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  • Results From Game Design Challenge: Location, Location, Location

    - staff

  • Faye Windsor-Smith, QA Tester for Codemasters, Photo Op - The App

    Platform: smartphones/browsers

    This application is designed for photographers, both budding and fully-fledged, to have fun, share, and compete. The idea is to use your smartphone's camera to 'capture' an object, animal, colour, or scene, then upload the images and take part in a friendly contest, rating and commenting on other users' pictures. Geolocation is used both to encourage variation between the images and to create a 'Photo Op App Map'. This will fill up as the app matures, with user-added content creating an interactive map showing photos of locations that players found worthy of a capturing.

    The game can be played with contacts (created through the app or imported from social networks), people from the local area, or many people in a nationwide competition. The latter is monthly and presided over by the creators of the app, the two former are set up by users from a wide range of template challenges. Players' locations would be tracked throughout the game's duration, which is also customisable - a game may range over an hour, a week etc. Only the first uploaded photo in an area of 100 metres will be counted, and players receive warning messages if they are in an area already 'claimed' by another photographer. Players can upload multiple photos, but after the allotted time has expired they must pick one favourite to submit. When taking part in a local or contacts game, players are then required to rate the other players' uploaded photos, giving each between 1 and 5 stars. They have the same amount of time to rate as they were originally given to photograph; if this time expires before a player has voted on all images, any image they have left unscored will automatically receive five stars. In monthly competitions, photos will be uploaded to the application's website for everyone to vote on. The winner is the player whose photo receives the highest average score. Monthly winners receive publicity on the site, and a free print of their photo on a mug, t-shirt etc. A calendar may be compiled for the year's top photos (lending itself nicely to seasonal challenges). Players will have the option to purchase prints and items featuring photos from the app.

    Different modes are used to create long-lasting appeal:

    Visionary: Easily found things/concepts, for example something blue, a plant etc. This mode focuses on both the appeal of the item photographed, and the way in which it is captured.

    Explorer: Slightly harder-to-find things, for example a church, a pond, a statue. This mode focuses on the exploration aspect of the app, getting players out and about.

    Magician: Fantastical or non-existant things, for example a unicorn, a two-headed snake, a sleeping potion etc. This mode is intended to spark creativity and player interpretation, so a unicorn may be photographed by finding a statue of a horse and placing a cone on its head, or a two-headed snake may be taken to be a particularly treacherous road junction!


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