Inspiration

Escape rooms--physical rooms where you and a group of friends solve puzzles in order to escape--have become increasingly popular around the world. All of us are very passionate about building games and wanted to explore augmented or virtual reality. We really enjoyed analyzing different types of social gaming and understanding what makes them enjoyable. Traditional escape rooms are limited to metropolitan areas and not everyone gets to experience them. However, with augmented reality, people can experience escape rooms wherever they are and whenever they want to.

What it does

CatEscApeR is an augmented reality escape room that allows users to walk around a room and analyze objects for clues to escape the room, similarly to a traditional escape room. When a mobile device highlights the object, an augmented reality model will appear, describing hints and clues to help the participants escape. We utilize the Twilio web server to enhance user engagement by allowing people to text phone numbers produced by the AR models for further clues and game advancement.

How we built it

We utilized the Unity game engine with the use of Vuforia, an integrated Augmented Reality SDK. We specifically did this by using personal image tracking databases and 3D objects within the Unity game engine. We also incorporated the online Twilio web server system in order to help the player to figure out how to utilize clues within the escape room.

Challenges we ran into

Figuring out how to set up the Vuforia environment on Unity took a while, but we managed to understand within the first few hours of the hackathon. Our biggest challenge was building and exporting our game onto an Android device, as we had to figure out the specific downloads for Android Studio and placement of files.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We wanted to create an Augmented Reality app because we weren't familiar with its concepts, and we accomplished that!

What we learned

We learned how to utilize image tracking by means of Augmented Reality and were better able to navigate through the Unity game engine.

What's next for CatEscApeR

We would like to make the game multiplayer so multiple people can explore the same room with their individual devices rather than sharing the same device among all people. We would also like to add more level complexity to include variance in the clues so people can change how hard their escape rooms are.

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