Project Familiar has two primary audiences: TTRPG Players, and AR Developers.
Naturally, I believe that my work on Project Familiar will benefit anyone who plays TTRPGs like D&D. From my market and competition research, I only found two AR apps that seemed to fill similar niches.
TTRPG Players come from many different backgrounds and, due to the low cost of entry for D&D (a particularly thrifty group can play for free, completely legally thanks to documents like 5th edition’s SRD). The last time Wizards of the Coast conducted a demographics survey was in 2000, but a redditor going by yourfriendlane conducted one in 2014 that got hundreds of responses. While much of the demographics information is useful, the most notable ones for me were:
- Players tend to prefer playing physical games rather than digital games.
- Players struggle to stay focused at the table.
- Players struggle to find time to play.
Project Familiar aims to allow players to continue to play physically, while helping with focus, and reducing (at the very least) the amount of time players feel they have wasted.
Mostly, players value either fun. While some players definitely find the minutiae of TTRPG bookkeeping fun, and others may just choose to ignore it altogether, not all do players do.
Players also have great variability in which resources they have available – older players are more likely to have money, but are more likely to ignore the rules. Younger players may be less likely to have money to spend, and also more likely to want to use an app like Project Familiar. Those who spend, though, generally do so on simpler things like rulebooks and dice. One should note, though, that this survey was performed in early 2014, when Kickstarter was just starting to rev its engines – since then, TTRPG players and fans have proven time and time again that they are willing to spend money on their hobby.
I believe Project Familiar will also serve as a useful study in tangible AR design, granting insight into what it takes to design a tangible AR app that is both usable and useful in conjunction with physical objects. AR developers who might be interested in this research may work for AR firms of variable size, ranging from tech giant to startup, though I suspect most will work for smaller companies that have a focus on games and gamification specifically.
AR developers may often struggle to find a good balance between physical and digital components of a game or activity, and often rely too much on one or the other. They may want to create a quality AR experience, but may or may not have be able to perform this R&D entirely on their own.