Inventing A Game Mechanic Using Augmented Reality

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Afterlife is a project I really enjoyed working on in my fall semester at FIEA, UCF. It is a 2.5D platformer for Android in which a ghost is trying to reach the grave it belongs to. The player has to try to reach the grave before the ghost fades out of existence as in the picture below. To survive the player will have to collect the supernatural crytals in his path which replenish the timer for the ghost’s existence.

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However, the above is just the gameplay which provides the player with clarity regarding the game’s objective. In addition to this, augmented reality adds more complexity and possibilities using the smartphone’s camera. The camera on the phone can be used to generate platforms in the game by pointing it to specific images (using Vuforia plugin for Unity). However, as soon as the image is moved out of the camera’s view, the platform would disappear.

The images which may be used for generating platforms in game have been pasted over the six sides of a physical cube which would be held by another person for helping the player as a companion. This creates a whole new game mechanic since the player will have to coordinate their jumping with their companion’s action of rotating the cube. Moreover, the levels have been designed such that the cube would have to be rotated through the jump in order to switch between platforms.

Also, the platforms generated by different faces of the cube give rise to multiple paths. Thus, inducing curiosity in the player to replay a level. They make the player want to look for alternate paths and know what else is present in a level. After all there is an Easter egg to find!

Check out a demo video of this project on my YouTube channel. Contact me here to know more about this project.

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