Chris Holden. 2012 – present.
I created Rupee Collector first as a tech demo in 2012 for the then-new spawning feature in ARIS (called factories in ARIS 2.0), a way to have content be generated on a map according to rules instead of placing it manually. My hope was that I would have a game that made me want to run around, and that the creative possibilities of spawning might become more apparent through some actual design. Later, as the game together it became a test bed for much more:
- Theming and reconfiguring the existing “player backpack” to become a leaderboard, a first for an ARIS game, and part of the official API in ARIS 2.0.
- Convincing art in ARIS games: using transparent pngs, small sound files to add to the depth of engagement.
- Exploring the possibility (technical and practical) of non-captive audiences for ARIS games. Rupee Collector can be played anywhere thanks to spawning, is fun to play against strangers thanks to the leaderboard, and has been played by almost a thousand people in the last couple years. Not exactly GTA 5, but this is probably around 1/10th of the total active registered players of ARIS in that time, plenty of whom were locked into a single game.
- Exploring the affordances of iOS to allow an ARIS game to act more like an app, than a file within an app.
- Using rupee Collector as a jumping off point for other designs. The game is intentionally very simple so that variations might entice new authors to join in. This is recruitment for ARIS, but also pedagogy for those using ARIS to teach design.