October 2019 — Now
Project Type — Personal Project
Status — Ongoing; user research on hold due to COVID-19
Goal — Use generative research to develop a social mobile game that encourages players to live a more active lifestyle. Includes a Dungeons & Dragons flavor of fantasy!
Quest of Our Lives (QoOL) explores the intersection between social networks and games. It’s a mobile experience that follows people on daily errands away from home. Players are then rewarded for their adventures in the world. Unlike most mobile games, QoOL has a passive playstyle that doesn't require continuous interaction to progress.
I want to answer some questions:
First, I want to see how the competitive landscape looks at the moment. There are two types of products that need to be investigated: social networks and mobile games. Would any of these products be classified as both?
Swarm is an interesting type of social network because it tracks user movements and encourages friendly competition between them. It's one of the most gamified social networks that I've found. After researching Swarm's characteristics myself and using it for a couple of months, I made some intitial observations:
Swarm seems to be a ghost town. Conceptually, it mirrors the spirit of Quest of Our Lives because it gamifies travel. However, the rewards seem to essentially be nonexistant. In-game currency can't really be used and profile progression is minimal. Weekly stats are compared with friends, but that's about it.
Pokemon GO is an active game that encourages travel. It could also be considered a social network because other players can interact in a variety of ways. I played Pokemon GO for a few months when it first came out, so additional resources were researched to see what the game is like now. Some general conclusions are:
Pokemon GO is certainly a game that's non-stop interactive. This quality is what could be most separate from typical social networks or media platforms. While it does encourage players to get up and go, much of the gameplay is done standing still and glued to your phone screen. This is not what I had in mind for Quest of Our Lives and its concept of passive gameplay.
I'm currently looking broadly and deeply into other apps such as:
Quest of Our Lives is best used by people who want to live an active lifestyle and are looking for incentives to participate.
Some sketches were used to explore interactions for completing tasks in Quest of Our Lives.
I created a simple interface in Figma to test interactions and basic task structure with users. Some polish was added to the aesthetics so that people could better relate with and participate in idea generation.
Here's what's happening:
Please check back for updates surrounding Quest of Our Lives and the research behind the concept!