Visit Austria 3D Game | Case Studies | NINJAR


Social Mobile Apps

The Austrian National Tourism Office (ANTO) was keen to launch something in the digital space to engage with asian and middle eastern audiences. The main objective was to find innovative ways to give users a sense of being there themselves, so we proposed to them the concept of mapping users’ faces onto the character they control in game.

The client loved the idea and we were immediately chosen for the bid. Over the course of 3 months we created 3 unique minigames taking place in 3 different regions in Austria they wanted to promote, as well as a snapshot feature that eventually became the highlight of the experience.

Prototyping gameplay

Being ANTO’s first foray into the app/gaming world they were relying on our expertise to outline for them a product that would best suit their needs. We immediate identified that the gameplay need to be casual and accessible considering the demographic we were targeting, and instead lean heavily on the face mapping feature since it had the most potential for social sharing.

Worldclass concept artwork that brings our ideas to life

So with that in mind the design team set about prototyping the minigames. For the sake of keeping them accessible we challenged ourselves to only come up with ideas that utilized “one finger” control schemes. This limitation ensured that we did not overbake the gameplay designs beyond what is suitable for our target demographic.

Platforming, infinite runner, rhythm game - whatever the game genre, we can build it

With a dozen concepts in hand we presented them to the client and they chose the 3 they felt were a good fit for the specific regions they were aiming to promote - Salzburg, Vienna and Tyrol.

Face-mapping tech

As the minigame development was under way another team started work on the face-mapping feature, which turned out to be more of a UX challenge than a technical one, so it was down to our designers to step in and find a solution.

Through considered UX design we made the face capturing process simple for end users

During initial testing it quickly became apparent that getting good facial captures from our users was not going to be easy due to factors beyond our control, such as environmental lighting and camera quality, not to mention the individual user’s ability to take photos. We focused the UX around ease of use and paired it down until it was just a linear, mostly foolproof process that could easily be done and redone, giving people room to experiment a little.

Behind-the-scene measures were taken to ensure better bledning of the faces


Tap to interact with 3D model

The extra effort was worth it in the end as we saw a good turnout of users sharing their silly photos on social media, especially in the middle east. ANTO had such a great response from their users that we ended up adding a whole range of new photo related features in a subsequent update of the game full of new destinations and poses.

In summary

Austria Snapshot Adventure was an ambitious project for the limited resource we had to work with. It was a full service production from concept to deployment in just under 3 months but we ended up packing in a huge amount of features into it.

There is so much more that we didn’t mention like the customisable outfits, the weekly prize giveaway and the ability to unlocked new moves and poses for photo mode. This is a great example of the NINJAR spirit - we always overdeliver because we just love making things!

If you want to gamify your brand experience with simple, fun game ideas, don't hesitate to get in touch for a free consultancy session.