Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: AR(Page 1 of 2)

Bruce Sterling in 10 Minutes Summarizes State of AR

In the shortest keynote I’ve ever seen, Bruce Sterling sums up what’s up with augmented reality (AR). This is from the Augmented World Expo which ran earlier this month.

Via bOing.

Explore the Real World in a Mobile Role Playing Game

Life is Magic is a new game for mobile devices that abstractly incorporates real world locations in the game itself. Based on screen shots it looks like it takes a lot of game mechanics from social games and tosses them into a geo-tagged interface. To me, this comes across as a tepid but very necessary experiment into mixing existing game business models with massive real world gaming.

Unfortunately it’s only available in the USA (the trailer depicts Canada as a land of only snow) so I can’t play it to test it out, fortunately somebody else has tested it out.

I was impressed to launch the game today, after playing in Seattle during the beta, and find myself in Anchorage, my actual home town. I drove around the city on errands, logging in to see how that affected my game play. I was able to influence a bunch of local businesses on my journey around town in real life as well as the one across the magical land in game, as well.

You are given various questing objectives (there are over 100 in the game so far) that include gaining certain amount of influence in your town, and conquering towers, which are like regional hubs for battling activity. There are three character classes to choose from: the Mage, who wields magic stones and elemental spells, the Machinist, who fights with heavy armor and weaponry that harnesses the power of lighting, or the Monk, a turtle-like figure who has mastered the martial arts. All three classes use a different type of magic and weaponry, allowing for combinations to fight enemy after enemy in dungeons. Many local buildings also double as the store to purchase potions, coins, and ever better weapons and armor.

Read more at Cult of Mac.

AR and Mobile Gaming at the Next Mobile Developers & Designers Of Toronto Event

The Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC) organizes regular events and I’ve been asked to present on mobile gaming at their next event. I’ve been to their events before and it’s a good combination of talks and networking. The augmented reality talk looks particularly interesting.

You can register for free on Eventbrite.

The Mobile Developers & Designers Of Toronto (MDOT) User Group is dedicated to helping nurture the skills and competencies of mobile developers and designers in Toronto.

MDOT gets mobile professionals together for two hours after work each month to talk tech and creative around mobile media content and platform development. The user group covers a wide range of topics and technologies

Thoughts From the OARN Conference

The Ontario Augmented Reality Network (OARN) at their annual conference recently and I was fortunate enough to attend. The main thrust of the conference was to look how augmented reality (AR) is currently being used and how we can use it in the future. An ongoing theme from the day is what are the cultural implications of AR and what non-cultural impacts does the technology have.

Without further ado, here are the notes I took over a month after the actual conference:

Bruce Sterling‘s keynote

  • He has a lot of AR stuff on his Wired blog
  • He mentioned the new aesthetic, which is not referenced often enough for me.
  • He loves the Gartner hype cycle and Layar (the AR companies are still around and making money). See Digifest 2012 notes.
  • We’re on the downward slope right now and most implementations of AR are more like interactive design elements.
  • Claims the future is all HUD. When he recently tried an AR HUD he got “simulation sickness”
  • In Hollywood they make the sets in fully 3d then the director can see the set before its made, insanely practical.
  • Nokia’s “collapse is the biggest failure in the tech industry.”
  • The technical boundaries are seething that only programmers care about, consumers don’t care abut the technical boundaries. Consumers don’t see boundaries as their impression of computers and computer enhanced vision is altered influenced by the movies
  • I need to look into the PlaceRaider app that hijacks a phone that can create a 3d model from random photos
  • Intel wants more AR on a pc to sell more chips that suck more juice
  • He wants omnipresent registration systems for AR but never mentioned privacy concerns (except for the spying app)
  • When asked about surveillance he says that people are subtitled if they are doing wrong things. “If these are issues you need to engage with a technical literate political people ” Would love to see him go up against Steve Mann. (I have no idea what this notes means, but I’m not going to remove it as I’m sure it means something)
  • Aside: he gave his presentation using paper notes and a PDF of only images.

Noteworthy projects:
This list doesn’t include the “traditional AR” (that term was used throughout OARN and I love the thought of that term in an industry less than 5 years old) of image overlays as there are many examples of that.

Digital Delta design makes junaio which is a AR browser for iOS

  • This is very practical for showing off locations that area unique or is closed access to public. Showing medical facilities

Rob MacDougall from western

  • He made Tecumseh Lies Here using open source tools
  • One part of the game had people physically move a box to a specific location to unlock it
  • Incorporate the modern hardware into a story about the past
  • The plaque is a lie – look into augmented plaques that subvert the original plaques

XMG Studios

  • Ghostbusters uses the four square API, they built it as a tech showcase more than anything
  • Designed for 180 degrees instead of having the person spin around
  • Augmented reality 1.0 is ghostbusters, placing games over the world
  • 2.0 is virtual tag, multiplayer FPS, physics based angry birds style, all multiplayer really (that’s the Wii U)
  • 3.0 is the future 5+ years virtual and real avatars meet. Essentially second life in reality, which is reality? It’s Snow Crash
  • Find it isn’t working well with freemium model, not as many design opportunities to tap into
  • Little Android presence, iOS users 3-4x more profitable, piracy is a concern

Helen Papagiannis

  • A designer, PhD researcher and artist specializing in AR
  • Her blog on AR.

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

  • All these AR tools can be used for fast 3d modelling, will the future of modellers be in p
  • Most speakers think that the capability to make augmented reality experiences is there and now we need the artists and other creators to get on board.
  • I think it comes down to engaging story over technical limits, but there are technical limits that still exist which impede people from using AR. The main problem is there is no standard device or app.
  • Vuzix is already making “smartglasses”, I wonder how this compares to the google effort. Vuzix has lost money (~3 million) three years in a row.
  • Most AR things discussed seem focused on individual interaction with little to no group/shared experiences. Maybe the big thing in AR will be able to create a large group experience and an individual one at the same time.
  • There are no standards in AR, there’s no HTML equivalent everything’s custom. This will slow adoption of the technology, but the technology is changing so quickly that standards are nearly impossible to write. Give it time.
  • AR is great for doctor training, can get the look and feel of bodies. Haptics are insanely important to this.
  • We should be able to use AR to make cramped spaces feel more open; a small apartment can feel like a mansion.

Tools to create AR experiences:

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