Gamified Photography Gallery
Interactive Gamified Photography Experience
Gamified Photography Gallery is a virtual photo gallery where interactivity and game play work together to create a unique learning experience. When the user approaches a photograph, I narrate the story behind it, why I like the image, or how the image was taken. The gallery tracks the pictures the user has seen; doors leading from one space to the next may only be opened after enough photos have been seen. To enhance to game elements and encourage the user to explore the entire gallery, they must collect four pieces of a DSLR camera before exiting. A passion for both photography and gaming makes this my favorite project.
I want people to look at my photography, but I also want them to enjoy the experience
I wanted an interactive project that provided users with an educational experience, an engaging scenario that didn't bore the user. I decided to focus on one of my strengths and made the project about photography. My initial idea was to educate people about photography concepts—aperture, shutter speed, ISO, framing, composition, etc.—by using my personal photography. I first thought of building an interactive website. Over many prototypes and iterations, my idea evolved into a hybrid of photography and gameplay, challenging users to playfully explore a 3D gallery space for photographs and camera parts.
The photography showcased in this project was compiled over a decade. Many of my old photographs are featured along with some recent ones. The variety of pictures is meant to show the evolution of my photography over time and also broadens the scope of stories I can tell about the images. Each photograph reveals its metadata, including the camera setting, lens, date and time, and camera body used. Each picture was carefully edited and translated for Unity to look as authentic as possible. There are at over 50 unique photos in the project to discover.
Through development, the project took on elements of game design to make the project more engaging. Keeping track of the number of photos seen allowed me to create locked doors, encouraging the user to explore their current part of the gallery find more photographs. I added an end goal to the project to make it feel conclusive: finding four collectables, four pieces of a camera. These pieces are scattered throughout the gallery locked behind doors. By nature of the game loop, finding pictures and exploring the gallery, the user will be able to open doors, collect the pieces, and open the exit of the project.
Prototyping & Iteration
Prototyping was key because it inspired innovative ideas that added new dimension to the project. I constantly gathered feedback from testers from each project iteration until it reached its final form. The 3D photo gallery iteration received the most prototyping to help make the experience easy to use and understand. The project was tested by many people who don't play video games to ensure it was possible for them to navigate and enjoy the experience. Feedback was taken to adjust platforms or controls. Further testing should be done to improve a sense of direction and polish the experience.
"Loved the virtual gallery concept! It was way more engaging than I thought it would be."
"The project is an excellent, engaging project that highlights your beautiful photography while also providing the educational tips."
"It was interesting how pretty some pictures were that were something as simple as a close up of a drink with ice cubes in it. It challenges me to view more things as potential pictures."