3D secret – hidden pictures

Beautiful new exploratory game for the Nintendo DS, that uses the front-facing camera and face tracking to calculate a perspective that renders like a window on a new world.

DSi??????????????. Via BERG

Posted in Graphic design, Interaction design, Play, videoTagged , , ,

Augmented reality experiments

I’m really not a fan of the goggle/glasses/helmet variety of AR, where the user wears something in front of their eyes that superimposes 3D objects into the physical world. In my experience this has been slow, inaccurate, cumbersome, headache inducing, the worst of VR plus a lot more problems. But AR is really interesting when it’s just a screen and a video feed, it becomes somehow magical: to see the same space represented twice: once in front of you, and once on screen with magical objects. I can imagine this working really well on mobile phones: the phone screen as magic lens to secret things.

Hand drawing markers

On that afternoon we didn’t have a printer handy for making the AR marks, so we took to drafting them by hand, stencilling them off the screen with a pencil and inking them in. This hand-crafted process led to all sorts of interesting connections between the possibilities of craft and digital information.

AR nail decorations

We had lots of ideas about printing the markers on clothes, painting them on nails, glazing them into ceramics, etc. We confused ARtoolkit by drawing markers in perspective, and tried to get recursive objects by using screen based markers and video feedback.

Confusing ARtoolkit

Now as it turns out there is an entire research programme dedicated to looking at just this topic. “Variable Environment”:http://sketchblog.ecal.ch/variable_environment/ is a research programme involving partners like “ECAL”:http://www.ecal.ch/pages/home_new.asp and “EPFL”:http://www.epfl.ch. The great thing is that they are blogging the entire exploratory (they call it ‘sketch’) phase and curating the results online. The work is multi-disciplinary and involves architects, visual designers, computer scientists, interaction designers, etc. Check out the simple “AR ready products”:http://sketchblog.ecal.ch/variable_environment/archives/2006/07/ar_ready_simple.html, “sample applications”:http://sketchblog.ecal.ch/variable_environment/archives/2006/07/applications_1.html and “mixed reality tests”:http://sketchblog.ecal.ch/variable_environment/archives/2006/01/mixed_reality_t_1.html with “various patterns”:http://sketchblog.ecal.ch/variable_environment/archives/2006/03/test_01_pattern.html.

This seems to be part of a shift in the research community, to publishing ongoing and exploratory work online (championed by the likes of “Nicolas Nova”:http://tecfa.unige.ch/perso/staf/nova/blog/ and “Anne Galloway”:http://www.purselipsquarejaw.org/). Very inspirational.

Posted in Architecture, Graphic design, Information design, Interaction design, Play, Research, Ubicomp2 Comments on Augmented reality experiments

Game design books

Rules of Play : Game Design Fundamentals

Katie Salen, Eric Zimmerman.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Game Design

Bob Bates.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design

Andrew Rollings, Ernest Adams.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Game Architecture and Design

Andrew Rollings, Dave Morris.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Game On

Lucien King.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com


Liz Faber.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Electronic Plastic

Jaro Gielens, Robert Klanten.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Trigger Happy

Steven Poole.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com

Posted in Experience design, Interaction design, Play, Reading, Research