Ultimate Explorer Interactive Experience
The Ultimate Adventure Attraction
Touchscreen Map Kiosk, Dynamic Leaderboards, Microsite
Pioneer an Immersive Experience
From thought-provoking television to captivating documentaries to its iconic print publication, National Geographic has provided us with educational, insightful, and fun content for over 130 years. With just about every other form of media already under their belt, Nat Geo turned their sights on an interactive exploration center aimed at combining elements from theme parks, museums, gaming, and role-playing into an immersive and educational family experience. A world unto itself where guests become explorers of the deepest oceans, tallest mountains, and even race against the fastest animals in the world.
Along with our partners at iP2 Entertainment, we were tasked with creating deeply interactive content for Nat Geo’s master plan – park maps, leaderboards for two racing attractions, and an interactive user passport experience that linked up to everything within the indoor exploration center. We began with our own exploration of exciting ways guests can connect with Nat Geo’s content.
Every theme park needs a good map. It is a key component in the overall experience. These interactive maps were displayed on large screens outside of the park for visitors who wanted to see what awaited them through the gate. As opposed to a map only found inside, this map functioned as an attraction in itself, as well as a way-finding device for park visitors. They can tap into any attraction for more information by utilizing a touch display. We created animations to entice curious park goers by playing up the content for each attraction in the park. The low-poly and colorful aesthetic worked well stylistically for the park. We made it to look bright and fun so it can serve as motivation for everyone to come explore the park.
We built this map as a real-time rendered app which allowed us the advantage of programming interaction that would seamlessly transition with the user’s taps. This approach enabled us to create alternate language overlays and attraction changes without massive pre-rendered packages. We knew there were going to be more parks built in China and Mexico so when the time came to build those maps, the pipeline once again proved invaluable for quick updates and modifications.
One of the areas in the park does indeed let visitors race against real animals. Race contestants checked in, raced virtual animals on a real track, and viewed their posted results on an overhead screen. Our task for one of the most active attractions within the park was to develop its interactive leaderboard. We built an inherently flexible system that swapped out names, images, times, and transitions per race. Each visitor was given a special wristband that integrated and recorded this data across attractions to display their character’s name, racing stats, and bragging rights.
Tomb of the Ancients
Unearthing ancient Aztec secrets is totally our kind of thing. Good thing we have The Tomb of the Ancients, another tracking-based activity where visitors complete an obstacle course while trying to collect special items as quickly as they possibly can. To heighten the friendly competition for guests, we created an interactive scoreboard that is shown at the entrance and exit. These scoreboards have idle animations that periodically show high scores and current race standings. Fluid API integration was just as critical here as visitors swiped their wristbands at the entrance, allowing everything from their race time to their collected items to be tracked and displayed within the park.
The Explorer Passport
Want a way to keep track of where you’ve been in the park, badges you’ve earned, or even pictures you’ve taken? There’s an app for that. We helped develop Nat Geo’s Explorer Passport app that allowed park visitors to keep track of just about everything. There are hundreds of badges, missions, and unlockable achievements throughout so having a concise way to access them was at the heart of the app’s Explorer’s Journal.
We devised the passbook to work both in and out of the park, so you can boast your entomologist badge on the go! The design reflects the stylized cases used indoors, highlighting elements of black metal and paper. Outside the park, the online journal speaks to the same style in a more streamlined, mobile-friendly way.
Together with National Geographic and iP2, we set out to create something extra special. We transformed empty indoor space into the Ultimate Explorer experience by combining Nat Geo’s award-winning content with innovative technology. The result was a fun, interactive experience that lasted far beyond the moment and hopefully, instilled in guests a continued love for both science and the natural world.