protect your decoder from other malicious Glitches!

Set your Decoder's guardian Glitch -- This is the singular Glitch that will protect your decoder from other malicious Glitches!

 Pass by another player and your Glitches will automatically battle. A winner is determined through a comparison of stats and chance. The winning Glitch will duplicate itself onto the loser's Decoder, giving it a chance to infect even more decoders.

Pass by another player and your Glitches will automatically battle. A winner is determined through a comparison of stats and chance. The winning Glitch will duplicate itself onto the loser's Decoder, giving it a chance to infect even more decoders.

 Your glitch will continue to battle until all instances of its code have been defeated. You can keep up with it's progress in the app, and you'll score MetaBits the longer it remains in battle hopping from Decoder to Decoder!

Your glitch will continue to battle until all instances of its code have been defeated. You can keep up with it's progress in the app, and you'll score MetaBits the longer it remains in battle hopping from Decoder to Decoder!


Mockup screens