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.

The Keeper of Paintings launches at The National Gallery

Children and Augmented Reality Characters in the National Gallery

The Keeper of Paintings and the Palette of Perception, the free mobile-based immersive game set at The National Gallery in London, has officially launched to the public.

The AR app is the first of its kind launched by The National Gallery, and has been created with the help of over 80 children.

Having been selected as winners of the StoryFutures China Storylab commission in early 2021, the launch is the culmination of a year-long project by the Arcade team, working in collaboration with The National Gallery, StoryFutures and a wider partnership group including Royal Holloway University of London and Brunel University of London.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF THE KEEPERS

This child-led experience takes place in the National Gallery, London but also, through augmented reality, a wider imagined world of Keepers where a group of magical beings who help care for some of our world’s most precious objects. 

Young Gallery visitors are asked to help guide a fictitious Keeper of Paintings to find a lost ‘Palette of Perception’ – a magical object with special gems that gives them ‘powers’ – to engage with the paintings digitally. As they move through the Gallery responding to the app’s story, a new digital world is revealed where visitors can solve puzzles, find hidden secrets, and collect the gems connected to the paintings.

The app is designed to be fun and rewarding for children and their families, but its primary goal is to foster interest and engagement with the Gallery’s masterpieces. The challenges within the game all require the kids to explore the art with their eyes, and include regular breaks in which they are prompted to put the phones away and chat about the paintings with their friends and family.

The cleverness of the app design is that the rewards only come via close study [of the paintings] with the naked eye.

The Sunday Times
Video afspelen

Jon Meggitt, Co‐Founder of Arcade and lead developer, says: ‘We were absolutely thrilled to win the opportunity to develop this experience in partnership with this special and talented group, but working alongside StoryFutures, the National Gallery, the wonderful kids of the Children’s Advisory Group and all the other partners has exceeded every one of our expectations.’

Lawrence Chiles, Head of Digital at the National Gallery, London, says: ‘It’s fantastic that we are able to launch our first dedicated app for children that creates a new perspective on the paintings at the National Gallery. Arcade, the children and all the partners involved have created something really magical.’

Professor James Bennett, Director of StoryFutures at Royal Holloway, University of London, says: ‘The National Gallery and Arcade have taken on a massive innovation challenge. This project shows what can be achieved in linking great storytelling with innovative new immersive technologies. Perhaps the most exciting thing is that the story of The Keeper of Paintings has only just begun.’

DOWNLOAD TODAY

The Keeper of Paintings and the Palette of Perception is designed for 7-11 year olds, will run at The National Gallery for at least 12 months, and can be downloaded for free on the Apple and Google stores now.

To plan your visit to The National Gallery, please visit www.nationalgallery.org.uk/keeper

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

Testers Wanted! Keeper of Paintings goes into Beta at the National Gallery

The Keeper of Paintings and the Palette of Perception, the new immersive game set at The National Gallery in London, is being Beta-tested by children and their families throughout the half-term week, February 12th-20th.

This is the last major milestone before the full public launch of the experience at Easter, and is the result of nearly a year of development by the Arcade team, working in collaboration with The National Gallery, StoryFutures and a wider partnership group including Royal Holloway University of London, Brunel University of London and Foremost.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

If you are a parent or carer of 7-11 year old children and would enjoy spending an hour or so having fun playing together in the iconic surrounds of The National Gallery, click the image or link to sign up!

ABOUT THE KEEPER OF PAINTINGS

Step into a hidden world of art and magic at The National Gallery. Have you got what it takes to help the Keeper of Paintings and find the lost Palette of Perception? The Keeper of Paintings and the Palette of Perception is a free mobile-based immersive adventure that encourages children to explore one of the world’s most iconic galleries and learn about some of the greatest artworks ever created. The child-led experience takes place in the physical world of the National Gallery but also – through the magic of augmented reality – in the fictional storyworld of the Keepers, a mysterious group of magical beings who watch over some of our world’s most precious treasures. Suitable for ages 7-11. Families participating in the Beta testing will help to shape the final experience due to launch at Easter, and will receive an Amazon voucher in thanks for their time.

A Vixen’s Tale launches!

Welsh National Opera Vixen Teaser Image

Arcade is delighted to bring augmented reality to opera with A Vixen’s Tale, a mixed physical and digital experience designed to immerse opera-goers new and old in the story of Leoš Janáček’s iconic The Cunning Little Vixen. The work was commissioned by Welsh National Opera (WNO), and launched at WNO’s Explore Opera Day on October 5th at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

A Vixen’s Tale is a free experience that invites visitors of all ages to step into the world of The Cunning Little Vixen, where they can use augmented reality to experience a hidden world of enchanting narratives. Through playful interactions, immersive illustrations and an arresting soundscape set across five physical arches, visitors will walk with the opera’s Vixen and experience her story for themselves.


A Vixen’s Tale will run until November 3rd, with plans for it to tour nationally and internationally throughout 2020.

Roxy the Ranger: The story behind the world’s first AR chatbot in a visitor attraction

SEA LIFE Junior Ranger AR Poster
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To get in touch, contact us at contact@arcade.ltd

 

"Bij Arcade draait alles om het leggen van betekenisvolle verbindingen tussen mensen en plaatsen"

It starts with strategy: Roxy was created for the London Aquarium by Arcade, to amplify SEA LIFE’s ‘Amazing Discovery’ essence, which is all about fun, interactive learning.

Augmented reality is de perfecte technologie voor een uitdaging als deze, omdat het een uniek vermogen heeft om tot de verbeelding te spreken, vooral als het spaarzaam in plaats van hardnekkig wordt gebruikt. Het toont ons werelden, plaatsen, objecten - of, in dit geval, karakters - die voor het blote oog verborgen zijn, maar zelfs als het apparaat verdwijnt en Roxy uit het zicht verdwijnt, blijft ze in onze verbeelding volharden. We kunnen haar misschien niet zien, maar we weten dat ze in de buurt is. Als gevolg hiervan wordt onze relatie met het aquarium en de wezens binnenin getransformeerd en radicaal verdiept.

“It’s important that AR is used to enhance experiences, not replace them”

Roxy is beschikbaar via een gratis app en helpt SEA LIFE-bezoekers, vooral gezinnen met kinderen van 4-10 jaar, om meer te begrijpen over de wezens die ze zien door ze te entertainen, te onderwijzen en te belonen door middel van een reeks boeiende uitdagingen. Kinderen kunnen met Roxy chatten en haar verschillende vaartuigen besturen (inclusief een straalachtige onderzeeër en vliegmachine), en worden aangemoedigd om hun volwassenen te ondervragen over de feiten die ze gaandeweg hebben geleerd. Roxy beloont ze met Ranger-kaarten en aan het einde van de ervaring worden ze volwaardige Junior Rangers!

Critically, the AR experience is designed to amplify the connection between visitors and the aquarium. In between challenges, visitors are encouraged to explore the space without Roxy’s help, creating a virtuous circle of engagement between the physical experience and the digital one.

“It is was really important to have a character, so there was something in the space for kids to see and interact with”

Roxy speelt de rol van een SEA LIFE-curator of aquariaan, en was ingewikkeld ontworpen om zo geloofwaardig mogelijk te zijn, terwijl hij ook een schattig, geanimeerd karakter omarmde om jonge bezoekers aan te spreken. Het was belangrijk om haar het gevoel te geven dat ze dynamisch betrokken was bij de wereld van het aquarium, waar haar voertuigen binnenkomen - waardoor kinderen met haar mee de tanks in konden gaan en een gevoel van gedeelde ontdekking kregen.

"Het verhoogde het niveau van betrokkenheid, het verhoogde het niveau van plezier, het verhoogde de mate van interactiviteit"

 De impact van de ervaring, zoals gevalideerd door twee onafhankelijke onderzoeken, was fenomenaal. Vanuit een zakelijk perspectief werd ‘verblijftijd’ in het begin als een belangrijke maatstaf beschouwd, met als doel deze met 10% te verhogen; Uit onderzoeken bleek dat bezoekers die de app gebruikten gemiddeld 25% langer in het aquarium doorbrachten dan bezoekers zonder, met dramatisch hogere tevredenheidsscores en toegenomen 'waar voor hun geld' gevoel tijdens hun SEA LIFE-ervaring.

Net zo belangrijk, zo niet meer, uitten zowel kinderen als ouders hun opwinding en vreugde over hun interacties met Roxy. Vooral ouders waardeerden het educatieve voordeel en waardeerden de manier waarop hun kinderen de tijd namen om met Roxy en de zeedieren zelf om te gaan. 

"Werken met Arcade was ongelooflijk. Ze zijn goed bereikbaar, zo deskundig, zo meegaand, zo leuk om mee te werken. Ik zou op ieder project, elke dag en overal weer met ze samenwerken." – Rita Marcal, Global Senior Brand Manager, SEA LIFE.

5 principles for responsible AR to address screen time phobia

Augmented reality and the great screen debate

Screen time. We hear a lot about it, almost exclusively in the context of how best to limit it. A small but growing number of resorts, restaurants and other visitor destinations are making the news for offering incentives to customers who lock their phones away, more and more apps are designed to help us (and our kids) spend more time screen-free, and Apple has even launched a built-in screen time limiter with iOS 12. All of which throws more fuel onto the good tech / bad tech fire – and the debate continues to rage.

As practitioners in augmented reality, we are challenged regularly about mobile screen time by concerned clients: “but I want my kids to use screens less, not more” or, “won’t this just make people walk around with their screens in front of their face all the time?”

These are fair challenges, and the immersive technology industry – especially those of us focusing on the mobile side of things – needs to take them seriously. It’s not enough to wave them away with platitudes about how engaging, entertaining and rewarding the experiences are. The truth is, in a world of mounting concern about digital addiction and the antisocial behaviours mobile devices can foster, it doesn’t matter how great an immersive experience is; if it means promoting more time glued to our screens we are only going to encounter more resistance.

Instead, we have to play our part in reassuring society that the innovative, engaging experiences we create have a positive impact on how we engage with the screens in our pockets. Responsible, socially-aware design and development is key, which is why we at Arcade believe in a set of principles that help us achieve just that:

Windows, not screens

To us, your device is a magic window onto an invisible world. The content is not in your phone, it is in the physical environment beyond your phone. Our experiences are designed to make the device as unobtrusive as possible – something to be looked through, not at.

Heads up

Most mobile content is viewed ‘head-down’ – neck and eyes extended downwards, device pointing towards the floor. Our augmented experiences raise the gaze and reacquaint you with the world around you, at eye-level.

Put it away

We design narrative-led, connected experiences that create a virtuous circle of engagement between the physical and digital worlds, which don’t rely on your device throughout. A specific location triggers a digital experience and, when it is complete, your phone goes away again until you reach the next one.

Healthier habits

Mobile usage is not created equal. Immersive experiences like ours are designed to positively shift people’s usage patterns, substituting those that isolate them from the physical world to those which meaningfully engage them in it.

Primacy of place

Lastly, Arcade was founded on a fundamental belief in the importance of place in the digital age; augmented reality is simply the tool we use to foster a deeper connection with, and appreciation of, the world around us. The physical environment drives the technology, not the other way around.

By adhering to these principles, we at Arcade – and the immersive tech industry as a whole – can respond to the challenges that are coming our way with confidence and conviction, that locking phones away isn’t the answer; making them part of our healthy engagement with the world around us is the key.

#augmentedreality #screentime #playableplaces #arcade