Designing mobile augmented reality games

Wetzel, Richard, Blum, Lisa, Broll, Wolfgang and Oppermann, Leif (2011) Designing mobile augmented reality games. In: Handbook of augmented reality. Springer, pp. 513-539. ISBN 9781461400639

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In the gaming area, augmented reality (AR) and especially mobile augmented reality provides unique opportunities. Unlike traditional video games, mobile augmented reality games are not imprisoned in the screen-space but provide for interaction with the world that surrounds us. They incorporate real locations and objects into the game, therefore tapping into a set of pre-existing thoughts, emotions and real- life experiences of its players, which in turn provides the material for a much richer gaming world and user experience. In mobile augmented reality games the playing area becomes borderless and they can be played literally anywhere and anytime. The current advancement of modern cell phone technology is finally giving more people than ever the hardware necessary to participate and experience such games.
However, game design considerations that explicitly cater for the affordances of mobile augmented reality games have often been considered of secondary importance when compared to the technical aspects. Furthermore, the technological aspect arguably tends to overwhelm first-time players, with them often responding to the novelty of the situation rather than the underlying gaming experience. While this problem makes it difficult to evaluate such games, this may also be considered the main reason for the absence of appropriate game design guidelines for mobile AR games.
In order to address these issues this chapter focuses on the game design aspects of mobile AR games: What constitutes a truly “good” mobile augmented reality game? What kinds of design mistakes are easy to make and how can they be avoided? How is augmented reality best utilized in a mobile game? In trying to answer these questions this chapter will start with an overview of AR games developed in both the commercial as well as in the research domain. This is followed by an in-depth look on a mobile augmented reality game called TimeWarp, whose theme is strongly coupled to the folklore of the city it is hosted in. The chapter closes with a set of game design guidelines that were mainly derived from the evaluation of TimeWarp to be helpful when designing such games.

Keywords:augmented reality, game design
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:24597
Deposited On:26 Nov 2016 21:44

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