What if instead of nourishing a pet, your pet nourished you? KlayKoos are pets that become more like you over time to encourage you to do more of what you love, because if you can't do it for yourself at least do it for them! Your KlayKoo will be right there with you to make music, go on walks, and hang out with your friends.
I was inspired by a little girl on a plane who begged her parents for a pet cat but got no good reason why not! I believe having a pet can be a very empowering thing and by learning to take care of them we also learn how to take care of ourselves. AR can make pets accessible for anyone and with the power of Snap's Scan API it's even possible to make a virtual pet that learn from the world and are nourished by the things that nourish us too whether its listening to music, reading a book, or going for a walk.
What it does
If you know Tamagotchi you know KlayKoos. Get an egg, take care of it, show it the world, defend it from Gobblers, and be rewarded with a unique personality when they hatch. You’ll then be challenged to help them build good habits, nourish them with regular walks, even potty train them on your very own toilet!
The coolest part is every Klaykoo's personality, look, and interests are formed by the real world and what you introduce them to. Got a coffee from your favorite cafe? Your KlayKoo is now a coffee snob just like you. Introduced them to your friends? Your KlayKoo is now the life of the party! Everything from daily walks in the Sun to playing your guitar will influence your KlayKoo to be more like you when it hatches. How cool right??
How I built it
I modeled and animated everything in Blender3D and of course did all the AR stuff in Lens Studio. I started by concepting out all the ways the real world could influence the look and personality of each KlayKoo and once I had a good idea for the variations I went right into rapid prototyping the ML parts to see what was truly possible. I used the Scan API to detect objects and places, 3D body-tracking to enable people to pet and love KlayKoos, World Mesh to create better environmental collisions and awareness for physics objects, and face-tracking to enable KlayKoo selfies (and maybe video calls in the future?) <3 This project brought together what I love - fun, relaxing retro game design and hard AR tech.
Challenges I ran into
Lens Size! There's a lot of 3D assets in this game and I quickly ran out of space but thanks to Draco compression and Remote Assets I was able to shrink asset size by at least half and fit everything into a cozy 7.19mb :)
Physics! I really wanted to take advantage of Snap’s physics and joints to make KlayKoos incredibly dynamic and interactive with the environment but two weeks in I had to prioritize the gameplay and ML features so I kept the physics simple. I would love to take more time to implements physics and make KlayKoos as squishy and bouncy and silly as I first imagined!
Accomplishments that I’m proud of
Games are often an escape from reality and pet sims are notoriously button-clicking time-passers so I’m proud to make a game that uses the best of what AR has to offer to not distract players but connect them deeper into their world and encourage them to do more of what they like to do (and need to do!) I really believe AR games can be a medium for tangibly improving our lives so I'm happy to have brought together a full-fledged gaming experience that pushes this ideal just a little bit more.
What we learned
I learned that AR technology still has a long way to go!! In 2023 it's still not 100% straight-forward to just have a simple character cohabitating, exploring, and understanding the world around us. Virtual beings are likely going to be a huge part of our everyday lives in the real world metaverse so it's great to going through these lessons early and getting an understanding of what it could be.