Escape From the Tower
Visitors to the Tower of London can download this free iPhone app as a treasure hunt alternative to conventional audio guides, to actively participate in audacious and infamous escapes in the places they really happened. Aimed at family audiences, especially those with older children, the app uses video and audio to offer four choices of real-life escape stories. The historically accurate, location-aware game uses clues hidden within the Tower to trigger content as participants attempt to smuggle virtual letters, ropes and other contraband to help prisoners escape.
COOKING TIME: 2-3 Months
Having the ability to test via the Calvium player is essential for these kinds of apps, otherwise only registered iPhones are able to test or the app needs to be on the app store. Remember that all apps need to be approved by Apple before they are published on the App Store which can take up to two weeks. If it is rejected then a re-submission will need to be approved. Ensure you read and understand the Apple rules very carefully as re-submission can drastically affect the cooking time.
Bring together an experience designer with curators from Historic Royal Palaces to discuss ideas for the first iPhone app for this London landmark. Come up with initial proposals for stories and interaction mechanisms for a family game that will engage older children.
Carefully select the stories and mechanisms which are to be included in the first design.
Define the experience as a written script that shows interactions, screen images, main characters, audio file names and significant locations where events can happen.
Prototype and test this early design using “scratch” content from previous experiences in the Tower.
Once you are happy with the overall design, work with script-writers, professional actors and graphic designers to polish the narrative, write, record and produce the audio and visual media.
Test this mixture again with users from your target audience.
Ask participants to complete two questionnaires; one about biographical data and expectations and another feedback form.
Take the main points from these questionnaires; the data can help refine the design of the experience.
Combine this feedback to create a solid mixture with all new, shorter, snappier scripts and a stronger emphasis on purpose within locations.
Ensure maximised accessibility; consider foreign users, not just with regard to language clarity but also not wanting to use 3G on their own devices. Set up a wifi access point by the ticket office that only allows people to access the appstore and download Escape-from-the-tower.
Optimise choices for simplicity and robustness rather than novelty. Once you have achieved your desired consistency, submit to App Store and wait……
Ensure you read and understand the Apple rules very carefully as re-submission can drastically affect your launch plans.
Remember that all apps need to be approved by Apple before they are published on the App Store which can take up to two weeks. If it is rejected then a re-submission will need to be approved.
Once approved, celebrate with a launch party, promotional video and all the marketing you can afford.
The whole experience helped me learn facts about the history of the tower of London with silly, lovable historical based ideas as well as the famous historical icons.
I enjoyed the way it moved you around the whole site and incorporated several quizzes, some regarding historical facts but most of the questions were about the characters’ dilemmas.