Yeti Run was one of many AR Game concepts that I had worked on. I designed Yeti with Art Director, Anthony Dodero to be an endless runner game, that utilized facial tracking to control the character. The goal was to increase user engagement of the Facebook Camera and introducting AR games was aimed at solving that. One of the key aspects in making the game unique to the Facebook platform was its ability to share your scores as well as see your friends' high scores on your Facebook NewsFeed.
1) How do we design a casual game that is compelling, can be consumed quickly and is also straight forward enough that anyone could pick it up and play?
2) Can we make this game unique and leverage the Facebook platform?
Ver. 2 Mock (Yetis Added)
Ver. 1 Mock (Pre Yeti)
We brainstormed a bunch of ideas and then designed three different iterations before it became Yeti Run.
The first design of the game didn't even have Yetis. It was a snowball shooter where users tried to hit their friends. Using body tracking, the game could detect whether the snowball successfully landed. The person hit by the snowball would get augmented hair dew or mask made of snow.
The second design saw the introduction of the Yetis. It was made to be a wack-a-mole style game where users throw snowballs at Yetis that pop up around them on screen. The Yetis were made to add a narrative and charm to the game.
The third design was Yeti Run, an endless runner game with the main goal of scoring points by avoiding jumping Yetis. The game needed to be light from a tech perspective, so the endless runner design allowed for a simple level design and efficient use of content. Facial tracking was used so that users could control the runner with their heads. The scoreboard at the end provided a sharable moment, allowing users to see their hi-score stacked up against the names of friends on their Facebook network (a fetching feature that had previously not been used).
The game needed to have mass appeal so the character designs were made to be super friendly. Even though they jump out at you and might look scary, their actual intent was just to hug you and play in the snow.