Monsters in the Box is a game developed during and for my Bachelors thesis "Engaging Pedestrians with Media Facades Through Gaming".
The idea of the game is to catch little "Monsters" through a mobile application and to set them free at a media facade. It combines concepts of popular games like "Pokemon" or "Polly Pocket". The game is centered around the idea that small creatures from another dimension accidentally enter our world. Through the mobile application one can catch and see them in 2D. Through the facade application one can set them free and see them in 3D.
The goal of the mobile application is to motivate users to move towards the facade to interact with its content. Users can play the game independently from the facade installation. Through shaking the device and playing mini games they can catch and care for Monsters and make progress to a certain point. For example they can feed the Monsters with different types of food (different Monsters like different kinds of food), cuddle them through a swipe gesture, or clean them on a daily basis. These actions are rewarded with XP (experience points). The more XP a user collects, the more cosmetic changes can be made in the monsters camp, which again can make some Monsters happier and, for a few days, prevent them from leaving. After a time the Monsters become more and more unhappy with their situation and ask the user to set them free at the facade, to motivate him to take part in the facade installation part of the game. The camp is the starting point of the game and the central "room". By tapping on the levers or other objects inside this camp, the user can leave it and enter and explore other rooms where he or she can for example catch new Monsters, food, and other useful items. The bar on the top of the camp screen contains buttons for settings, camp customization, feeding and cleaning. In addition to that one can check his or her progress through the xp bar. If a user decides to visit an instance of the facade installation he or she can flip the application to the "freeing mode" by tapping on the left lever which is blinking if the server is online. An internet connection is necessary. The game will then automatically connect to the facades instance of the game and the user can set his or her Monsters free. This happens in an automatic manner, so the user can concentrate on the facade content.
Users with mobile devices can now take part by setting their monsters free. As this requires help of others they will need to motivate people to join them. So even without a mobile device one can take part in the game. The application itself is a 3D game that runs on the server controlling the facade. Users with the mobile app can connect to it if they stand in front of it to set their monsters free and experience them in 3D for a certain time period. If more than one user is connected to the game at the same time, their Monsters will be set free one after another. The name of the user currently setting his or her monster free is displayed large on the facade, so that he or she can identify his or her Monster. To motivate the users to do so, they will be rewarded in the mobile game.
The media facade part of the game was shown to the public at the art college HBKsaar for a weekend and was a big success.
With the help of 4 MAD students I developed this game during and for my Bachelors thesis "Engaging Pedestrians with Media Facades Through Gaming". One of the main challenges was to create a 3D effect for the users standing in front of the facade. The other group members where mainly responsible for art and animation.
If you want to learn more about this project (for example if you would like to see some code samples or artwork) feel free to read my Bachelors thesis or contact me.