Designing Gamified Systems: Results of the student team projects (summer semester 2021)

Video gaming is on a fast-track to becoming olympic! In 2021 the IOC surprisingly hosted an eSports event as a pre-event of the Olympic Games in Japan and the 19th Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou will be the first olympic event in which both eSports and sports athletes can receive gold medals in their disciplines. This inspired us. In cooperation with Mercedes-Benz we gave students participating in the lecture Designing Gamified Systems the challenge to:

Design an innovative game or gamification approach in which sports, gaming, and mobility meet as part of an unforgettable mixed-reality experience for potential visitors of the 2022 Olympic Asian Games in China, Hangzhou.

Three project teams worked on this challenge and developed impressive concepts and prototypes within 2 months which were then presented to executives of Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler AG and MBition GmbH.


CANYoU − Spreading the Spirit of the Asian Games 2022 Through AR-Based Minigames Together With Mercedes-Benz

Team: Team UNICORNS: J. van de Logt, Y. Zuber, S. Berzins, J. Rosenberger

Abstract: Designing a gamified experience for the Asian Games 2022 – what could be more innovative to spark interaction and connect people from different backgrounds? Challenged by the project client Mercedes-Benz, a concept for the gamified system CANYoU was designed and brought to life by applying prototyping techniques. Key milestones represented the conceptual game design, the technical development of a mini game and the creation of wireframes for mobile and in-car application. Testing activities conducted at the last stage showed that the group of testers wished for the extension of games beyond the screen of mobile devices. Correspondingly, CANYoU was experienced as a fun game to involve people in sports and connect with each other in real life. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement regarding the AR approach of the game. The UI/UX design of the game is overall perceived as intuitive, however, additional design iterations are required to optimize users’ clicking behavior. In addition, further testing is inevitable as the testing set-up was not always self-explanatory for the users and a stronger emphasis must be put on Asian users to ensure a tailoring to culture-specific needs. Regarding the future of the project, the prototyping may be taken one step further in the form of a downloadable, working application. This would again involve extensive user testing prior to a launch of the app onto the Asian market. To increase the operational efficiency in implementing these steps, the focus should lie on the enhancement of the technical infrastructure for the app development. In the end, a closer collaboration with Mercedes-Benz would as well be favorable to enable a close alignment of the design, scope, and functionality of CANYoU with the expectations of the stakeholder.

CANYoU – Teaser Video

Github Repository


TogethAR − A Gamified App for the Asian Games 2022

Team: K. Horsting, Z. Wen, M. Weber, S. Chen


While both the UEFA Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games 2021 in Tokyo occurred under peculiar and extraordinary circumstances due to the current state of the world, the Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou will hopefully be one of the first big post-pandemic sporting event that allows visitors from all over the world to come together again. To highlight and celebrate the reunion, this gamified approach to a visitor’s guide to the Asian Games engages visitors to contribute to the Olympic spirit by collaborating on a joint artistic symbol of respect, peace, and pluralism in an Augmented Reality (AR) approach while traveling through Hangzhou. The project vision included turning the spectators into active contributors by enabling them to digitally draw on the event venues, which act as canvases for virtual graffiti, sketches, and drawings. Over the course of the Asian Games, the city of Hangzhou would become increasingly colorful, visualizing the collaboration, cooperation, and competition of a diverse userbase that is united in a common goal. The app TogethARrealized this vision by implementing a detailed and comprehensive concept that is based on self-determination theory and the satisfaction of the three basic needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. After extensive research on the target audience, representative personas were created whose motivators form the basis for the app’s design. To cater to their wants and needs, the app incorporates a wide variety of game dynamics, mechanics, and components, ranging from social interaction over challenges and competition up to achievements and resources. Up until now, the project stages of preparation, analysis, ideation, and design have been successfully completed. Additionally, a first Minimum Viable Product (MVP) has been implemented and a comprehensive clickable high-fidelity prototype has been created and utilized for early user testing. The next steps of the project therefore consist of further developing, testing, and evaluating the running MVP.

GitLab Repository


XPLORE HANGZHOU − Gamifying City Discovery

Team: J. Kühlborn, S. Kruschel, A. Link, J. Ort, L. Vyhnal


Xplore Hangzhou is a mobile game prototype that was developed for Mercedes-Benz, which will be sponsoring the Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou, China. Therefore, the target timeframe of the prototype is during the Asian Games from 10thuntil 25th of September 2022. The targeted audience are mainly visitors of the Asian Games but also athletes, regular tourists, or locals. The game itself is a quiz embedded in a gamified travel planner designed explicitly for Hangzhou. By answering questions, players can collect points which they can trade in for capabilities or rewards. Players can use the travel planning functionalities to plan their stay in Hangzhou including recommendations for various destinations like restaurants, sightseeing and sports events. During rides to or from these destinations inside a Mercedes-Benz car, players can use the in-car screens to see a map of Hangzhou and the route they are currently traveling. In the immediate vicinity of their vehicle, appearing icons can be tapped to open questions, which can be answered while using the support of various capabilities. Testing the prototype and the gamification approach have been completed. Next steps include further evaluation of the results and implementation of a valid system architecture for the gamified system Xplore Hangzhou.

The ideas, concepts, and content (e.g. images, videos, and texts) are property of the students and have been published with their permission.