Interactive Storytelling - AR/VR

The enduring story
of life in a Japanese internment camp unfolds in AR.


History we must always?remember.

Not many know of the Japanese internment camps that arose in Canada in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. We set out to tell the story. The narrative, told in AR and written by acclaimed author Joy Kogawa, blends her real-life experience with the story of an indomitable spirit.


Strategy, Design, Development & QA

  • AR is the perfect medium for the heartbreaking story, and the developers have pulled off a delicate balance of telling it in an effective, hopeful way.

  • The past comes to life in vivid details in East of the Rockies

  • A story about living through Japanese internment creatively utilizes interactive tech to better engage its young audience.


22,000 forced to
leave their homes. 1 tells her story.

This project was kickstarted internally and stemmed from a love of Kogawa’s book on the subject. Working directly with the 83-year-old author meant the chance to introduce her to AR and technology she had never seen before. Her involvement allowed us to put her story and this medium in the hands of older generations and students that would’ve been otherwise unfamiliar.


straying from facts.

We did extensive research on the time period and finding a visual style to best represent it. Then we had to craft an emotional first-person story, as well as compelling ways for an audience to explore it. This meant developing an intuitive user-interface that felt interactive, but not too gamey. Add to that camera movements and pacing to keep the experience compelling.


Your journey begins here.

Meet our hero, Yuki, a 17-year old who’s been relocated to a camp in Slocan. Get to know her family. Explore her bunk. Hear her favourite records. Through AR, you can control every part of the journey — a linear narrative dotted with side stories that invite deeper exploration. We developed 46 characters and pieces of content, including real photographs, newspapers, and testimony from the time.


Over 37,000 App Store downloads in the first week, with a star rating of 4.7/5.

Saw an average of 2.53 sessions per active device.


  • FWA award icon


    SOTD - Mar 29, 2019