After the Gods An Augmented Reality God Game

After the Gods
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After the Gods is an augmented reality god game set in a surreal sky world. Players grow and garden the elements of Light, Wind, and Clouds by finding Ancient Statues and moving their Android device above an image marker.

Gameplay Experience:
After the Gods players aim an Android device’s camera at a physical image (on a table or floor) which, when looked at through the device, becomes a magical portal unto a tiny, living world. There is no goal just playful experimentation. The gods have long been dead, but remnants of their power linger in statues hidden throughout the world. Each statue empowers the player to recall the elemental memories of a certain god. While aiming the device at the image, players move around their immediate space to affect elements such as wind, light, and precipitation. These have a cumulative effect. For example, rain and light grow plants while too much light scorches them to dust.

Artist Statement:
Smartphones, although entertaining and useful, can syphon attention away from our physical space. AR blends the physical and digital worlds, reconnecting us with our immediate surroundings. After the Gods is a novel AR experience blending the moment-to-moment feeling of playing a videogame with the open exploratory experience of installation art. It evokes a sense of wonder and discovery in our immediate space by redefining how we usually use our smartphones.

Development Process:
Our group has been developing AR and VR games for several years, showing our work internationally at IndieCade, GDC, A MAZE, E3, DiGRA, NordMedia, the Montreal Joue Festival, ISMAR and Techweek. It’s daunting to develop AR games that are intuitive to play and leverage the unique affordances of AR. After the Gods was developed through a highly iterative process to avoid the common development trap of adding elements to AR games that ultimately feel broken. We rapidly prototyped a dozen ideas to discover the core “game feel” that the player would perform and experience most often. From those, we crafted a simple toy that was innately fun to tinker with. Finally, we expanded that experiences into a game.