BZAAR is a next-generation NFT Marketplace, designed to offer a truly immersive shopping experience, leveraging emerging technologies for a seamless on-platform and on-the-go experience.
August to December 2021
With the rise of cryptocurrency and blockchain, we wanted to explore how we can use these emerging technologies to make buying NFTs more accessible. We wanted to create a more inclusive and accessible experience for NFT purchases, by combining AR and geolocation, with little dash of tamagotchi-esque gameplay.
I was responsible for the design for the entire application, both mobile and web. This was my first project involving crypto and gaming. Finally, all that time I spent playing video games and learning about basic game design from Game Maker's Toolkit on YouTube was going to pay off in a big way.
My CEO approached me with the idea of creating digital collectibles but with a gaming component. She said Tamagotchi but I really thought of Digimon being the perfect metaphor (which is obviously better than Pokémon). Both Digimon and Pokémon games include a gameplay mechanic that encourages you to take care of your creature by playing with it and feeding it. Pokémon Go has this feature as well, if you want an even common example.
I settled on the basic idea of feeding, playing, and cleaning your critter after talking to my coworkers who are also pet owners. I used those to mock up a low fidelity prototype.
Everyone seemed to love the poop emojis.
We had a basic gameplay mechanic that the developers could take a look at and start iterating on it. I understood early on that this was not the same as iterating on mobile apps. If players don't like the gameplay, it doesn't matter how cute the critters look or what other features we introduced, they would just leave the game and move on to something else.
People don't like Pokémon because Pikachu looks cute. It's about the story, the adventure, the challenges, the adversaries, and the friendships you make along the way. Yeah, it sounds cheesy but Pokémon has a total revenue of $118.5 billion. That's a lot of cheese.
My CEO brought in an amazing designer and a friend of Bohemian, Max Batt. He loved what we were doing and helped us with branding. The curved and bold font, purple everywhere with a gold accent blew me away and motivated me to work even harder on bringing this idea to life.
I took the concepts and expanded on it to create all the screens, and also took some design liberties of my own. We were then able to iterate and improve on the screens, getting rid of ideas that didn't work. We also looked at examples VR galleries in the Metaverse and decided to include NFT Art into the mix as well.
We understood how Pokémon Go combined love of Pokémon and getting people to be outdoors more, We wanted to do the same with BZAAR. So PokéStops became Shops in BZAAR where players will have to physically go to purchase from. The virtual store would always be accessible, but would have just the basic items.
For any information, please go to https://www.bzaarx.com/