Motivations for AR Gaming - Presentation at NZ GDC 2004


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A paper presented at the New Zealand Game Developer's convention in June 2004

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Motivations for AR Gaming - Presentation at NZ GDC 2004

  1. 1. Motivations for Augmented Reality Gaming Trond Nilsen, Steven Linton, Julian Looser HIT Lab NZ / Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand [trond.nilsen,steven.linton,julian.looser]
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Existing AR Games </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Gaming model </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Current and Future Work </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who are we? <ul><li>Graduate students at HIT Lab NZ and the University of Canterbury </li></ul><ul><li>Research in AR Gaming, interface design, and HCI </li></ul><ul><li>Play far too many games </li></ul>
  4. 4. Augmented Reality (1) <ul><li>Overlay virtual imagery on the real world </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work with real and virtual content simultaneously </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tangible user interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance collaboration by integrating the task space with the communication space </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Augmented Reality (2) <ul><li>Milgram’s Reality – Virtuality Continuum </li></ul><ul><li>Transitional interfaces that allow users to shift along the continuum </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Transitioning into an environment </li></ul>
  6. 6. Augmented Reality (3) <ul><li>Many applications, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Archaeology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medicine </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Augmented Reality (4) <ul><li>Video see-through AR </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Head-mounted display </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small camera </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Markers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ARToolkit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenGL, C++ </li></ul></ul>1 2 3
  8. 8. Mixed Fantasy <ul><li>Extends Milgram’s continuum </li></ul><ul><li>Part of a larger taxonomy by Chris Stapleton </li></ul><ul><li>Describes level of game contribution from real, virtual and imaginative worlds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Real: What the real world tells the participant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual: What the creator shows the participant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Imaginative: What the participant contributes </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Existing AR Games (1) <ul><li>ARQuake </li></ul><ul><li>Geist </li></ul><ul><li>Camball </li></ul>
  10. 10. Existing AR Games(2) <ul><li>AR 2 Hockey </li></ul><ul><li>Shared Space </li></ul><ul><li>Human Pacman </li></ul>
  11. 11. Motivations <ul><li>What makes AR a good platform for gaming? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Cool, new technology’ is not enough </li></ul><ul><li>No clear reasons are articulated by AR game designers </li></ul><ul><li>AR game design is currently a random hunt for ‘cool’ games </li></ul><ul><li>While exploration is valuable, clear understanding of the benefits AR can offer is necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothesis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AR provides a medium for games that allows game designers to merge the best of real world games with the best of computer games </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Game Model - Overview <ul><li>Examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of real world and computer games </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and contrast them in their ability to engage players </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socially </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotionally </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Game Model – Physical <ul><li>Engages player’s physical body and skills </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skill oriented computer games </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can use player’s whole body </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real world can provide game environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical artefacts can have game significance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical interaction limited by input devices </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Game Model – Mental <ul><li>Engages the player’s ability to solve problems and reason </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Puzzles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource management / God games </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Players unwilling to resolve complex rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports spatial reasoning, particularly 3D </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports complex game models and rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AI opponents and agents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large scale simulation </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Game Model – Social <ul><li>Engages players ability to socialize with other players </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Role playing games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poker </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports natural face to face communication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mediation limits communication, but can provide other facilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows remote and massively multiplayer games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May support privacy and anonymity </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Game Model – Emotional <ul><li>Provokes an emotional and imaginative response in player. Most difficult aspect to classify. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrative games in which players develop sympathies with characters. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Atmospheric games’ (horror, etc). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can stimulate players across full range of senses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited by practical ability to control environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential for diverse virtual environments and scenarios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited to audio and visual stimulation </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Considerations <ul><li>Most games engage players in more than one of these ways </li></ul><ul><li>Such multifaceted games are particularly suited to AR enhancement </li></ul><ul><li>Remember limitations of current AR technology, bearing in mind its rate of change </li></ul><ul><li>AR isn’t a magic bullet, nor does it make up for poor game design </li></ul><ul><li>But don’t forget AR specific games!! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Case Study – War games (1) <ul><li>Turn based strategy games using armies of miniatures </li></ul><ul><li>Game conflict resolved through rules and dice </li></ul><ul><li>Ambiguous situations resolved by player consensus </li></ul><ul><li>Strong modelling component </li></ul><ul><li>Military applications </li></ul>
  19. 19. Case Study – War Games (2) <ul><li>Real world War Games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game relies on rules interpretation, precise measurement and unit locations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rules must be simple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interferes with player’s desire to replicate specific historical scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can lead to unrealistic in game results </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Computer War Games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ambiguities are handled by computer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rules and simulation can be very realistic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May include AI contribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminates most of social interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminates ‘artistic’ component of game </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Case Study – War Games (3) <ul><li>Conceivably, an AR war game could </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support social interaction through face to face communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce or eliminate ambiguity through computerized resolution of rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow complex and realistic simulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce AI opponents and agents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain the physicality of the game by using existing miniatures as elements of a tangible interface </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Current work - Tankwar </li></ul>
  21. 21. Case Study – Role Playing Games (1) <ul><li>Game of shared narrative; one referee, several players </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Players take on roles of characters and declare actions and responses to events in the world and other characters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referee sets forth the plot, controls the game world and arbitrates game mechanics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Well known example: Dungeons & Dragons; a ‘party’ of adventurers in a world of heroic medieval fantasy - usually involves much monster slaying and treasure collecting </li></ul><ul><li>RPGs cover almost all conceivable fictional settings </li></ul><ul><li>Normally sedentary, though more active varieties exist (Live RPGs) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Case Study – Role Playing Games (2) <ul><li>Table top RPGs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Face to face social interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public or obviously concealed communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referee becomes bottleneck, and misunderstandings can lead to ill feeling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often use miniatures and maps for spatial visualization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inconsistent understanding can arise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control of game environment can affect atmosphere (candles, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Live RPGs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Players act their character’s part </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited scope for game mechanics (usually dice free, and real time) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited ability to introduce fantastic constructs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Costuming and game environment can affect atmosphere greatly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computer RPGs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually focus on tactical combat, plot and character puzzles, and simple games of skill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often solitary or networked with little social interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphics and audio allow for convincing visualization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complex game simulation and AI </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Case Study – Role Playing Games (3) <ul><li>Conceivably, an AR RPG could </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer advantages as in War Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide consistent game visualization within communication space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer automated NPC and world management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce workload of GM and players in terms of game mechanics, and allow focus on game content. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide medium for private communication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conceivably, an AR LRPG could </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce real time game mechanics, allowing conflict resolution beyond simple diplomacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a medium for the introduction of impractical fantastic game content (giant monsters, magical effects, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chief limitation – Bulky and awkward hardware </li></ul><ul><li>Is AR alone the best solution here? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some problems can be solved very well in AR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hybrid user interfaces – introduce PDAs or similar data devices </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Current Work <ul><li>Hybrid AR Worms </li></ul><ul><li>Tankwar </li></ul>
  25. 25. Future Work <ul><li>User studies </li></ul><ul><li>Expand on Tankwar </li></ul><ul><li>Explore possibilities in RPGs </li></ul><ul><li>Remote games – controlled orienteering </li></ul>
  26. 26. Summary <ul><li>Four part consideration of existing games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>War Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role Playing Games </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tankwar </li></ul><ul><li>AR Worms </li></ul><ul><li>Questions?? </li></ul>