I tried some augmented/virtual reality games

- Posted in games interface

I don’t know what’s happening lately, maybe it’s because I’m in Japan, or maybe because we finally reached a certain point in tech, but every 2 weeks there is some new announcement that makes me feel like I am living in the future. Just a few days ago I saw a video of 2 guys flying over Dubai with a jetpack. I saw some guy with a surfboard that had a jet engine attached to it – they called it a new sport. There was the HoloLens announcement. There are drone deliveries and people are excited about space again.

I was talking to some coworkers in our coworking space and showing them the video I recently made about Tokyo Indie Fest. At that game conference I got to try the Oculus rift as well as the Samsung Gear VR. The difference between these is that one uses a computer to render the data to the Oculus whereas the second one uses a smartphone for the display. I am not sure where the renderer is located in the case of the Samsung Gear VR.

So when I say coworkers I mean the other guys in my coworking space. Not my Mono colleagues. Anyway, for months they have been working on their project, which is an augmented reality game. I got to try it today. Basically you have a sensor on your wrist that connects to a smartphone. The sensor is this product called the Myo:


Then just like the Samsung Gear VR product you strap a smartphone to your head (in this case it was a Sony Xperia) and it’s time to play! The game involved shooting fireballs from your hand. No, really. Fireballs from your hand.

Basically you would clench your fist so the muscles in your arm would tighten. When you release your fist the muscles untighten, the sensor gets a signal and BOOM! – you see a fireball coming from your hand. I probably looked like a total dork but for one moment I felt the power.

We chatted a bit about possible uses cases and this could make a game like laser shooting a lot more interesting. The idea for now is to make a 3 vs 3 game as seen in Hado’s concept video. From what I’ve seen it’s hard to pull off VR, and from the demo I tried it isn’t quite there yet. This counts for all VR stuff at the game conference as well. The resolution is too low and the software is too slow, but I think with some dedication and newer hardware we can reach that VR point that it actually becomes nice and a preferred way to play video games. I love it when people are working on hard problems so to these guys I say: がんばって!

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