MAGICAL PARK SUPPORT
What are our games and how do they work?
Mixed Reality Motion Games! Try saying that three times...
Our games are a combination of immersive digital worlds, and real-world movement. By using GPS, we put a digital world around the user which they can explore using their smart phone or tablet as a "window". As they point the device up, down, around in a 360, they can see the digital world all around them. By moving forwards, backwards and sideways through the real world, they can explore the terrain of the digital world. We do this by taking the GPS coordinates of the user's position and translate this into movement through a digital world.
How do I get the App?
Our Mixed Reality Games are available on the App store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android. There is "Magical Park" which is a geofenced game and so it is only available in selected parks. To see if there is a park near you, click on either the "Park Locations' or "Park Map" button on the website under Magical Park or when you have downloaded the app Magical Park it will automatically tell you which one your nearest Magical Park is.
On the other hand "Sharks in the Park" is available ANYWHERE and can be played in any park as long as it is at least 15 mtrs away from the road. If it says "You are too close to the road to play" you can turn off the fence/ the STOP sign.
What do I need to Play?
Enthusiasm and Excitement!
Plus, you need a smart phone or tablet (e.g. iPad) and you need to download the app Magical Park or Sharks in the Park from App store or Google Play. You will need a big, open, flat space to play on - an unused sports field is ideal.
Do I need additional hardware like VR glasses?
Nope! All you need is your smartphone or tablet with the app installed.
What sensors need to be enabled?
We need your eyes turned on so that you can see what's going on.
However, you also need to enable some sensors on the device you want to play on:
Internet (mobile data or WiFi)
If you are using an iOS device, you will see a pop-up, asking if you want to give the application access to photos and to location services. Please choose "Allow" so that our game has access to your GPS information! You won't be able to play without it.
What are sensors?
Sensors are tools which help to detect the environment in some way. Mixed Reality relies on device sensors which detect gravity, rotation and magnetic fields that affect the device. These help us to match up the digital content with the real-world camera feed.
What if my GPS or internet is not working?
Whoops, sorry! Without GPS or internet, we will not be able to download the safety fence for Sharks in the Park or locate you in a Magical Park and so you will not be able to play. :(
Where can I play?
Any large, open space! Preferably a grassy area like a sportsfield.
My Screen is really hard to see
When you are playing outside, you need to turn up the screen brightness to max! The sun is A LOT brighter than lights inside, and so the screen also needs to be bright so you can see it.
I can't see my video feed - the camera is not working!
First, check that your hand is not blocking the camera. Sometimes those fingers can get in the way. Second, check that if you are using a device case or cover, that it is not blocking the camera.
How much internet data will the app use?
We use the internet to download a map of your current location, so that we can generate our road detection safety feature. We also use the internet for high-accuracy GPS. This is pretty minimal, so you can expect a game session to use less than 20-100KB, which is roughly the size of a plain email or Facebook message.
I can't find the app on the App Store or Google Play
Hmmm, that's a problem! If you are on the App Store for iOS (Apple) devices, scroll down the list a little bit - sometimes our app is not the first one on the list, but we are working on this! However, if you still can't find it - please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
My phone/tablet case has a Magnet. Will this affect the game?
Sadly, yes it will. Magnets interfere with the compass, and we use the compass to detect the direction the player is facing. You will need to remove your case to be able to play, otherwise you will see the digital world spinning around you erratically!
I'm worried about my child running onto a road while playing!
We are very concerned with safety and doing everything we can to make playing our games a fun and safe experience. For this reason we have created a safety fence feature in Sharks in the Park, which disables the app and displays a big STOP sign if the user gets too close to a road. It depends on third party information and GPS accuracy, which can sometimes be unreliable - so while we think it is a great addition to our safety measures, it should not replace human care.
Magical Park is located in the centre of a vetted, big park and should be away from any roads. It does NOT have a security fence because it is geofenced.
Our games should ALWAYS be played under supervision - like any other outdoor activity it is important for children not to be left unattended.
Kids looking at the tablets while running sounds dangerous...
Mixed Reality means that although the user is looking at a screen, they can still see the real world via the device camera. We never want to take our users away from the real world. This means that kids will constantly see the world around them and often look away from the screen to interact with their peers, to see what else is going on, and while moving in-between locations. We have done A LOT of testing with A LOT of kids. It is very rare for them to run into each other - but when they do, it's a collision of fun and laughter.
We understand that hardware can be expensive, and the last thing you want is for your new tablet to be dropped and broken. There are a number of things we can do to mitigate this risk:
Play on grass. Tablets and smartphones can largely handle being dropped onto grass without damage.
Get a case. This is recommended best practice anyway, so avoid damage from drop accidents.
In our testing experience, we have only seen devices dropped once or twice. Kids don't seem to suffer from butterfingers as much as we thought!