AR Games You Need To Try
It seems like only yesterday that augmented reality gaming consisted of games that simply enable the phones camera to provide an interesting backdrop. Thanks to tools from companies like String and Qualcomm (and of course the OS’s providing access to the camera feed) developers are now able to build vision based games that use natural feature tracking to create interesting 3D experiences.
Qualcomm released their Android SDK some months back with a developer challenge, as a result they have a number of games that look pretty interesting. Before we get to the games its worth noting that the Qualcomm AR SDK has recently become available for iOS developers. The SDK plugs into Unity, one of most popular tools for games developers. If you are interesting in building your own AR content take a look at the tools here: http://developer.qualcomm.com/dev/augmented-reality
The games listed below are for Android unless stated
BijetAR is an interesting concept developed by Beyond Reality based in The Netherlands. The game uses a bank note to create the game board so there is no need to print markers. Simply use one of the 6 supported currencies, 1 US Dollar, 5 Canadian Dollars, 5 Euros, 5 UK Pounds, 1000 Yen or 50 Rubles and point your phone at the note. Once the bill has been recognised you’ll take control of the guns on an AC130 armoured ground attack aircraft where you get to blow things up in the various missions. The game action takes place high in the sky from the gunners seat, if you have ever watched the CNN footage showing the pilots eye view during an attack the game play is similar. If you fancy yourself as a gunner or just want to blow things up the game is available in beta for Android devices and can be installed free here.
iPhone owners who like the look of the game take a look at Zombie Gunship which is a very similar concept with out the AR aspect.
Paparazzi developed by Pixel-Punch was the winner of the Qualcomm Augmented Reality Challenge. In the game you are a paparazzi assigned with the task of capturing pictures of a celebrity who appears on either a marker that can be downloaded from the developers website or a US Dollar bill. The celebrity appears to be a harmless unassuming English country gent gets annoyed if you move the camera in too close for a picture and will jump onto your phone in an attempt to break the camera. If that happens you’ll need to shake the phone to try and shake him loose. For 66p it’s a lot of fun but it could do with a couple more characters. The game can be downloaded here. Interestingly the game is the first game I am aware of that reacts to the phone being placed in close proximity to the AR character. Most AR examples just make the character larger but Paparazzi provides character interaction.
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