Padres Hall of Fame AR experience by Rock Paper Reality

Rock Paper Reality (RPR) developed an all-new immersive, multi-player experience for the San Diego Padres baseball team. Featured in the Padres Hall Of Fame at Petco Park, the experience was built with the Snapdragon Spaces™ XR Developer Platform, Motorola edge+, and Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 smart glasses.

To play, up to four players can select a different colored ball that pops up from virtual podiums in front of the user. Once everyone has selected their ball, a virtual portal opens on the physical wall of the HOF, revealing a 1:1 representation of Petco Park and holograms of Padres’ Hall of Famers.

The goal is to hit baseballs through virtual rings floating throughout the stadium. Using head position to aim, players hit the ball by simply tapping the Motorola edge+ screen, and a baseball launches from A3 glasses. The easiest shots are scored as a single; the hardest ring to hit in the back is a grand slam. Each shot triggers a celebratory animation.

AR experience highlights:

  • Ease of use. RPR knew this would be the first time most people ever used smart glasses and augmented reality. Players don’t have to be a pro-gamer to score high, which creates a really fun atmosphere for anyone to play, whether it’s someone in their 80s, a child or a complete novice to virtual gaming.
  • Detailed 3D Content. For the agency, look and feel were essential in bringing experience to life. RPR wanted the stadium and players to be unmistakable. The team used a drone to capture thousands of photos of Petco Park and used photogrammetry to stitch them together. They also captured Petco Park as a reference to model the entire stadium, and then added 3D models and animation. Result: sci-fi sports center from the future meets the retro, throwback look and feel of the Padres.
  • Portal Augmented Reality. For the stadium-scale AR experience, the size of the environment seems the biggest constraint. To overcome it, the studio created a virtual portal that overlaid on the wall, allowing users a line of sight into the 3D Petco Park as if they were standing on home plate. While the space and UX required users to stay stationary, AR content and a virtual portal brought in the action.
  • Multiplayer. What better way to get a group of friends and families excited about AR and the Padres’ HOF than to play against one other in a high-action arcade-style game? Since not everyone wants to wear a headworn device, the backend allowed two players to play with the Lenovo A3 and two players on the Motorola edge+. All the devices are set up on a table, and all 4 players play against each other simultaneously. The user with the highest score gets a special AR trophy and champion bragging rights.
  • Spectator View. With the objective to entice everyone to play and providing an exciting show, RPR set up a webcam above the players’ backs that streamed the players’ view and the surrounding audience onto TV screens. Just as each player can see their opponent shooting balls, a spectator view from a “5th player perspective” live-streamed the game, adding excitement in real-time.

“We were thrilled when Motorola approached us to become their immersive technology partner and develop an AR experience for the Padres. RPR’s leadership spun out from headworn pioneer, ODG, and developing smart glasses experiences for almost 13 years. We’ve been developing AR headworn experiences on Snapdragon technology since 2015, starting with the Snapdragon 805.

The team supporting Snapdragon Spaces couldn’t be more helpful and easier to work with throughout the development process. Since we were pushing the boundaries of new AR hardware and software, we closely communicated with the team for creative brainstorming around technical challenges. Those calls often resulted in solutions and helped keep development progress moving ahead and on schedule.”

– Preston Platt, Rock Paper Reality CTO