Cultural organisations in The Netherlands were struggling with getting more young families to come and experience the public estates in The Netherlands. We were asked by the Society of Play to think of an interesting way that would appeal to children from 6 to 12 years old and that could be used independently as well as part of school program.
Buitenplaats Mobiel was my first project that makes use of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology, meaning I had to figure out the different aspects and challenges that come with the use of new technology. I also had to research the history of each estate for the stories, as well as combine different histories in a way that would coincide with the national guidelines for primary education. The biggest challenge, however, was to create four different interactive stories that would be immersive and logical even if locations would not be visited in a fixed order.
All stories in Buitenplaats Mobiel are based on true historic events, and the main characters in the storyline are people that have actually existed. Each game has extensive background information available on the characters, the sub-locations and certain events that have occurred on the estate. With the help of Society of Play, we've also designed and written an educational booklet for primary schools that can be used for up to four lessons on Dutch national history.
In 2014, the game-in-development won the Europeana Creative Challenge in the category Tourism. Especially high points were awarded for the ability to scale out to other estates within the same app, the creative concept and the use of innovative beacon technology. Buitenplaats Mobiel was brought out for Android (not iOS due to budget concerns) on June 5, 2015, and expanded to a total of four games a year later.