Totem games at « la fête de la science », Evry France

“La fête de la science” (the science fest) is a national manifestation organized by the French Research Ministry. Its purpose is to render science research accessible for everyone. The 20th edition of the manifestation was held from the 12th to the 16th of October 2011 under the theme “Chemistry”.

Following that theme, we have created an augmented reality mobile game based on basic elements (water and carbon dioxide). The game consisted in catching the atoms and compounding them into their corresponding element and was played at the Evry University.  On Friday (13th) we received 10 high school groups and Saturday was open to all public (family audience).


Students learning about Augmented Reality



Teenagers playing “Elements” game





Tidy City in New Zealand

Recently Melanie Middlemiss and her collegues at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand were host to a group of high school students taking part in the OUASSA camp ( During their stay the students took part in a number of activities to get a feel for what Information Science is all about, and to experience some of the cool technologies that their students are working with. As such, Melanie Middlemiss and her collegues showed them a number of mobile augmented reality and mixed reality games – one of which was TidyCity:

"We set up two challenges for the students – Albany Street Challenge, and Campus Challenge. The first was a simple game that contained 5 riddles that were situated along Albany Street in the Otago University campus. The idea of this challenge was for the students to get the feel for the software and devices that they were using. We thought that they might have had some issues and needed a while to come to grips with the technology, but they raced off in small groups and had the challenge completed in no time!

The second challenge was designed to test the students’ knowledge of the University of Otago campus. These students had only spent a few days on campus earlier in the year, so they were not particularly familiar with the area. This challenge gave them a chance to wander around campus and find some locations that they may not have otherwise visited. The groups had a great time with this challenge and solved nearly all of the riddles – unfortunately we were a little constrained on time by this stage.

The students all reported back that they had a great time using the TidyCity application and completing the challenges that we had set out. They felt that it was a fun and novel way to become familiar with a new location. As far as the Department of Information Science staff are concerned, it was nice and easy to set up the challenges using the TidyCity Scout application on the mobile device, and we hope to use the application again when we have visiting students on campus."

Students playing TidyCity in Dunedin, New Zealand

Students puzzling about a TidyCity riddle. (Photo: University of Otago)

Students playing TidyCity in Dunedin, New Zealand

Students discussing solution possibilities (Photo: University of Otago)

Students playing TidyCity in Dunedin, New Zealand

Student playing TidyCity in Dunedin, New Zealand (Photo: University of Otago)

Gamescom 2011

Starting this Wedneday and lasting until Sunday, TOTEM will be present at the Gamescom in Cologne. Gamescom is the world's biggest trade fair for video games, so it should be quite exciting!

You can play Tidy City and also our new mobile AR game Portal Hunt as well as try out the game specific authoring tools. Furthermore we will also showcase a first glimpse of our general authoring tools.

You can find us in the outdoor area F08, booth A-018.

Back to school, Tidy City

Tidy City at Day of Mathematics, Evangelisches Gymnasium Bad Marienberg

On Monday, June 20th 2011, we presented Tidy City at the Evangelisches Gymnasium Bad Marienberg, a secondary school in Germany. The school ran a special event, the day of mathematics, on which all its pupils had to compete and earn points at different learning stations. In this context Tidy City was used to realize an outdoor learning station that implicated a dozen riddles which were spread out all over the schools campus.

Our outdoor learning station was well received, especially by pupils of the 5th and 6th grade. In the end 33 pupils and 3 teachers played the school game scenario which was created by our former intern Chantal, who is also a pupil at the school.

After each game we interviewed the teachers. Their initial remarks suggest that Tidy City is generally well suited to support station-oriented learning in an outdoor environment, and especially well suited to support teaching and learning as practiced at the school. A more detailed analysis of using Tidy City for educational purposes will be conducted as part of forthcoming work.

We would like to thank all participants for their interest and feedback. A special thank you goes to Chantal for creating the school game scenario in only 3 hours. Well done! You can read more about the day of mathematics at the school's website (, in German).

Tidy City at You Are GO!

[Copyright by Invisible Playground / Michael Rudolph]

On Sunday, June 19th we presented Tidy City on the international Street Game Festival "You Are GO!" in Berlin. A specific Tidy City mission for the area around the festival location near HAU 2 (subway station "Hallesches Tor") was provided by game designer Michael Straeubig. Several players used the chance to solve the tricky riddles of his mission and learnt more about the area while having a good time. In addition to playing the game we also offered a workshop in which visitors could learn more about how to author their own Tidy City mission with our easy-to-use authoring tools that can downloaded for free.

Beside the festival, we used the chance and developed a huge Tidy City mission for Berlin which covers many intersting spots in Berlin. Check it out!

Tidy City at You are GO

We will be giving a workshop for people about Tidy City at the upcoming street game festival "You are GO". The festival lasts from Friday, June 17th, until Sunday, June 19th, and takes place in Berlin. People will have the opportunity to both play the game as well as author new missions for it. The detailed programme is not up yet, but you can check out the festival website for some more information:

Tidy City on the SIANA 2011

Since 2005, the Digital Arts Festival SIANA ( is held every two years in the city of Evry. It principle is to regroup different actors of the digital scene and the citizens of the region to share digital art expositions, live shows, conference and workshops around the festival’s theme.  The theme of this year was: The Imaginary of Technologies.

Tidy City Evry vas created for the occasion. The concept was presented in the innovation conference cycle:

The game was played in the Cathedral area

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