Peter Jackson’s new augmented reality production company, Wingnut AR, demonstrated their brand new Science Fiction AR game at Apple’s Worldwide Development Conference.
The demonstration takes place on a table upon the stage, where three iPads and two iPhones are placed. A Wingnut AR developer holds up an iPad screen and the table springs to life, as Creative Director Alasdair Coull explains that everything is rendered in real time, using Unreal Engine 4.
A map literally unfolds on the table top, showing a trading outpost on a desolate world where people come to trade and get repairs. Inhabitants wander out of their houses and across the table. A spaceship arrives, hovering above the table and lands in the square as people exit and start unloading the cargo. The sound of spaceships can be heard as raiders attack the settlement, swooping down and unleashing a volley of lasers. Chaos ensues as the inhabitants panic and run for safety. There’s even an impressive moment where one of the characters runs across the table and plunges over the edge, disappearing into darkness, as Alasdair comments: “I guess that takes care of that guy.” Spaceships fly around the room, shooting at each other and exploding into flames. The fight ends with a raider spaceship crashing into a building, strewing rubble and dust across the tabletop.
While it’s not exactly clear how the game-play works, Alasdair does at one point explain that you can be like the director of a film, which is promptly demonstrated by his colleague bringing the iPad closer, effectively zooming in on the scene, like a cameraman.
The only hint given about its release is later this year on the App Store.
It’s an impressive looking demo and worth checking out. This will be one to look out for.