Augmented Reality to Make Horror Gaming More Personal

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Augmented Reality to Make Horror Gaming More Personal

Sure, a lot of us play horror games, but horror games come with a built-in way to defuse the situation. Just look away from the screen and suddenly, perspective comes crashing in like a bolt out of the blue. But what would happen if that shot of perspective were no longer available, and whatever direction you looked in featured unimaginable horrors racing at you? That's the basic idea behind the Night Terrors project.

Currently seeking funding on IndieGoGo--and almost a third of the way funded after being up less than a week--Night Terrors offers an interesting proposition; take your own house, your own furniture, and make these things set pieces in a movie which you can view via an augmented reality headset or even just on a smartphone screen. Monsters are in your house, running amok, and only you can see them thanks to your special hardware. You, meanwhile, are out to accomplish two simple yet crucial goals: save the girl that's somehow living in your house, and survive the night of horror that's facing you.

A video of the experience is available on YouTube, as well as on the site's IndieGoGo page. The game is apparently only playable at night, thus taking full advantage of atmospheric terrors. The effects in the game are practical rather than CGI, which means they focus on people in costumes and the like rather than on effects created in a computer simulation.

From a technical standpoint, this game is impressive; it's able to recognize walls, floors and ceilings, and can engineer effects accordingly, like paintings falling off walls and chandeliers swaying, even when such things aren't happening in the real world. That lends itself well to good scares, even if the scares are only happening on a smartphone, at least for now.

That's the really exciting part about all this; this is a comparatively new technology being put to work here, and it's generating some impressive results. We're talking about something that might well be a whole new level of gameplay here; since the game learns about its surroundings, it can be played virtually anywhere, so imagine taking this game to, say, a school or a library or even a hospital and turning it into a haunted house of impressive depth. A game like this might pave the way for any of a hundred titles like it; treasure hunting games, escape certain locations games, even other horror games; why not just one monster that shows up and hunts you down, unless you can hide convincingly?

There are a lot of possibilities with a game like this, and being able to explore them all will give us an exciting new frontier in gaming. It's not every day a completely revolutionary idea like this comes along, and giving it some support now will likely help develop the future. Being in on the early stages of the future is a very new feeling, but an exciting one nonetheless.

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