Aotea Stories 

Augmented Reality heritage experience

This project was developed with the support of the NZ Film Commission Whakawhanake Te Ao Niko | Interactive Development Fund
Aotea Stories will be available for iOS and Android
"Aotea Stories" is a game inspired by heritage buildings 

Cities rise and change so rapidly, that it is easy to dismiss the heritage and history that old buildings carry when they are torn down to make room for newer, taller buildings that can house more offices or people. If you had a chance to go back in time and look at some of those lost buildings and see how the landscape has changed, would you feel a sense of loss and maybe even a newfound urge to protect our remaining few heritage buildings?  

 

Back in 1901, Aotea Square had 4 heritage buildings which have long been lost:

  • The Auckland Market

  • The Bathhouse

  • The Hotel 

  • The Cobbler

 

It is uncommon to start game development by looking at structures and their position rather than the gameplay, characters, and their stories. The 3D buildings in Aotea Stories have been recreated based on old photos and drawings from the Auckland Archives. The position of the buildings had to be slightly changed to keep players safe during gameplay and in order to show the features of the buildings.

The idea was born to build a prototype platform that would allow cities around the world to show off their historical architecture and tell their history at the same time.

1921 4-5548.jpg
10oteaStories-12Aug19-9.jpg

Auckland Market Hall at Aotea Square

back in the 1900's. The small building in front is the Cobbler which was where the Queen Street entrance to the Sky City Cinema is now.

Map1.jpg

Our team felt that walking from building to building around Aotea Square, while great exercise for the player, wasn't very exciting. We visualised a mix of the popular PlayStation game "Assassin’s Creed" and "Pokemon Go" and we gave our hero buildings more of an adventurous flair. The people in our game story are fictitious apart from Mr Myers who did donate a large block of land to Auckland Council, to create Myers Park just behind Aotea Square. He also built the famous first Kindergarten on that land for the children of disadvantaged women.   

But what if Mr Myers hadn't done that? 

The Aotea Stories game creates a time anomaly and you, the player, can help the time travelling Dr Magnus to fix it, before Auckland changes forever! 

For more information,
Read our blog how the game was developed
 

how & where to play

Aotea Stories will be live for Auckland Heritage week - Thank you for your patience! 

This is a location-based game that uses specific hardware inside the mobile device (AR Core or AR Kit).

If you found the app "Aotea Stories" on either Google Play Store or Apple App Store, please download and head to Aotea Square to step into 1901. When you start the game, it will ask you to walk to the Waharoa Gate and stand inside before moving on to the gameplay. Remember to look around you to see the AR world and your ability to walk up to our actors and the featured buildings.

 

Make sure to follow all instructions to have a safe and fun time travel adventure. 

If your device cannot find the app "Aotea Stories" on either Google Play Store or Apple App Store, then sadly your device is not compatible in that case. 

The 5 game stations 

Waharoa Gate at Aotea Square
  • Face towards the Aotea Center with Queenstreet behind you. Stand inside the gate for a safe experience. 

  • Make sure the sound from your device is on loud or wear headphones to hear our actors.

  • Start the Game at Chapter 1 and follow the instructions to calibrate your device.

  • Rotate the device around each axis.

  • Line up the red needle of the compass to calibrate your compass to North. 

Bledisloe Lane at Aotea Square
  • Face towards the entrance of Bledisloe Lane. The Aotea Center is now to your left and Queenstreet to your far right. 

  • Start chapter 2 of the game and follow the instructions to calibrate your device.

  • Rotate the device around each axis.

  • Line up the red needle of the compass to calibrate your compass to North.

  • Once the dialogue starts, look up and around you to find Dr Magnus. He will be standing close to the Waharou Gate. 

  • Walk up to Dr Magnus to start the story. This game requires walking around Aotea Square. Please pay attention to your surroundings!

The park steps at Aotea Square
  • The Aotea Center is to your right and the Town hall to your far left. The steps leading to the green space are in front of you.

  • Start the game and follow the instructions to calibrate your device.

  • Rotate the device around each axis.

  • Line up the red needle of the compass to calibrate your compass to North.

Red Container CAfe  at Aotea Square
  • Stand in front of the Red Container Cafe.

  • Start the game and follow the instructions to calibrate your device.

  • Rotate the device around each axis.

  • Line up the red needle of the compass to calibrate your compass to North.

Waharoa Gate at Aotea Square
  • Back at the beginning: Stand inside the gate and face towards the Event Cinemas with Queenstreet to your right.

  • Start the game and follow the instructions to calibrate your device.

  • Rotate the device around each axis.

  • Line up the red needle of the compass to calibrate your compass to North.

Aotea Square FActoids

4 buildings that have been lost and some of their interesting facts 
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