New Year’s Greetings from Turku Game Lab

Hello all,

New year, new tricks. Thought this would be an excellent time to look back a little and see what’s been going on with the mobile game Vivi has already mentioned a couple of times in her posts.

 My name is Anttoni and I work at Turku University of Applied Sciences. Even though my position is in the internal research and development services, I mostly like to loiter around Turku Game Lab, which is a joint working environment of University of Turku and Turku University of Applied Sciences. I’ve been coordinating the development team that is tinkering away at the LightsOn! mobile game, which will be ready for iOS and Android in the summer of 2018.

The idea of the game is to attract visitors to the eight project locations and give them an opportunity to experience the sites in a new way. The game features on-site tasks that illustrate the passing of time under the thematic umbrella of power and its different characteristics. To put it in English, players will complete short missions that offer points of view to how power has been used throughout history. The eight LO! locations have all been powerful regional centres at one point in their histories, so there are many stories to tell.


[Picture 1. The memorial at Lõhavere offers ample opportunity for creating a mystery for the players to uncover.]


From a tech point of view, the most important features will be based on GPS and augmented reality. And no, it will not be completely different from Pikachu hunting – but certainly different enough! 

The game concept is now ready. We know how to connect the eight locations into a narrative and what kind of tasks we’d like to offer to the players. We also know which historical periods and which characters will feature in the game. We know how to create an appropriate interface and which kind of music should play in the background. We know that we want to utilise maps with different scales for offering the players a comprehensible understanding of the sites and integrate gaming elements into those maps. And we know that we should give the players a chance to see which historical ruler they mostly resemble themselves.


[Picture 2. The info sign at Varbola – in addition to working well as a info sign – is also a good prototype for some of the in-game maps.]


Actually, we don’t really KNOW many of those things. It’s still early days, but at this point in time we have a clear direction. It’s time to roll up some sleeves and get to work!

 Anttoni Lehto