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The Keeper of Paintings & The Palette of Perception

Client: The National Gallery, StoryFutures

Agency: Arcade

Role: Narrative design, game writing, scriptwriting, clue and puzzle writing, inventory descriptions, special object copy, game design doc, artwork stories, UX/UI copy, AR onboarding tutorials

I was the Lead Writer and Narrative Designer for The Keeper of Paintings – a mobile-based augmented reality adventure at The National Gallery, created by Arcade.

Designed for 7-11-year-olds, The Keeper of Paintings draws children into an immersive story world, complete with magical animated portals, playful character dialogue, sensory puzzles and learning challenges. As they play and explore, players also collect magical gems which unlock special AR abilities, such as the power to zoom in to painting details or discover hidden stories behind the artworks.

As the Lead Writer / Narrative Designer, I collaborated with Arcade to develop the gameplay, flow and story world, as well script all of the game copy – from character dialogue, to playful inventory items, to kid-friendly artwork stories.

 

I also created playable prototypes for testing (using Typeform) and maintained game documentation, including a complex branching script document and a detailed game design document.

Example character dialogue

Keeper of Paintings app example dialogue

Example gameplay

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Example narrative objects

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Praise for the experience

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The Keeper of Paintings AR app is the first of its kind launched by The National Gallery. It was created with and for children, to excite them about heritage art collections. As well as collaborating with 80+ children and teams at The National Gallery, the project was also part of a wider collaboration with StoryFutures, Royal Holloway University of London and Brunel University of London.