Watchmen AR and an Alternate Reality

Watchmen remixes both the world of original graphic novel and our current world to create a unique, show-specific alternate reality. HBO felt AR was the perfect medium to engage fans and celebrate artistry with a twist.

Dr. Manhattan at San Diego Comic-Con

AR Wall x Premiere Red Carpet Capture

On the premiere night red carpet, cast and crew members stepped back into the world of Watchmen via a custom, responsive AR backdrop built using an AR Wall. The results were sleek, bespoke motion assets that transported their red carpet looks from Los Angeles to the show’s Tulsa, complete with AR Owlship.

AR  Squid Shelters and Squidfall Instagram Effect 

Interdimensional squid falls are a key feature of the remixed reality of Watchmen and a callback to a major event in the source material. We teased this in the real world in the week pre-premiere with AR “Squid Shelters,” coopted bus shelters in New York and LA that used AR to surprise and immerse passersby with the sights and sounds of falling squids, customized to their local environments.

This was complemented for fans everywhere with a custom-built Instagram effect, released following an unexplained squidfall in the series premiere, that brought the story’s thermodynamic miracle to life and made it rain squids – exactly as it does in the show – in fans’ own environments in both selfie and environmental views.

Sister Night/Looking Glass National Snapchat Lens

Launched on Halloween, two episodes into the season, fans could use this custom national Snapchat lens to become either Sister Night or Looking Glass, two of the series most iconic masked vigilantes, and could toggle between either within one responsive lens


Spark AR Mask Off


Tapping into both superfan behavior and newcomers’ desire for more details, Peteypedia was updated post-every episode, and designed to highlight Watchmen’s alternate world access to low-fi internet, whilst paying homage to the graphic novel’s look and inclusion of “supplemental materials.” Character Agent Dale Petey — considered by many a proxy for Watchmen superfans — provided an in-story narrative wrapper, expanding the universe by providing context, answers, and Easter eggs episodes did not.