The Monday Musing - What AR gaming needs to do to succeed

By , on September 25, 2017
Last modified 1 year, 4 months ago

Well, last week was all about the AR wasn't it? AR this and AR that and the new iPhone is expensive but it does AR things so that's cool. Is AR the future of gaming? I don't know. I'll be honest, I'm not really sure it's the present of gaming yet.

So in this week's Monday Musing I'm going to have a muse about what AR games need to do in order to to become an important force in mobile gaming. I've got some hints, I've got some tips, and I've got a whole shed full of mad ideas.

If you've got any ideas that you think might help, feel free to chuck them into the comments section at the bottom of the article. I'm pretty sure that, together, we can make AR gaming incredible. Or completely non-sensical.

What's it for?

This is the biggest question that AR games have to answer. Of the raft of them that came out last week, there aren't that many that can properly justify the fact that it uses AR. It's the same thing that happened with AR games on the 3DS and the Vita.

Sure, it's a nice gimmick, and it's fun to play around with for a bit, but if I'm playing a platform game do I really need to have it set in my dirty living room? Pokemon GO certainly justified its existence by placing its characters into the real world.

But developers are going to have to find more interesting applications of the technology if it's going to really spark player's imaginations.

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Where's it for

One of the great things about mobile gaming is that it's mobile. It's fun to whip out your phone and have a quick blast of something when you're on the go. And it's unlikely that's going to be any of the first wave of AR games, since sitting around calibrating stuff is going to eat into your game time.

There are ways around this, from location-based experiences to games that use AR in more interesting ways. Think about some sort of treasure hunt game where you need to use AR to capture images of certain objects or colours.

Making AR games truly mobile is going to be tough, but I think it could create some really interesting experiences in the long run.

Who's it for?

The AR kit games only really work on the top end of Apple's hardware line. IPad Air 2 won't run the vast majority of them, so you're going to need some slick tech just to get them working.

That means a smaller audience can potentially play them. And if Apple doesn't get behind the application of the AR kit in gaming, then it's likely to go the same way as the likes of 3D touch. A nice idea, that never really caught on in gaming spheres.

To stop that happening, AR gaming really needs to find an audience. And it needs to show that it's going to play an important role in shaping the games of the future.