Roads of Honey and Romans
Cultural & Historical Heritage in XR
The “Road of Honey and Romans” is an interactive AR phone/tablet based game developed by HOLOSCOPE within a
European Commission funded project, covering 3 cultural-historical sites from the Roman period.
By using a smartphone or tablet, user explores the historical sites, seeing “invisible” objects, people and events from the past.
He is assisted in his quests by two virtual characters, Octavian (a Roman’s emperor’s son and a bee).
The main experience of our AR game is a quest-based treasury hunt experience, where the player, playing in first person through AR, has to complete various quests. The quests range from finding pieces of a broken guidestone in order to repair it, finding coins that are stashed in amphoras, to helping soldiers and blacksmiths find their weapons and shields and more. During the hunt, the player is guided along by two helpful characters – a Roman boy Octavian and the Bee – who during the hunt teach the player about ancient Roman lore and history.
One of the challenges we faced on our way to create a location-based and a location-exclusive experience was referencing the AR scene to the real world historical locations of the fortifications, quarries and villas. By using a combination of device sensors and complex mathematical transformations we were able to achieve our goal of showing players pieces of history on the exact location.
Considering the game’s usage of various device sensors and chips (including the camera) while needing to maintain a certain visual standard, some optimizations were required to keep the device running smooth and cool, and to reduce the battery drain – such as custom rendering resolutions, frame-rate capping and periodical sensor polling.