Naovatar - Interactive storytelling through a robot


Interactive storytelling through a robot

The profesor has gone missing on an alien planet! Giant Mecha NAO is landing on the planet to look for her. Listen to him report back what he sees through his mini-NAO avatar. Help him search by telling him where to go and solving puzzles!

For Global Game Jam 2013, Angelica Lim and I worked together to create an interactive story and puzzle game using a humanoid robot called NAO. The gameplay is similar to classic text-based adventure games, but the story is told entirely through speech and sound effects. Players interact by telling NAO what they want him to do.

We wanted to create a fun proof-of-concept, demonstrating the potential of using robots for interactive storytelling. By avoiding visuals altogether, the player has to use their imagination. Sound effects and music help them imagine the world.

The total development time was less than 18 hours. I worked on the game design and puzzles while Angelica used the Choreographe tool to implement everything.

NAO's functions can be used together to create a richer story:

More Video!

First scene in the game has Nao Landing


We tried to use different methods of interacting with NAO to create a variety of puzzles.

Things we wanted to add

Time constraints meant we couldn't add everything in the time. Here's what we wanted to add next:

Global Game Jam

We used the Global Game Jam heartbeat theme as the link to the professor who the players are trying to rescue. At the start of the game players hear the heartbeat, and at the end as they get close to the professor it's played again.

We also fulfilled three of the diversifiers:


Programming and Design: Angelica Lim

Design and Writing: Ben Humphreys

Music: Thompost. The forest background music is Froglette from Garden, and the cave background music is Breathe from Water.

Thanks: Kalin for lending us his Nao, James Baxter for audio help.