Augmented Reality Demo Brings Star Wars to a Galaxy Not So Far Away
Unless you have a lot of friends who are into full cosplay, historical fiction reenactments, it's pretty hard to get a Rebels vs. Empire fight going in the real world. I enjoy playing Battelfront as much as the next Star Wars junkie, but there's just not a big market for LARPing full-scale battles from Endor or Hoth, or even lesser-known places from the Star Wars universe. Probably because everyone just wants to be a Jedi, and at that point you're just having a sword fight and not really engaging in a galactic civil war. But what if there was a way to bring the world of Star Wars to life without the need for expensive props and costumes, or other actual people for that matter?
Trixi Studios' augmented reality test seems to do just that. Developed with Google's Project Tango, an Android development kit that enables creators to give mobile devices 3D motion tracking, Trixi's Star Wars AR experience (via Mashable) mashes together the parking lots and toy aisles with BB-8 and the classic trilogy Stormtroopers. Though the video demo is not meant to be indicative of project in active development, it's still pretty cool to see this conceptualized AR game featuring the beloved franchise in action.
Now, I'm not the biggest augmented reality fan. That's not because I don't think there won't be some amazing things done with it in the future (as Magic Leap, Google Glass and Microsoft's HoloLens have hinted at), but right now it's so limited in scope that current consumer grade AR is nothing more than a little animated thing dancing around on a table. Even the Nintendo 3DS messed with AR a little bit, but it's clumsy to use in an active sense, and is still limited to the graphic powers of the handheld. While Trixi's Star Wars "game" doesn't look all that tremendous either, it does show promise for what a developer might be able to do were they actually putting all their efforts into AR game development.
Plus, it's all on your mobile phone, so you don't need another cumbersome device to carry around to enjoy whatever it is you're experiencing through augmented reality.
Perhaps one day we'll get to the point where AR becomes a viable method of entertainment, but for now it's still in that growing phase where developers and players aren't exactly sure what they want from the genre. The more people that have a chance to experiment with AR thanks to things like Project Tango, the better the chances there are for developers to do some really unique things to push the genre into all new places.
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