A Snapchat Crime Solving Game using Snapchat Lenses built for MIT Reality Hack


For the 2020 MIT Reality Hack, our team aspired to create an interactive, augmented reality storytelling experience that uses Snapchat in a first-of-its-kind way. In addition to Snapchat, our team wanted to take advantage of the latest pieces of hardware available to MIT Reality Hack attendees.

What it Does

DetectiveTrainar is an augmented reality investigative simulation made for Snapchat or the Nreal headset.

How we built it

The experiences were built in Unity, with the Nreal SDK, and on Snapchat Lens Studio.


For Snapchat - Our team originally aspired to make an interactive murder mystery told through Snapchat. Snapchat Lenses need to be less than 4mb. Given the file size limitations, our team created each crime scene by using a mix of low poly 3D models and PNG.

For NReal - This was our first time developing for the NReal headset. It took a bit of time for our team to learn how to use the NReal. We struggled with occasional glitches and with the integration between the headset and mobile controller. Given the limited time of the hackathon, we could not completely fix this bug. As a quick solution, we found experiences load best if the user is an empty room and if they calibrate pointing their phone at the floor.


We successfully built an interactive experience told through Snapchat, a medium which has yet to be explored for storytelling purposes. Our team member Blair successfully built an investigative story with NReal, a headset he had not touched prior to the start of this hackathon.

What we learned

The story should dictate the medium. When initially ideating, our team faced a few constraints as we attempted to pair traditional storytelling aspects with Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality is its own experiential medium and experiences ought to be had in nontraditional, nonlinear ways. Project management is essential for keeping all team members on task.

Whats’ Next

Our team would like to send this experience to the Snap development team, in hopes that interactive between filters could be added to a future Snapchat update.


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