Augmented Reality as a “better together” feature

AR games should offer attractive and various gameplay to become popular and successful products on the gaming market. Even astonishing objects of Augmented Reality might be insufficient for having a response in gamers’ hearts.

The technology of Augmented Reality is astonishing by itself and it can bring many astonishing elements to gaming. Still, modern players have such a huge choice of absolutely amazing products and devices that this becomes almost impossible to surprise them with strictly technical possibilities. Gamers are looking for great implementations of great ideas – just announcing AR features in a game is not enough to satisfy users. Such features should be complemented by interesting gameplay.

We at Paracosm Project would like to provide gamers on the Paracosm platform with the best experience possible. That’s why we continue the series of publications about various aspects of the game culture. Such articles may be interesting for developers who would like to connect their products to our ecosystem. We also encourage you to check out the article “Paracosm platform has a place for your game world”.

Pure AR

The very technology of Augmented Reality is not new, strictly speaking. It has been already implemented quite well on some gaming devices.

  • There were a few free AR games for the PlayStation Vita consoles. They are fun but rather simple. For example, with Table Soccer, players can see AR-figurines of sportsmen and control them during mini-matches.
  • Nintendo made a similar step with their device Nintendo 3DS, and those games are the same beautiful but the same simple – like shooting small AR-targets.
Early achievements on Augmented Reality gaming are free AR games for the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS consoles. They work with special AR cards.

Both  of these examples have a lot in common. Augmented Reality is available here only on the level “wonders of technology”. The gameplay is absolutely simplistic, and made rather to show possibilities of the devices, but it would be weird to buy PS Vita or Nintendo 3DS only for those AR games. In fact, it would be weird even to play them a lot – many gamers just ignore this addition to the primary excitement from these consoles.

The pure AR is nice to enjoy – but for quite a short time. Emotions of first acquaintance with this technology fade away quickly, so they should be supported by wonders of gameplay.

AR gameplay experiments and successes

Games from the previous examples use special cards to make the miracle of AR possible. Then, a leap in the technology of augmented reality has been made by the company Niantic Inc., with their system of using data on the real-world location and putting virtual objects among real ones through  mobile devices.

The first such game wasn’t too successful – Ingress. Its gameplay is based on dividing people into factions and competing for world domination. Something was missing there.

The world success for AR games came with Pokemon GO. People became fascinated by many colorful creatures around them and by many layers of gameplay: the collectible feature with many interesting aspects and battles between three world teams, which slightly repeat the pattern of Ingress.

Niantic Inc. is one of the most innovative and successful creators in the area of AR gaming. Their first games is Ingress. Their product Pokemon Go made the world obsessed with Augmented Reality.

Steps to the future

Repeating ideas of Pokemon Go is a nice way to get temporary attention of the community – just out of curiosity. To have real success, developers should come up with something innovative.

Using super popular franchises, such as the Harry Potter universe, is an effective method to gather an audience. Still, players will remain in the game only if the gameplay will be able to catch their hearts. What would you do with those virtual objects around, how would you interact with them?

Recently announced Minecraft Earth is one of the most promising AR projects now. This game also is based on a super popular franchise, but the core here is definitely in great possibilities of gameplay.

What’s your idea of an augmented reality game? Why should people play your products? These are nice questions for developers to think about.

The most promising known AR games are Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Minecraft Earth. If Harry Potter is an implementation and development of the Niantic ideas, Minecraft AR is a very ambitious initiative of Microsoft.

Make AR beautiful. Make gameplay fantastic

A nice recipe of success is to make a product of the highest quality and innovation level possible. In the area of AR gaming, it’s significant to pay attention to both aspects:

  • Beauty of the AR elements – everything should be quality to the max;
  • Thought-out features of gameplay. What happens after the initial wow-effect fades away? How long players will have the motivation to return to the game?

Paracosm Project creates a place to share the most innovative games in the industry with a big and dedicated audience. We give priority to games with AR/VR/XR features for publishing on the Paracosm platform and connecting to the Caer Sidi service. Please, check out more information in the article “VR, AR, and Cross-Reality on the Paracosm Platform”.

Another interesting topic is discussed in the publication “Free or Paid Games. Choice of developers and players”.

Follow us on social networks to participate in dialog on various aspects of the game industry and to discover many strong features of Paracosm Project.

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