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The Tenth Annual Game Design Think Tank
Project Horseshoe 2015
horseshoe Group Report: Augmented Reality Theater As An Entertainment Destination
Participants: A.K.A. "Dave & Blusterís"
Steve Meretzky, Game Show Network (GSN) David Warhol, Realtime Associates, Inc.
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Brief statement of the problem(s) on which the group worked:

Much attention – and even more money - has poured into virtual reality as a breakthrough entertainment vehicle in the last few years.  Despite this, augmented reality has yet to come into its own as an entertainment format, even though it does not suffer many of the very trappings that content authors are still struggling to overcome with virtual reality.  What are the characteristics of augmented reality as an entertainment format, what are the domains of design that content creators can explore, and what is possible to maximize audience participation? 

Continuing the exploration of last year’s “Alternative Play” session, the authors of the report also describe an entertainment destination designed to capture contemporary audiences as well as their disposable income.

A brief statement of the group’s solutions to those problems:

The authors created a conversational template and then interviewed other conference participants in a workgroup format.  The solution space was divided into the following categories

Duration of experience: what is the ideal time for an engaging experience for the participant.

Number of participants: given the nature of interactivity and agency of each participant in the outcome, how many participants would be ideal to simultaneously share the experience.

Pricing: how much would a participant be willing to pay (usually as a function of duration).

Return/Repeatability: what factors would encourage a participant to return.

Gameplay mechanics: what gameplay mechanics are unique to an augmented reality theater? What are engaging for group play.

Physical layout: what considerations will maximize participant engagement for pre-show and post-show.
Themes.  The participants identified themes and genres that would engage both casual and core audiences.

Comparable activities.  What are comparable destination activities, their price points, and what can be divined from them to inform the AR theater.

Social considerations.  One of the biggest characteristics of AR when compared to VR is the amount of natural human interaction possible.  What factors discourage and encourage social interaction.

section 12

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select a section:
1. Introduction
2. Workgroup Reports Overview
3. Generative Systems, Meaningful Cores
4. 7 Amazing Things You Can Do With Words: Qualities of a Massively Popular, Successful Text Experience
5. Of Minds and Mobs: Game Design for Shared Avatars and Other Weird Collectives
6. Designing Games for the Growing 35+ Market
7. Creating Emotionally Safe Workplaces in Game Development
8. The Impending Singularity and How to Use It
9. Exploring Metagames and Metagame Systems
10. Contrary Game Design: Subverting Player Expectations
11. Ranking and Rating Systems
12. Augmented Reality Theater As An Entertainment Destination
13. Best Practices for Design to Communicate with Other Disciplines
14. Obscene Player Names in Online Games
15. Schedule & Sponsors