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Crunchtime: An Innovative AR Experience at the Iowa State Fair

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Share Post: Introduction VAEZR, a division of Zirous, specializes in developing custom extended reality (XR) experiences. One of our notable projects emerged from the 2023 Iowa State Fair, where...

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Introduction

VAEZR, a division of Zirous, specializes in developing custom extended reality (XR) experiences. One of our notable projects emerged from the 2023 Iowa State Fair, where we were tasked with creating an augmented reality (AR) experience for visitors at the Barksdale Cookie Booth. This project, known as Crunchtime, had several key objectives: to entertain attendees, to align with the fair’s theme while honoring the Barksdale family, and to expand our expertise in XR technologies for entertainment purposes.

Choosing the Right Technology

In the dynamic field of extended reality, selecting the appropriate technology for each project is crucial. For Crunchtime, we opted for AR face-tracking technology due to its accessibility and user-friendly nature on mobile devices. Unlike other tracking methods, such as body-controls or hand-controls, face-controlled games require minimal space and are straightforward to play. The face-tracking system maps a user’s face by placing virtual points, providing valuable data for game development. For instance, the game’s mechanics can detect if a user’s mouth is open by analyzing the distance between their lips.

Accessible WebAR Platform

To ensure easy access for users, we developed Crunchtime as a WebAR experience using the Unity Game Engine and WebGL platform. This approach eliminated the need for users to download a separate application, allowing them to enjoy the game directly through their preferred web browser.

Gameplay Design and Development

Given its setting at the Barksdale Cookie Booth, Crunchtime’s gameplay naturally revolved around eating cookies. To enhance the challenge, we incorporated elements like peppers, which deduct lives, and milk, which acts as a point multiplier. The game’s difficulty increases over time, maintaining user engagement by accelerating the pace and introducing more food items. Our development process was organized using Figma, enabling collaborative design and efficient feedback integration from our clients.

Visual and Interactive Design

Our design team carefully considered various aspects to ensure the game resonated with the fair’s vibrant atmosphere. We selected a playful color scheme of red, blue, and yellow to match Barksdale Cookie branding. Attention to detail extended to the shape of buttons and the animations triggered by user interactions, enhancing the overall user experience.

Educational Elements

To enrich the user experience, we incorporated educational elements about Barksdale Cookies. Upon pausing the game, users can access a list of fun facts highlighting the brand’s rich history. Additionally, these fun facts scroll across the screen during gameplay, providing informative content alongside entertainment.

Experience Crunchtime

Explore Crunchtime at this link: https://www.vaezr.studio/crunchtime

Conclusion

VAEZR leverages cutting-edge technology to create immersive experiences that help clients stand out. Face-controlled games like Crunchtime are an excellent way to draw attention to a business, combining fun and interactivity with the latest in AR technology. These games can be customized to fit any company’s branding and are effective tools for innovative marketing strategies.

By incorporating face-tracking technology and WebAR platforms, VAEZR continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in extended reality, offering unique and engaging solutions for clients across various industries.


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