You have a story worth telling. Let’s tell it with Augmented Reality

The popularity of Pokémon GO last summer was huge. Worldwide millions of people got outside to play the location-based-game and catch digital creatures on the streets. This year, on July 6th, the app had its 1 year anniversary and this summer all kind of Pokémon GO festivals are being organized worldwide to celebrate the fact that special Pokémon will appear in the game. The hype for the big crowd has passed already, only the true fans are still playing. However, it surely did created a steady base for successful location-based concepts. The use of Augmented Reality has become a magnet for attracting visitors. What did we learn and how can we use the game’s successful elements to achieve our own success? We love to explain!

Storytelling is the key to success

Niantic, the company that developed Pokémon GO already developed a location-based game some years ago called Ingress. The concept of the game is the same as that of Pokémon GO; pick a team, walk around your neighbourhood and search for specific locations to collect objects or to battle others. The game got a big fanbase, but it didn’t reach the public majority. It wasn’t until Niantic collaborated with Nintendo and connected the Pokémon universe to the game that the game got extremely popular with the big crowd. Why? Because of the following reasons:

  • A very popular storyworld got connected to the game
  • This made the game recognizable; de current generation of people in their twenties got raised with Pokémon
  • The main goal of the game was to collect (instead of battling one another like Ingress), which encouraged people to play together
  • The concept was relatively simple. Ingress used all kinds of complicated assignments and descriptions, which made it hard to understand. The concept of Pokémon is very clear: gotta catch ’em all!
  • Specific locations were key in the game which made it possible for players to actually meet each other in real life
  • The use of Augmented Reality was a magic touch to the app; people could really see the Pokémon creatures standing on the actual street!

Photo by Michel de Heer | preHistorisch Dorp

Successful location-based AR apps: how to accomplish?

At Dutch Rose Media we’ve learnt of both the successes and pitfalls of Pokémon GO. For the past three years we’ve been developing ByAR apps: location-based apps with walking routes, games and treasure hunts, all with Augmented Reality experiences. By using Augmented Reality (AR) you can place a digital layer on top of reality and making the invisible visible to anyone. Think of historical events that occur right in front of you, creatures that need to be found or digital guides that help you explore the most fun places. By now we know how to use Augmented Reality to make the most of your location and to draw attention to new and many visitors. Gladly we will explain how you can create a profitable location-based concept using ByAR.

Create a storyworld

Stories are everywhere. When attracting visitors to your castle, industrial building, museum or nature area; make sure all stories connect and exist in a complete storyworld. Fortified stories are more appealing to people and will often make sure that people actually finish their walk or visit, since they want to know how the story ends

Make it recognizable

When telling a story, no matter if it’s told by a storyteller or in game mode, make sure the story doesn’t get too crazy or too fake. People like recognizable elements such as well-known historical events or (relatively) famous persons. This will make a story endurable.

Focus on the collecting element

Whether it’s about collecting stories or literally gathering gnomes during a treasure hunt: make sure people have a goal. You want people to actually go to a specific location to get something exclusive that they can’t get anywhere else. Not even at home.

Keep it simple

It’s often stated that a simple concept is a brilliant concept. Make sure routes are easy to follow, stories don’t get too complicated or too long to watch. Use Augmented Reality to show just enough to excite your visitors. Beware of wanting to tell or show too much, and avoid people getting bored.

Location is key

One of the most important elements in a location-based app: locations! By creating stories or games at specific locations you can easily draw (new) visitors to these places, often for the very first time. Turning locations into exclusive places with exclusive content in an appealing way. Not at home, not on the internet or in a book: no, at the exact location! Besides that you’ll be responsible for getting people active; letting them walk or run.

The magic touch of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality can turn a beautiful location into an even more beautiful location. Telling a story is fun, but really experiencing the story is amazing! AR nowadays offers possibilities beyond your wildest dreams in making stories come alive or making a game feel real. How awesome is that?! Can you already think of all the opportunities?

With ByAR you can achieve all of this in a total innovative way! Ready to offer your visitors something totally new?

Storytelling vs. Gaming: what fits your purpose best?

Telling a story and playing a game can be combined very easily. However, it’s the combination of the location, the visitors and your purpose to decide which form fits best. With storytelling you can make history come alive or show cultural elements in a complete new way. For example, for the 100th anniversary of Huize Bergen we developed a narrative story over the estate, showing the most iconic historical happenings. And for preHistorich Dorp we developed de Tijdkijker, which helps people to travel through time with Augmented & Virtual Reality. With gaming you can use playful elements to learn people about their surroundings or to make them discover new places. In Valkenswaard we created an Augmented gnome hunt, a fun treasure hunt full of surprises and digital gnomes. Each purpose fits a special kind of experience.

All that’s left not: which experience are you going to offer your visitors?

Did you get inspired and would you like to get your very own location-based app with Augmented Reality? Ready to attract new visitors and to have them surprised? Contact us then via and we’d love to tell you all about ByAR and Augmented Reality experiences!