Keeper Council 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 here.

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

Keeper of Paintings Nominated for an Auggie

Auggir Awards logo (AR Awards)

Just a couple of weeks after its launch at The National Gallery in London, The Keeper of Paintings and the Palette of Perception has received its first award nomination. The immersive game created for, and in collaboration with, 7-11 year olds and their families is up for ‘Best in Location-Based Entertainment’ at the prestigious Auggies, run by AWE.

Voting is open to the public until May 5th, and you can register here to vote for The Keeper of Paintings and any of the other incredible immersive experiences across 15 categories.

Find out more about The Keeper of Paintings here, and book your ticket to play the game for free at The National Gallery here!

Children and Augmented Reality Characters in the National Gallery

Get in touch to find out more

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
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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

Old Operating Theatre Goes Immersive

AR hologram of doctor

The Old Operating Theatre, as Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre, has some astonishing stories to tell. Standing in the space, you can almost hear the echoes of 19th century surgeons carrying out amputations with no anaesthetic as dozens of smoking students shouted their approval or concern.

The museum is open to the public near London Bridge and offers a chance to step back through history – but now gives visitors an opportunity to hear these stories from one of the surgeons themselves, thanks to the magic of augmented reality.

Visitors to the Old Op can use an app to meet Mr Benjamin Travers, a renowned British surgeon who was appointed as lead demonstrator at Old St Thomas’ Hospital and was in charge when the women’s operating theatre was created.

Mr Travers appears as an AR hologram and welcomes visitors to the operating theatre, assuming them to be medical students late for his latest class. Across three short interactions he explains the surgery of Mrs Elizabeth Raigen, a patient whose injuries required her leg to be amputated below the knee, a procedure described at the time in The Lancet, one of the oldest medical journals in the world. Hear all about this fascinating – if slightly gruesome – surgery, from the surgeon himself!

Mr Travers augmented reality experience is live at The Old Operating Theatre now, and is free with admission. Book your museum ticket here.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT AUGMENTED REALITY FOR ARTS & CULTURE 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.

Munch Named As Finalist In Digital Catapult Awards

We are thrilled that MunchMunch, the immersive arts platform for schools, has been nominated as one of three finalists in the ‘Responsible & Ethical Tech Pioneer’ category at the Digital Catapult Awards 2021.

Digital Catapult is the UK’s leading advanced digital technology centre, and one of the loudest and most important voices in supporting and promoting the UK tech industry. They identified Arcade as a future leader as early as 2018, appointing us to their Augmentor programme that year, and have continued to be supportive advocates for us and the entire immersive landscape in the UK.

In early 2020 we were invited to pitch for an incredibly exciting project in which the winning SME would partner with Digital Catapult and Norway’s Munch Museum to create a new immersive tool for schools inspired by the works and artistic philosophies of iconic artist Edvard Munch.

The result was MunchMunch, a fun, exciting creative platform designed for kids aged 7-11 to express themselves in entirely new ways. With MunchMunch, they can take their creations from 2D paper into 3D augmented reality and engage with the physical spaces around them in ways that, we think, Edvard Munch himself would have approved.

The awards ceremony is on November 17th, and you can find out more about the Digital Catapult Awards here.

Read The Case Study

Get Up Close To The Hundred Superstars In AR!

CRICKET GOES IMMERSIVE

The Hundred is a brand new cricket tournament bringing speed, excitement and innovation to England’s summer sport. In partnership with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Sky Sports and Dimension Studio, the Arcade team has been working feverishly for the past few months on creating a world-first in sports fan engagement: augmented reality avatars of The Hundred players that audiences can bring into their homes, gardens or anywhere else they want.

Fans can see their heroes batting, bowling, wicket-keeping and even recreating iconic moments from cricket history, with more players being added throughout the month-long tournament.

The ‘Meet The Players’ experience is available in three different places – The Hundred app, the Sky Sports app and via 8th Wall WebAR – and gives a glimpse of the future of sports engagement.

To learn more about immersive tech in sports

MunchMunch added to Digital Catapult Success Stories

MunchMunch, the fun, innovative creativity tool that celebrates the artistic philosophies of Edvard Munch, was developed by Arcade in partnership with MUNCH and Digital Catapult. Ahead of its launch later this year, Digital Catapult – the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre – has added a comprehensive case study to its ‘Success Stories’ pages.

Read the case study here, or to find out more and see what immersive technologies can do for you, please get in touch.

IWM DUXFORD’S OBSERVER CORPS VR EXPERIENCE LAUNCHES!

IWM Duxford's Observer Corps VR Experience has launched to commemorate the Battle of Britain's 80th anniversary

Would you have had what it took to protect the few?

This is the question being asked of people around the country – and the world – ahead of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. ‘The few’, so famously referenced by Sir Winston Churchill in his iconic speech, are of course the brave pilots of the RAF who risked so much to protect the country from invasion.

But they could not have succeeded without knowing what they were up against. Early warnings of incoming Luftwaffe raids – how many aircraft, what type, where and headed in which direction – provided the critical information that made RAF Fighter Command’s speedy response possible. This vital job fell not to seasoned military veterans, but to the civilian volunteers of the Observer Corps.

Now the Observer Corps Experience, created by Arcade for IWM Duxford, allows the public to get a glimpse of what it might have been like to bear this heavy responsibility.

Using a mobile VR web app, we invite users to step back in time to September 15th, 1940. This momentous day is now seen as the climax of the Battle of Britain, with the increasingly desperate Luftwaffe launching its heaviest attacks against the British mainland throughout the day, and it was up to the Observer Corps to spot incoming raids and relay the information to RAF Fighter Command as quickly and accurately as possible.

Watch the incredible archive and re-enacted footage, then grab your binoculars and do your job to protect the ‘Few’. Follow the link or QR code below to step into the shoes of the brave men and women of the Observer Corps.

On mobile? Cick here to launch the experience. On desktop? Point your phone camera at the QR code below.

If you enjoy the experience, or want to find out more, then why not head to IWM Duxford? It is fully re-opened, with extensive measures in place to keep visitors safe. Book your tickets here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford

Arcade x Kielder: Connecting People To Nature and the Universe

We are very proud to announce that Arcade has been awarded two separate projects in partnership with Digital Catapult North East & Tees Valley, both centred around one of the largest and most impressive natural environments in the UK, Kielder Water & Forest Park.

Guardians of Kielder

The first project is with Kielder’s Development Trust, creating a new way for diverse audiences to connect with this incredible natural space. ‘Guardians of Kielder’ is a prototype app designed to invite people to engage with Kielder via immersive AR and VR technologies. Starting from a three-dimensional map of the 650km2 park that can be placed on a floor or table-top, users can explore Kielder and discover its rich history as well as its role as a diverse, living habitat for wildlife and human activity today.

Most importantly, users are invited to become Guardians. For a small donation, they can effectively adopt a parcel of Kielder land which they can then visit virtually from wherever they are in the world, and make it their own. The result is a meaningful sense of connection and belonging, and a new, rewarding relationship with this important natural environment.

Kielder Nights

The second project is with one of Kielder’s most illustrious residents, the Kielder Observatory. Northumberland National Dark Sky Park, as the area has been designated, is the largest Gold Tier Dark Sky Park area of protected night sky in Europe – and the observatory sits at the heart of this astonishing space.

Their objective is to explore ways to take the ‘Kielder Moment’ – the unique, awe-inspiring feeling of looking up at a pollution-free night sky full of billions of stars – out to more people than could ever physically visit in person. ‘Kielder Nights’ is an app that will allow audiences to place a Kielder Mini Observatory wherever they are, and then step inside for that inspirational view of a Kielder night sky. A Kielder astronomer will introduce them to some of the most fascinating celestial objects on show, and invite them to explore these galaxies and nebulas in immersive three-dimensional space.

Guardians of Kielder and Kielder Nights are both funded at prototype stage by the North East Social Tech Fund, run by Digital Catapult North East & Tees Valley. Both projects will be launched for testing later this year.

To find out more about Kielder Water & Forest Park, as well as the Development Trust and Kielder Observatory, click here.