Drakerz-Confrontation Shows Power of Augmented Reality Gaming

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Drakerz-Confrontation Shows Power of Augmented Reality Gaming

These days we spend a lot of time considering virtual reality, and not without reason. For the first time in a long time, we've had the necessary tools—even competitors looking to offer other versions of said tools!--to really talk seriously about virtual reality. But with “Drakerz-Confrontation”, we have something a little different, though not something unheard of previously. More specifically, we have an augmented reality card game.

For those who heard the words “augmented reality card game” and immediately thought “Screw the rules; I have money!” you may rest assured to the point of certainty that you were not alone. Yes, it's a lot like “Yu-Gi-Oh” in that players use cards in front of a webcam, which then not only shows the cards being played, but then projections images of the cards in a more realistic, more three-dimensional format. The images can then interact with each other in glorious combat, belching fire, throwing lightning, and doing all those things that monsters in such games generally do. Issues like card cost and point scoring, meanwhile, are all automatically handled by the same computer that presents the images of the monsters in question slugging it out.

The company behind the game, French maker Peoleo, attempted to raise $30,000 for its U.S launch on Kickstarter, but could only bring in $19,476, a development that is attributed to several possible issues ranging from competition from the similar “World of Warcraft” release “Hearthstone” to the fact that Drakerz was already somewhat released when the Kickstarter launched, a development that might have left Kickstarter backers—who normally contribute to concepts currently in the works as opposed to partially-released fare—confused.

Still, this is an exciting idea. The idea of augmented reality in gaming has been around for some time but mostly as a science fiction concept. To see this particular slice of science fiction take on a whole new life is nothing short of exciting. It's an idea that's enchanted users for quite some time and to see it actually make the rounds is at least somewhat like watching the moon launch. Sure, it's comparatively smaller in scope by a factor of quite a bit, but science fiction becoming science fact is never to be taken lightly. It's the kind of thing that could easily blend well in other games; we've already seen how the physical and the programmed interact with things like the “Skylanders” series and Disney's massive “Disney Infinity” concept, so seeing it work outward from there isn't really too big a leap.

Is this just the start of games with an augmented reality bent? Considering the number of uses we're seeing for augmented reality as it is, we may well see more games incorporating this technology to provide a kind of limited holodeck experience in our very own homes. But where it goes from here...well..that's anyone's guess, and it's a guess that looks to be quite worth making.