Quarry is a multi-screen game app that allows users to be brought together into a physical and virtual shared space. Bringing together the tactile competitiveness of traditional board games, while adding the dynamism of mobile devices allows for a unique and fun experience with friends or family.
This is the sequence to which a user would go through to start a new game.
Once the connection is made with all players, this screen will show to make sure all mobile devices are properly connected and placed in the correct order.
The tutorial sequence a new user would be lead through, or if a user returns to the “Help” page which is accessible from the home screen. This shows how a user plays Quarry and what role Marble icons play in the game.
An example of gameplay with two players. This shows the interactivity of the devices and how hands on the experience becomes.
User flow of Quarry
Phase 1: Define
Multiplayer apps tend to constrain the social aspect of games. Most multiplayer games in the market do not require users to be physically interacting with others, even going as far as opponents being complete strangers from across the world.
By introducing a physical connection, players are forced to interact with one another, which creates a more engaging experience for the user. Screens from multiple devices are synced to connect people through an interactive platform.
To successfully create this environment, the app must:
- Create a competitive setting
- Encourage use in a large group
- Interactivity between screens
Quarry would ideally be used on an iPhone X interface, as it would further the feeling of unity amongst each screen due to the device’s lack in borders that would have otherwise interrupted the continuation of the connected screens.
WIFI connection would also be necessary for the game to function. This also enforces the need for the players to be in the same physical space, as Quarry users need to be connected to the same WIFI to play as a group.
Quarry will hopefully bring friends and family together and encourage digital devices to be used as a tool to unify rather than isolate.
Phase 2: Shape
To go along with the concept of bringing people together through the app, competitiveness was key to the success of Quarry. Additionally to the engagement of the users, interactivity between screens and encouragement to play with a larger group of people were essential for gameplay.
Much of my inspiration came from my own experiences with competitive multiplayer games. Nintendo’s Bomb-omb Sudden Death was a mini-game on the DS that does many of the things I attempted to accomplish in Quarry. It successfully evoked competitiveness in its users and also implemented a sense of connected screens.
I borrowed much of Bomb-omb Sudden Death’s gameplay and transformed it into the metaphor of a stone quarry. Many of the game’s core was based on extracting and matching elements, which inspired the idea for quarries.
The interface design such as the neutral color scheme and cubed elements are all branched from the quarry metaphor to create unity throughout the app.
Phase 3: Make/ Prototypes
The first stage of Quarry was a proof-of-concept prototype that explored how people react to the multi-screen experience.
Makeshift paper prototypes of iPhone Xs were lined up in a grid to simulate the multi-screen interface. The user reacted positively and immediately realized that each screen was connected once they were laid out on a table together. After testing, the position of where the players were in relation to their respective phones was something I knew I had to tackle.
The second prototype was a visual prototype that dealt with the interface’s design. User testing revealed some confusing transitions and buttons.
Development. Describe how this thing will be made.
- What were the prototype stages and what did you learn from each prototype?
- How will this be built? What technology and development process?
- What is the approval process?
Is this technically plausible for real production?
Is actual gameplay as competitive and effective as expected?