Augmented-reality games are weird. They hardly work and even when they actually do operate as intended, the game experience is usually lacking and centralizes entirely too much around the whole augmenting gimmick. I’m also not too sure if there’s even a market out there for these kinds of games. But, I probably shouldn’t be so dismissive, especially when there’s a new, apparently solid-looking SDK out in there in the wild.
According to TechCrunch, Qualcomm has released its ARG SDK, which was originally intended for Android devices with Snapdragon chips, for iOS-compatible devices. This initial release has support for, specifically, the iPhone 4, iPad 2, and even the fourth-generation iPod Touch.
If you’re in the dark on augmented reality, it’s a pretty simple concept. You point your device’s camera at something real and then the game turns that into something interactive. A lot of card games, for example, like to incentivize their physical, branded cards by allowing you to scan them into their respective games and then use digital versions of them. Other games just incorporate real-world settings on top of existing mechanics, like this Star Wars game here:
Having an SDK at hand that actually works with a target platform organically should really empower those studios out there who have good augmented reality ideas, but don’t want to spend the research and development costs of getting the core technology that makes the “augmenting" work. This is a good thing for all of us because, hey, who knows? Maybe we will get that game that completely changes my jaded perspective on augmented reality games in general. (I hope so.)