Santa Tracker

Google Maps, 2015

Santa Tracker is a holiday campaign for kids of all ages to encourage them to have fun, learn a little bit, and explore the globe. During a five-month internship at Upperquad Studio based in San Francisco, I was able to team up with both Google Maps and Upperquad teams to create more crazy and outstanding experiences for Santa Tracker 2015.

I was put in charge of the conception of a new game and in researches for new « Village » interactions, under the supervision of Jason Dietrich, lead designer and partner at Upperquad.

Cooking Game
After many researches, I found that the relevant Food theme of Christmas had never been exploited. I designed, with an other intern Meghan Regior, a learning game around the kitchen and the traditional holiday cakes around the world. Players can cook the christmas cake of his/her choice, following a recipe or just choosing random ingredients, with the risk of making a gross cake. The idea was to create a game without specific rules so each player - child and adult - could find his/her own fun way to play. As the main users remind children, we also added a gameplay with recipes to follow : they can learn counting proportions and ingredients, discover traditions around the world… All the recipes can be downloaded so people can make it for real at home.

Advent Calendar maps
The Village is a micro city where all the games and videos are exposed as interactive houses to explore. Every day from 1st of December until Christmas day, a new house is built and a new game or video is available to explore. The primary interactions of the Village worked as a vertical scrolling long street and every houses where un-iced each new day, with a map-pin style indicating users to click there. The final village shown here was designed by Upperquad teams after my internship.

With Meghan Regior, we found out that the navigation through houses could be difficult and it was easy to get « lost ». Therefore, we worked on new navigation systems to make orientation in the Village more accessible.

The first conception of the Village works as a Map: you have a panoramic view of the entire Village and houses in flat design. As Santa Tracker is a Google Maps product, we also bring inside some typical Maps interactions such as Zooming and StreetView. The houses are build as if the Village was an Advent Calendar: when you open the menu tab, the Village foundations and the Santa Tracker Calendar are layered.

The Second conception is more like a game board: the vertical scrolling of the primary navigation becomes horizontal and more intuitive. The Village foundation are also layered with the Santa Tracker Calendar so users can easily find their way.

Bonus game: Toy Repair
I designed an other game for Santa Tracker 2015 named Toy Repair. In a factory environment, players have to repair some borken toy in order to give them to children all around the world. The main goal was to promote Charity partnerships with Google Santa Tracker.

* To discover the Santa Tracker 2015 experience, click here.



Game Conception