LARRY LAGUE

Pandora ROVR

Tags:

web, JavaScript

This site is an old one, but I still think it's cool. This site was a tie-in site for the movie Avatar, and was built at AKQA for McDonalds. The premise of the site is that you are in charge of driving a ROVR (an exploration vehicle) on the planet Pandora. While driving the ROVR, you can take pictures with an outboard camera, listen to external audio, view and log plant, animal and mineral discoveries and view a 3D terrain map of the planet surface.

The ROVR view is intentionally low-res and has a low refresh rate, which is meant to give the impression of a transmission back to the main ship. When you take a picture, it passes the coordinates of the ROVR to a server farm, which then renders a high-resolution image and places it in your Log view. The actual ROVR view is rendered via a series of images transmitted via a JSON stream based on actual coordinates of the ROVR as you navigate around the planet.

I was responsible for coding out the UI, creating the back-end communication for logging in, sending and receiving images, and various animations around the site. Check out the video above to see the ROVR cam in action.