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Mobile outdoor games that get kids off the couch and allow them to create and interact with their own imaginary world outdoors
Mobile outdoor games that get kids off the couch and allow them to create and interact with their own imaginary world outdoors
150 backers pledged NZ$ 10,278 to help bring this project to life.

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NZ$ 10,278

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Sharks in the Park is the introduction to Outdoor Mobile Gaming
Sharks in the Park is the introduction to Outdoor Mobile Gaming

$10,000 will allow us to complete development of Sharks in the Park, an interactive Geospatial Augmented Reality Outdoor Motion Gaming Experience!

$75,000 and kids can create their own magical world in a park using 3D content from a library.

$150,000 The kids can share the worlds they have created with their friends.

$500,000 Kids can design their own motion games without having to know how to code and they will be able to share them with their friends. 

Intro
Intro

Kids love couches. They sit on them, lie on them, twisting and turning through adventure-filled content on their handheld games. Try and get kids off the couch, and you may find that they have morphed into aggressive zombies.

Kids and Adults alike are stuck on couches playing games for too long
Kids and Adults alike are stuck on couches playing games for too long

 Computer games are everywhere - with the rise of smartphones and tablets, it’s easier than ever to play games anywhere, anytime. Mobile games are the go-to form of entertainment for many families because there is always something new to try. Sometimes it can feel impossible to separate a child from their screen. Childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise. “Healthy kids” and “mobile games” are not often phrases we think of as complementary. It’s difficult to imagine a computer game that is healthy for the mind and body. But by combining the best of the digital and real worlds, our Geospatial Augmented Reality applications have done just that.

We have developed a revolutionary mobile app which can be played on an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and that gets kids off the couch and active OUTSIDE.

 You can download Sharks in the Park FREE during this Kickstarter from App Store/Playstore. Search for "Sharks in the Park Geo AR Games"

The future is looking pretty bright. We have harnessed mobile technology and the prolific nature of the app market to develop a solution. Our Augmented Reality experiences combine the fun, engagement and stimulation of computer games with the excitement and benefits of outside play. Not only do kids love it, but teens and adults alike are keen to get their hands on our Augmented Reality experiences.

Sharks in the Park is our first concept game. We have already developed the underlying software to drive Geospatial Augmented Reality experiences on smartphones and tablets, and created the first version of our first concept game “Sharks in the Park”. Sharks in the Park is a motion game, played on a smartphone or tablet in a park or sports field. Our testers and early adopters love it.

Mixed Reality combines the digital with the real. An entire underwater world is visible in the world around you, which you navigate by walking through the real world, using your mobile device as a window to this digital “alternate reality”. The basic premise of Sharks in the Park is that you need to collect schools of fish by navigating close to them - at the same time as avoiding sharks, which will scare away your fish! To make things more exciting, we also added a bonus Dino Land to explore.

Sharks in the Park uses cutting edge technology
Sharks in the Park uses cutting edge technology
The bonus Dino Land allows you to interact with extinct dinosaurs
The bonus Dino Land allows you to interact with extinct dinosaurs

You cannot play this game inside. You must be outside in a big open flat area such as a soccer field or a park. The bigger the park, the bigger the world you can interact with and the more you will run, duck, and dodge! Social and engaging content is the key. Not only have we found that kids love the digital content, with Geospatial Augmented Reality and being in a park environment, they naturally play together and interact with their peers.

The Plan is mapped out. Currently, our Sharks in the Park game is available free on the app stores. It’s rough, it’s really just a MVP (minimum viable product), and we know we can do better. The Sharks in the Park free version has been tested locally with extremely positive reactions from both parents and kids. We are asking for your help to build the premium version of Sharks in the Park. We want to improve the experience for users and create game mechanics which work specifically with Geospatial Augmented Reality. In particular, we aim to:

  • Increase the content so that kids play for longer. 
  • Add multiple levels and the ability to save your progress. 
  • Create “power-ups” that give special abilities. 
  • Optimise underlying algorithms to smooth GPS tracking and improve the overall experience. 
  • Implement a new UI design specifically created for outdoor gaming.

We know that our Geospatial Mixed Reality games are a hit. But we also know there is more this technology can offer.

We are mixing up Reality with Magic
We are mixing up Reality with Magic
Stretch Goals
Stretch Goals

Imagine… Maybe you remember having an imaginary friend when you were little, or re-enacting your favourite stories in the school yard. What if the kids of today could digitise their imagination, bring it to life in their local park, explore it in real space and share it? What if they could program their own content, booby traps and games, which they could then play with their friends? And what if this crazy, creative, fun, engaging game was also a tool for fighting obesity, exploring nature and increasing social skills?

We are looking to develop just that. To add a WORLD BUILDER to our current app and give kids the chance to build their own imaginary worlds and bring them to life.

The WORLD BUILDER will allow kids to create their own Mixed Reality, by choosing models from a library and arranging them on a blank canvas. At any time, they will be able to take their mobile device into a park or sports field and explore their new world, walking through it and interacting with the models they have chosen.

World Builder will allow kids to create their world with stuff they want
World Builder will allow kids to create their world with stuff they want

With your help, kids will be able to make up their own games using the 3D characters, such as sharks, dinosaurs, unicorns and fairies, as if they were there for real in the park they are playing in. They will be able to build immersive worlds on a rainy day, saving exploration when the sun comes out.

But our ambition doesn’t stop there. The final step of the plan is to allow kids to create their own motion games. Motion games expand on the world builder and allow kids to add behaviour and rules to their worlds. They could use booby traps, puzzles and monsters to build complete games and teach important planning and development skills.

THE GOAL AND STRETCH GOALS DEFINED

We need your help to make our premium dream come true and help millions of kids around the world to get off the couch!

But that’s just the beginning.

GOAL

The money we raise from this Kickstarter will allow us to build the premium version of the app. The premium version will include multiple levels, power ups and new game mechanics. It will means that there is more content, challenges and motivation to keep the kids coming back for more!

STRETCH GOAL ($75,000)  

A basic World Builder. Kids will be able to drag and drop 3D content onto a blank canvas, and then explore the World they have created in their local park.  

STRETCH GOAL ($150,000)

Our first stretch goal is to create shareable Worlds. This requires a stable back end and increased security where users can choose to give other users access to their World.  

STRETCH GOAL ($500,000)

Our second stretch goal is to build in additional functionality where kids can create their own custom motion games. This will involved basic conditional and behaviour building blocks that can be applied to their worlds. Our vision is that motion games will be made and shared amongst friends and then played together in the local park. This will foster even more outdoor and social activity and a healthy relationship with technology!

Why we are doing this
Why we are doing this

A Healthier Future

Once kids reach the age of 8 or 9, it can get hard to get them off the couch and outside. Technology is so embedded in education and children’s entertainment that kids don’t know what life is like without a digital world. It’s second nature to them - and real nature is hard-pressed to compete!

Kids have grown up in a digital world these days and it's 2nd nature to them
Kids have grown up in a digital world these days and it's 2nd nature to them

This is understandable, given the incredible access to information and stimulation which digital devices provide.. And for many parents with busy schedules, keeping kids occupied with digital entertainment seems like a convenient solution.  

Technology that offers children limitless stimulation and excitement has our kids hooked. But, not always in a good way.  

The lure of technology, especially computer games, is more compelling to many kids than being sent outside to play. For kids who are not sporty or don’t have many friends close by, outdoor play can feel like a punishment, not a pleasure.

Such inactivity is detrimental to their health and with obesity on the rise, getting kids active is a big challenge for parents, educators and health practitioners.  

We have fought back against the trend of isolating technology and used compelling gameplay to get kids playing in the real world.

Mixed Reality headsets will mean that technology will be even more ever-present than today. It will increase the time we spend on digital devices by removing barriers (such as the “not enough hands” conundrum).

As wearable hardware becomes ubiquitous and affordable, mobile gaming and augmented-reality technologies will be more accessible than ever. 

We plan to keep pace with these developments, encouraging the next generation to use technology in a fun, engaging and healthy way. On handheld devices today and wearable headsets tomorrow, we believe that our games will help kids to create healthy relationships with technology, where computer games do not equal isolation from the real world.  

Our 6 year old tester loves dinosaurs!
Our 6 year old tester loves dinosaurs!

Happier Kids

Arguments stemming from screen time can cause friction and angst in modern households. Finding a compromise between games played on couches and exercise means less friction between parents and children.

Konini Primary School: Our games encourage social behaviour
Konini Primary School: Our games encourage social behaviour

Physical activity increases endorphins, creating a positive reinforcement. The more kids play our games, the more they want to play!

This makes for happier families and happier kids.

More Nature

Our green spaces are sitting vacant while kids play at home in front of a screen. Traditionally, computer gaming was isolated to the indoors, but mobile technology has broken that barrier.

We don’t mind if kids get distracted by a bird's nest, or put down their devices to climb a tree. Parks and sports fields are so often empty when scheduled events are not happening and we want to change that. We want to get out kids back outside and interacting with nature.

A Creative Outlet

21st century kids indulge their natural love of play through digital games. Where past generations played in trees and sandpits, kids these days are growing up in a different, digital environment.

But they need a creative outlet. Mobile games can often limit imagination, by doing all the imagining for us. Unlike books, we don’t need to create a mental picture of our imaginary friends anymore - they are given appearance, colour, personality and storylines in the games we consume.

Where games have allowed for creativity, there has been massive success. Minecraft is the perfect example where a small, unintended creative component has had unheard-of success. From sandcastles to lego to minecraft, our mixed-reality World Builder is the next step. Not only will it allow for creation, but also exploration of your world once built.

Educational Possibilities  

The unlimited potential of this technology is what excites us - and we hope it excites you too. We have plans in the pipeline for educational content - creating gamified content to teach kids important concepts. Games which take kids on virtual environmental cleanup expeditions, safaris through Africa, realistic deep-sea dives, voyages to Mars and beyond.  

The solar system in your local park
The solar system in your local park

All in all…

Just imagine if kids played Geo AR Games several times a week how much more exercise they’d be doing and the benefits to their health and wellbeing. Imagine the family time that could be spent in a park. The creativity that could be built inside and shared outside.

The World Health Organisation recommends children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily. Using a simple prototype with one level, our park gamers spend on average 30-45 minutes at a time running, sharing and playing on their own or with friends. We can combine screen time with activity time and help parents manage quality time with their kids.

You can see that we have high hopes for where to take this. But can we deliver? Read on...

The technology
The technology

Our team has been working with the development of Augmented Reality software applications for over 3 years. You may have heard about tech companies developing Virtual, Mixed or Augmented Reality headsets. These headsets will make experiences like ours even more immersive – but it doesn’t mean we can’t achieve amazing things with current mobile technology. We have taken the technology of tomorrow and made it available on the smartphones and tablets of today.

Augmented Reality requires a number of device sensors to work. Device sensors detect the physical environment, such as gravity, magnetic fields and device rotation. GPS chips take satellite information to calculate the device’s position on Earth. All of this information is required to combine the digital world with the real world – so when you tilt your device to look up at the sky, you are seeing the digital world which corresponds to that location. 

Read more about sensors in our blog post here: http://geoargames.blogspot.co.nz/2016/02/amie-wolken-founder-and-developer-of.html 

Augmented Reality games have not featured prominently in the marketplace because mobile devices traditionally have not had the right kind of sensors, or the experience has not been made attractive enough for it to work. 

Recent improvements in hardware technology, plus our development of sensor fusion for gaming, has created an experience which is consistent enough for a great experience. And kids love it.

The Team
The Team

We have the know-how to make what we promise. Our team is made up of people who love what they do. We are all about tech, and we are all about outdoor play.

The Team: Patrick, Amie, Mel, Mathieu and Taylor
The Team: Patrick, Amie, Mel, Mathieu and Taylor

 We are tech geeks with a passion for the power of new technology and gaming. We’re on a mission to use geospatial mixed reality technology as a force for building healthy, creative and active lives for kids.

Mel and Amie have been working together on geospatial augmented reality for three years. We built our first prototype for an AR experiences while working with Augview, a company using Augmented Reality in the utility space. However, the desire for creating something for the next generation was too strong, and we left with their blessing to pursue our own entrepreneurial dreams.

We're all about outdoor play
We're all about outdoor play

Since starting Geo AR Games we’ve immersed ourselves in the tech start-up world. We were participants in S-Factory 2015, a Chilean Business Incubator and are currently members of the first New Zealand female founder business accelerator programme Lightning Lab XX.

Mel (CEO)

It all started when Mel had to wrestle her seven-year-old stepdaughter’s laptop from her and get her outside to play. She was totally hooked on fairies and Mel started to wonder if she could show her step-daughter fairies in the garden she would want to go outside and play with them there. Soon Mel realised that she wasn’t the only parent grappling with this problem.

Since then, Mel has spent time researching and developing a plan to deliver her vision. She completed her postgraduate thesis looking into the viability of an Augmented Reality Moa Park (previous successful Kickstarter) to share the experience of an extinct species. Years of testing and discussing the concept with the community has resulted in an accumulation of specialist industry knowledge.

Mel has spent 20 years in the TV and Film Industry, moved from there into senior management positions and has a degree in Business Enterprise. Her vision is a new entertainment format for the younger generation that has got the ability to fuel positive behaviour change and assist with learning, conservation and health. 

Amie (CTO) Amie joined the GIS augmented reality company Augview and met Mel, first as a junior developer, and ultimately as Operations Manager. She also served as a Director on the Board of Directors before leaving to start Geo AR Games.  

A keen outdoors person, she loves tramping (even got married during one such tramp) and triathlon. However, her love of exercise is in stark contrast with her enthusiasm for computer gaming. With a passion for both fitness and gaming, Amie truly believes in the product Geo AR Games is building. 

With multiple science majors including computer science and psychology, Amie is well-placed to build experiences which will ultimately benefit the target audience. A previous career in Law means that contracts and legal concerns can also be well monitored.

Taylor (Creative Director)  

Taylor has a background making fantasy into reality. He was a 3D animation technical director on over 15 films such as Avatar, Hobbit, Tintin, Avengers, X-Men, Prometheus, Rise of the Apes, and more.  

Taylor, Creative Director at Geo AR Games, holding his Oscar
Taylor, Creative Director at Geo AR Games, holding his Oscar

 He started his career in educational gaming, designing the LeapPad and Didj and Leapfrog. These devices were strictly for educational games that taught kids a variety of subjects. He also helped build dozens of games and educational software while at Leapfrog before moving onto Zynga to work on titles like Farmville and Mafia Wars.  

His experience in developing fantasy worlds, educational content creation and retention motivators means we are well positioned to develop games which will continue to motivate kids to keep playing and running around!

Hear Mel and Amie chat on the access granted podcast:  Interview on NZ ACCESS GRANTED 

Help us to make mobile games a solution for parents, educators and health professionals to fight inactivity and obesity in our young people!  

TRY IT FOR FREE

We have made a limited time only free edition of Sharks in the Park available on the App Store and Google Play. We want to give you, our Kickstarter community, the ability to try out this technology for yourselves, to have a taste of the potential.

To play, just download our app "Sharks in the Park" on a smartphone or tablet and go to a big open park. During this Kickstarter campaign, our first version of "Sharks in the Park" will be free to play, so you and your family can experience this completely new form of gaming first hand - and so you know what you are backing!  

You can only play Geo AR Games outdoors. A big playing field, park or sports ground is best. The bigger place to play, the bigger the play world and the further for them to walk, run and play. The game is packed with features to make it safe for kids to walk or run. Using mobile GPS the game knows where the kids are playing and alerts them to roads and other hazards.

Testimonials

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/small-business/77782053/Geo-AR-Games-opens-door-to-new-world-of-gaming

WHY KICKSTARTER

Because Geospatial Augmented Reality is a novel form of entertainment, we have to educate the public on how this technology works. We need more resources if we are going to build a mind blowing experience.

Currently everything has been financed out of our own pockets and through completion of two Business Accelerators (S-Factory in Santiago, Chile and Lightning Lab XX in Wellington, NZ). Now, we need to raise some serious funds to complete development of the product and take it to market.

We have bootstrapped the entire operation until now and we are looking for investors to help us develop content and continue creating immersive games which kids can play. Our users are constantly expecting new and exciting experiences, and we are being run off our feet to deliver this content consistently. However, the less investment we need, the more control we have to deliver the content that YOU want. The more flexibility we have to work on what’s important for the right reasons.

Back this idea if you are inspired by what we have created! Our technology is so new and we want to shout from the rooftops about how great it is – your support is another voice which we can add to that chorus. Let’s show the world that technology can be fun, engaging, social and healthy.

The WORLD BUILDER is where we feel this technology will truly shine. But we need to get the concept out there first and educate people on the benefits of digital outdoor experiences. It has the ability to expand the mind, foster creativity and really show the potential of technology to provide both intellectual and physical stimulation. Please help us to get there.

Join us, back us, share this Kickstarter, download our app and give us feedback and together let's change the landscape of mobile gaming.

Mel, Amie, and Taylor

Risks and challenges

We can and have delivered the underlying technology. You have seen the videos and you can try the MVP by downloading our free version on the App Store and Google Play.

You have seen and read the testimonials. Parents, Teachers and Kids love what we are doing. We are not asking you to take our word - we are asking you to listen to theirs and make up your own minds.

We have been working on this idea for a number of years and have the right combination of specialist knowledge and the ability to execute.

On the 16th of June NZT, we will be presenting this idea to approximately 100 angel investors.

The more support we can demonstrate with this Kickstarter, the more chance we have of securing investment and ensuring the long-term viability of the company. However, we have another motive. The more we raise here, the less we are depending on outside investment, which means we can stay focused on developing for the community not the investment return.

We want you to be part of our incredible journey. 2 girls who wanted to show the world that our vision can make a difference to kids health, get them off the couch and back out into nature!

Please join us, back us, share this Kickstarter, download our app and give us feedback. Sign up your kids as game testers with us and give them the opportunity to shape their magical world.

Thank you so much for joining us!

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Funding period

- (30 days)