Arcade selected to build experience for the real-world metaverse with Niantic

The Arcade team is over the moon to announce that we are one of three immersive studios selected to build new experiences for the real-world metaverse by Niantic en Digital Catapult.

Having been shortlisted several months ago, we poured all of our creative and technical know-how into a concept we were incredibly proud of, and pitched to the Niantic and Digital Catapult teams at the end of August.

It was an anxious wait, as the prize was an incredible opportunity to partner with Niantic, the world’s leading voice in the consumer-facing augmented reality space, and use their new Lightship platform to push the boundaries of mobile immersive experience. The news came through a few weeks ago but we are finally able to reveal to the world that we won, and we couldn’t be happier!

We are in excellent company alongside No Ghost en Mobile Pie, each studio taking on a different challenge. No Ghost will be working with Studio Wayne McGregor to build a demonstrator that empowers self-expression through movement. Mobile Pie will be extending Cartoon Network’s highly successful mobile game ToonCup into the real world. And we will be working directly with Niantic to develop a digital experience designed to bring people back to the high street.

The prize was a chance to partner with Niantic, creators of Pokemon GO

BAZAAR

Our concept’s working title is Bazaar. It is a digital game with real world rewards, centred around the UK’s thousands of high streets, with a goal of motivating millennial and Gen-Z audiences to re-engage with bricks-and-mortar retail environments.

Bazaar imagines a world in which there is more to High Streets than meets the eye. They are special, important places, connected by an ancient magical network. But the magic has started to seep out into the world, and it is up to us to find and return the ‘drops’ to the shops that need their power. Find enough, and reunite them with the shops they came from, and the owners will show their gratitude in the form of free goods, discounts and other rewards.

High Streets are connected by an ancient magical network - will you find and return the drops that have seeped out into the world?

The first step for all three studios commissioned by this Digital Catapult accelerator is to produce a ‘demonstrator’ – a non-public app that allows test audiences to experience the core gameplay elements of our respective concepts. These will land in early 2023 and could, if everything goes well, pave the way for further phases of development.

But whatever awaits for Bazaar, the next few months ought to be pretty special. Watch this space – and your local high street – for more news soon!

Read the full press release hier, and get in touch with the team if you want to learn more about the real-world metaverse.

Alone Together to demo at Belfast XR Festival

Alone Together has been selected as one of ten stories and experiences to display at the inaugural Belfast XR Festival on Wednesday 9th November.

We are thrilled to be joining some of the world’s leading immersive talents as we present the results of one of our most exciting, creative and innovative partnerships to date with the incomparable Dustin HarveyKoumbie en Taylor Olson.

Alone Together is an experiment in episodic immersive drama. It uses advanced AI, voice recognition and cutting edge hologram production to depict a near future in which audiences are cast as a rented family member, procured to help their hosts deal with the challenges of everyday life including guilt, anxiety and loss.

Try it yourself at Belfast XR Festival, or get in touch with the team to find out more.

Belfast XR Festival is part of the Belfast Film Festival which runs from 3 to 12 November 2022.

Tickets available hier.

Meet Dan!

The wonderful and alliterative Dan Dawkins joined Arcade earlier this year after impressing during his very successful internship.

To mark his first three months with the agency, Emma sat down with Dan to ask him about his journey to and with Arcade, what he is aiming to achieve in future, and any tips for anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps.

If you’ve got any questions for Dan, hit him up at dan@arcade.ltd. Arcade is always on the lookout for bright, talented, creative people, so if you’re interested in joining Dan and the rest of the agency, drop a note to careers@arcade.ltd.

The Hundred Cricket Attax Cards Brought To Life In AR

Many of us remember fondly the thrill of opening a new pack of stickers or cards, seeing which sporting heroes we had picked up this time. Got. Got. Need! Ooh, a shiny!

But how awesome would it have been for those players to leap up out of the cards and show off their skills right in front of us? Well, now they can!

A NEW KIND OF COLLECTIBLE

The world of collectible cards took leap into the future with the release of this year’s Topps Cricket Attax, a set of cards featuring all the superstars from The Hundred, cricket’s newest and most exciting competition.

Not only could fans build up their collection of players from all the teams, they could also see many of them leap up out of the cards and show off their signature skills in magical WebAR!

By simply scanning the QR code on the back of the limited edition cards, fans could open a special web page using just their mobile browser, and point their device at the card to unlock the player as a 3D avatar.

Enjoy watching the player show what makes them so special, pause or slow down the motions to get a unrivalled view of their techniques, and take a photo or video to keep and share.

MEET THE PLAYERS

Topps Cricket Attax AR was built on WebAR platform 8th Wall to complement ‘Meet The Players’, the ground-breaking AR experience that lets fans get even closer to the avatars via the Sky Sports and The Hundred apps.

Users can enjoy a whole variety of skills and even step through portals to visit the players’ home grounds! Learn more about Meet the Players, including the motion capture and avatar creation process hier.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WEB AR, GET IN TOUCH

Arcade Shortlisted for Niantic Lightship AR Accelerator

Niantic Lightship

Arcade is very pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted as one of eight immersive studios invited to develop and pitch game-changing immersive experiences, in the hope of being offered a place on the Augmented Reality Accelerator run by Digital Catapult and powered by Niantic Lightship.

An open call by Digital Catapult and Niantic Labs – creator of some of the most famous AR experiences in the world, including Pokémon GO – was announced earlier this year, inviting creators from across the immersive sector in the UK to develop new ways of demonstrating Niantic’s vision of the ‘real world metaverse’, using the cutting edge features of their new platform, Lightship.

Of the three challenges on offer, we chose to apply for ‘Retail and the Future of the High Street’, a fascinating and complex opportunity to drive real change for one of the sectors that needs it the most.

A challenging six weeks lie ahead, in which we will hone and polish – and potentially tear apart – our concept before pitching to a panel from Digital Catapult and Niantic in late August. The prize on offer is the funding for a demonstrator experience, and the chance to collaborate with some of the leading players in the global AR landscape.

Wish us luck!

Concept art for Niantic Lightship

National Gallery Launches on Roblox

Keeper Council is a free, family-friendly game for Roblox inspired by The Keeper of Paintings augmented reality experience at The National Gallery in London.

Designed to offer 7-11 year olds a way to engage with the World of Keepers even if they are not at the Gallery, Keeper Council is a combined ‘tycoon’ and ‘obby’ Roblox game that invites kids to explore the magical crossroads where Keepers from all over the world meet up to hone their skills and catch up on all the latest Keeper goss.

Players are challenged to adventure through the mystical Keeper Council world, meeting different Keepers, completing their quests and being rewarded with masterpieces from The National Gallery so they can build their very own collection.

Like the Keeper of Paintings game itself, Keeper Council was developed in collaboration with a diverse set of young audiences, with over 80 children helping the Arcade team to create a game that met their very high standards!

Keeper Council represents an exciting new approach to engaging children for the Gallery and a first for the entire sector on Roblox, which was selected as the ideal platform to develop a game for remote audiences given its near-universal familiarity amongst the target age group.

"The result is a truly innovative experience that young people will love, whether they’ve been to The National Gallery before or not."
Professor James Bennett
Director of StoryFutures
"The way the project has evolved with the children through the design process is really special."
Lawrence Chiles
Head of Digital, The National Gallery
"We are grateful to the Gallery for letting us set this new benchmark in cultural engagement with them. We can't wait for families to meet the Keeper Council and get playing!"
Jon Meggitt
Jon Meggitt
Co-Founder, Arcade

Keeper Council and The Keeper of Paintings were commissioned by The National Gallery and StoryFutures, Royal Holloway, University of London, as part of StoryFutures China, a research and development project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). StoryFutures China is led by Brunel Design School, Brunel University London.

Read the full press release and coverage on The National Gallery website hier.

The game is free to play and currently available on desktop and laptop on Roblox hier.

Game. Set. Snap! at Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu, star of our AR magic mirror experience at Wimbledon

A fantastic couple of weeks of sport came to an end on Sunday 10th July, but not before thousands of Wimbledon visitors got the chance to have their photo taken with superstar HSBC Global Ambassadors Emma Raducanu and Tim Henman!

Well ok, not actually with them, but the next best thing – an AR pic next to a virtual version of these tennis heroes.

This activation was developed for HSBC, a partner of The Championships, Wimbledon. In collaboration with CSM Sports and Entertainment, ‘Game, Set, Snap’ was installed at two Wimbledon fan zones for the duration of the two-week tournament.

The experience uses ‘magic mirror’ techniques, employing a combination of touchscreen, 4K camera, media player and 2D chroma key holograms to create the effect. Each session also generates a unique URL which users can access via QR code, with a simple web interface and backend allowing fans to download and share their images privately and securely.

Although crowd favourite Emma was eliminated early, the good news for fans was that they could still meet her in a shot of their choice, and walk away with a souvenir photo to share with the friends and family.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IMMERSIVE FAN ENGAGEMENT, GET IN TOUCH

Meet Arcade at CogX 2022

Arcade is pleased to announce that we have been invited to take part in CogX 2022, with co-founder and CSO Alex Book participating in a panel discussion led by Digital Catapult on Wednesday 15th June at 9am in Kings Cross.

Having been named as ‘Ones to Watch’ by CogX in 2019 and 2020, it is an honour to be joining the festival – and London Tech Week in general – as a contributor in 2022.

Alex will be on a panel chaired by Jeremy Silver, CEO at Digital Catapult, alongside Suhair Khan, Chair, Studio Wayne McGregor, and Ben Timmons, Director of Business Development at Qualcomm Europe.

If you would like to attend, CogX have kindly offered complimentary passes to Arcade’s network. Simply visit the booking page hier and enter promo code COGX2022SPEAKER1.

Alex Book Presenting at Createch
Alex Book presenting at CogX in 2019

Second Keeper Adventure Launches at NPL

Keeper of Measurements AR app

The Keeper of Measurements: Metric Mayhem has launched today at the National Physical Laboratory as part of their World Metrology Day celebrations.

Visitors to the NPL’s open day will be able to explore the astonishing science that is carried out across its labs in Teddington, and embark on an adventure to help the Keeper of Measurements rescue the SI Bots that have been captured by the dastardly Croakers.

THE KEEPER STORYWORLD

The World of the Keepers is a liminal space that exists alongside our own. Overlaid, intertwined but rarely seen by human eyes. Home to the mysterious guardians of our world’s most important cultural collections and sources of knowledge.

The National Physical Laboratory’s Keeper of Measurements is one such guardian. With absolute mastery of the SI, the seven major units that measure mass, length, time, current, temperature, substance and luminosity, the Keeper of Measurements is unrivalled in this realm.

But the Keepers are not alone in their power. The shadowy legion of Croakers are intent on creating chaos and discord, disrupting the equilibrium that the Keepers work so hard to preserve.

The Keeper of Measurements is beyond even the Croakers’ abilities, but the SI-Bots, each created to serve the Keeper of Measurements, are not so strong. The Croakers saw their chance and took it, abducting the seven Si-Bots and imprisoning them around the National Physical Laboratory!

Weakened by the loss of the SI-Bots, the Keeper of Measurements needs your help to restore their power by finding the Bots and thwarting the dastardly Croakers.

Join the Keeper of Measurements on a magical quest at the National Physical Laboratory. Have you got what it takes to rescue the SI-Bots from the shadowy Croakers and save World Metrology Day?

The Keeper of Measurements is the second Keepers adventure, following The Keeper of Paintings and the Palette of Perception which launched at The National Gallery earlier this year.

More Keepers stories are planned with other cultural institutions. If you’re interested in creating your own Keeper experience, please kom in contact.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE KEEPER OF MEASUREMENTS OR TO TALK TO THE TEAM, GET IN TOUCH

#BreakTheBias this International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, we asked our social AR guru Abbie Peach to magic up a Snap Lens that offers a way for people everywhere to show their support.

The theme of this IWD is ‘Break The Bias’. A simple gesture – crossing your hands – can be a powerful statement on gender equality, and one to which everyone at Arcade is fully committed.

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

Abbie, with design support from the wonderful Dani Verburg en Zach Thompson-Howley, put together this brilliant Lens. Will you show your support and help #BreakTheBias?

Scan the Snapcode below, or tap hier to access the Lens.

Arcade is an official Snap Lens Partner

Get in touch to see how Social Media AR could help you