A roar-some new attraction
ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure is the UK’s largest dinosaur-themed adventure Park. For 2022, they were launching a new interactive attraction: Valley of the Dinosaurs, complete with new animatronic dinosaurs and a themed narrative following in the footsteps of the Park’s explorer Cornelius Weston Smythe. But with plenty of static dinosaur models remaining, ROARR! wanted a way to make their current dinosaurs as exciting and interactive as the new models. So they came to us for an AR trail that could bring the static dinosaurs roaring to digital life.
The goal was more than simply engagement – the AR experience needed to tie in with the character of Cornelius and follow a narrative that keeps users both entertained and learning in a fun and memorable way. On top of that, ROARR! were keen for a shareable experience to help raise awareness of their brand and get more intrepid explorers entering the Valley of the Dinosaurs. So we planned a gamified AR experience that led visitors through the park, followed by an interactive Magic Mirror experience to allow families to pose with dinosaurs and share their photos online.
Our first challenge was to create an intuitive game within the boundaries of web AR. So we mapped out seven touchpoints within the Park where there could be a simple yet engaging interaction that draws in that gameplay feel. We then aligned each interaction point with different dinosaurs on the trail – spreading them out to keep users on the hunt – and matching the action to the type of dinosaur. Using only a few reference images, we modelled each dinosaur from scratch and animated it for the designated task, which included designing your own dinosaur and watching it hatch, catching as many Pteranodons as you can, roaring like a T-rex, feeding a dinosaur, searching for signs of dinosaurs and guessing the type, a sonic game to draw dinosaurs in with sound and a selfie filter to see yourself as an explorer and share the image.
We used ZapWorks’ web AR platform to enable the experience and integrated it into ROARR!’s existing app. To make sure users visited the site in person to experience the fun of the AR dinosaur trail, we built the experience to trigger from unique compass-shaped markers on interpretation boards around the Park itself, designed in the same notebook/journal style devised by ROARR! Every interaction has a photo opportunity so users can share the fun with friends and family on social media, and at the end of the trail they get the added bonus of the Magic Mirror, where they can pose alongside dinosaurs in a choice of three scenes. Then, once they’re in position, they can take the photo and either retrieve it there and then via QR code or via their email.
Launched in early summer 2022, the Valley of the Dinosaurs has been a continual hit, with the AR trail and Magic Mirror proving highly popular with families and visitors. In its first 15 months of operation, there were nearly 36,000 interactions and good engagement with all three photo opportunities – with the T-rex the most popular of all!
Do you have a message you want to convey? A situation that needs simulating, or an audience that needs reaching? Whatever your challenge – we have the ideas, the experience, and the equipment to help.