CIRCA:Fort Edmonton Park


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Bygone Pursuits is a game created for Fort Edmonton Park using the fAR-Play platform.


The Game

Bygone Pursuits consists of three adventures, one corresponding to each street at Fort Edmonton park.


Each adventure of the game has a narrative associated with it, with each question in the scavenger hunt reinforcing the theme for the adventure with which it is associated. The game character from the first adventure, 1885, is the father of the characters in the other 2 adventures (1905 and 1920s). The gender of these two children remains ambiguous through the game.


In the 1885 adventure, the player is an RCMP officer headquartered in Fort Saskatchewan. This character seeks to bring law and order to the west by settling land disputes, arresting vagrants, and questioning the Edmonton settlement's populace about other crimes and disruptions to the peace. Upon completing the adventure, this character retires and marries, and has two children.


The 1905 character is the eldest child of the mountie from the 1885 adventure and is an investigative reporter. This character wanders about 1905 street seeking scoops to write about, ranging from investigating tent city to checking out the new Bank of Montreal building to figuring out why a constable with the Edmonton police has been granted an extended leave from the force. Upon completing the adventure, this character trades in their Norfolk suit for an army uniform, for war is brewing in Europe.


The 1920's character is the youngest child of the 1885 character, and the younger sibling of the 1905 character (who the player learns has died in the Great War). This character is a libertine, and the adventure follows this character taking his/her sweetheart to various sites in Edmonton, as he/she wishes to find someone to marry in order to provide his/her unhappy father with a grandchild. At the end of the adventure, the character settles down and marries a police officer, making his/her father proud.

Game Mechanics

The game is initiated by scanning a QR tag on a pamphlet outlining the game. The player then completes a registration process, then chooses which adventure to play - 1885, 1905, or 1920's. Upon initiating the adventure, the player is presented with an intro to the adventure which provides narrative details about the adventure and the game character for each adventure.

An adventure can also be initiated by scanning any tag from the appropriate adventure.

Upon initiating an adventure, the player then searches the applicable street in the park for QR tags. Upon finding and scanning one, the player is asked a multiple choice question related to the history of Edmonton. Each adventure consists of 7 or 8 of these questions. Answers to the questions can be found by reading signage in the park and by interacting with interpreters. If the question is answered incorrectly, the player may try again.

After answering 5 questions correctly, the adventure is complete, and the game displays the closing text.

User Interface

The Development Process

Below is from Calen; needs additional info/editing

The design of Bygone Pursuits was fairly straightforward. Fort Edmonton Park was chosen as we suspected it would be thematically and geographically ideal for a fAR-Play game. Calen Henry, Shanon Lucky and Lucio Gutierrez first met with Tom Long and a few other Fort Edmonton Park staff to present the game idea. After confirming their interest Calen Henry and Tom Long planned the initial idea of the game via email. A meeting was then organized for Lucio and Calen to explain the fAR-Play system to Tom and staff and outline assets required from them. The game options were laid out according to the design document and some story options were discussed. Each point of interest was to require a text, a challenge question and an image. Additionally points in each of the three stages were to have icon images, one per stage. The story content was used as delivered from Fort Edmonton Park as it was written specifically for the game and worked well. Only minor changes to working were required. After all the content had been developed fAR-Play was customized to allow the gameplay required for Bygone Pursuits, stages had not been done before. The Fort Edmonton Park staff and the University of Alberta team got together to test the product. Connectivity was iffy, but Layar posed the most significant problems. fAR-Play iself functioned correctly.

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