An AR experience that provides the player with a ‘veggie eating companion’ to encourage vegetable eating as a fun norm.
Genre: Health / Children / Lighthearted
Specifically Targeted Device: Samsung S22 Ultra
Core Gameplay Mechanics:
The player scans the given image to instantiate the teddy bear model eating a vegetable
The player taps anywhere on the screen to change the vegetable
The player can click the top right pink button to change the orientation (horizontal/vertical)
The player can click the top left sound button to turn off and on the background music
Having been told to eat more vegetables all my life, I have recently started seeing the necessity of consistently including them in my diet. Since starting to cook more vegetables myself, I have begun to appreciate and enjoy them more. This progression brought about the idea of having a teddy bear join me, and anyone interested in an AR companion.
Vegetables are an important part of one's diet in an effort to keep healthy. They reduce the risk of heart disease, improve blood pressure, and are a good source of dietary fiber, amongst other things. Within western media aimed at children, vegetables like broccoli are commonly vilified and regarded with distaste such as in ‘Inside Out’ (2015), in which adding broccoli to pizza ‘ruins it’. With this AR experience, I wanted to challenge this narrative of vegetables being undesirable by creating a light-hearted ‘bear buddy’ companion that enjoys eating vegetables; someone whose example the player could follow, or simply keep around for company.
This works well as an accessible AR experience that brings the bear buddy into a real-world space, creating a virtual proximity to something that would feel distant in a different medium. This proximity to vegetable eating in theory increases empathy with the bear buddy, and in doing so, breaks down preconceived biases toward vegetables.
The player will be able to switch between a horizontal and vertical viewing mode of the bear buddy. This means that when the given image is placed on a table and scanned, the bear buddy instantiates in the tabletop (horizontal) mode (sits on the table). On clicking the top right pink button, the same image can be scanned while placed on a wall, and the model will instantiate in the wall (vertical) mode (looks as though it is coming out of the wall). To switch back to the tabletop (horizontal) version, the player must simply click the top right button again. This allows for choice in how the bear buddy is used and experienced. Beyond this, the functionality that allows the changing of vegetables promotes engagement through interaction.
In terms of style, I have opted to create all the models in OpenBrush, giving them a distinct and consistent appearance. This clearly contrasts the real world the models are instantiated into, reminiscent of how the cartoon characters in ‘Space Jam’ (1996) contrasted the real world they were drawn into. That being aimed at children too seems apt for the situation. The experience is a simple, lighthearted one. as portrayed by the ABBA instrumental music in the background, the slightly comical munching sound that plays when a vegetable is eaten, and having a child's teddy bear toy as the ‘buddy’ to eat vegetables with.
Sound on button image (Procreate)
Sound off button image (Procreate)
Orientation button image (Unity)
Teddy Bear model with rigged right arm (OpenBrush, Blender)
Broccoli model (OpenBrush, Blender)
Carrot model (OpenBrush, Blender)
Peas model (clump) (OpenBrush, Blender)
Our Last Summer (ABBA) Instrumental (imported from YouTube)
Munching sound effect (imported from YouTube)
This will not work unless the app is directly built to your phone.