Minor Update: Effects

I’ve updated the demo with some new effects, mainly a CRT monitor one and some glowing. Take a look at the new screenshot, but open the demo for a better visualization:

screenshot-crt2

 

Meanwhile, I’m still working on the OpenStreetMap port and learning the Overpass API (the OSM counterpart for Google Maps’ Places API). And since OSM has a lot fewer places, I’m thinking about a new ghost placement criterion. I can’t simply randomly place ghosts on the map, as they could end on inaccessible or dangerous places, and I don’t want the players to become ghosts too.

OpenStreetMap

I’m currently in the process of migrating my Google Maps code to OpenStreetMap using the Leaflet JavaScript library. Besides being, as the name suggests, open, it is a lot easier and gives me some nice features and higher control. WIP screenshot:

screenshot-osm

Not having satellite view nor StreetView is not really an issue for the game. I’m also using a plugin for caching the map tiles and reduce data transfer. The idea is for the game to be highly “offline-friendly”. An internet connection will only be required when visiting new places (all places are new when playing for the first time, so this will require an internet connection as well) or when sharing photos.

Update: Better mobile support

The latest version of the game (at the same address: https://www.inf.ufrgs.br/~rcpinto/ghosthunter/) includes a great performance improvement and automatically selects the rear camera, allowing for mobile playing.

However, there are still some issues: music doesn’t start automatically (autoplay doesn’t work on mobile) and the same goes for full screen. I’m gonna need some workarounds.

Here is a screenshot of the game running on Chrome for mobile (on a Moto E2):

14055737_958450127596946_1999046236_n

Early Demo

As promised, here is the first demo!

https://www.inf.ufrgs.br/~rcpinto/ghosthunter/

It currently shows the map, upgrades and ghosts generation features (click the ghosts for details). For now, there aren’t any AR ghosts in the camera view and your current position isn’t automatically updated when you move. The next demos will include these features🙂.

Also, here are some concepts for the AR feature:

Update: Please, check the demo on a desktop browser. At least in my mobile phone, it still  needs some work.

I’m Back! :)

5 years have passed since my last post. What happened to make me resume the project? Any guesses?😛 Of course it is Pokémon Go. Now that AR is mainstream, it seems like a good opportunity to work on Ghost Hunter again.

I’m currently working on a Web demo which shows most of the game’s features. The plan is to make the final game for native Android. Here is a screenshot:

screenshot1

This already shows how the game pinpoints nearby ghosts on the map (after finding your actual location). I’m not happy with the icons, they seem cartoonish (and Ghostbusterish) and I want something more scary. Upon clicking on a ghost, you can check what place is this, how many ghosts are there right now and what happened there.

The camera is already working too, as you can see at the bottom left. But since I’m testing on my laptop, you see my stupid acting face. The idea for the final game’s mobile version is not to point the camera to yourself, but around you. AR ghosts will show up on the right places and you can take photos to “free their souls”.

There is also an upgrade system on place, but I’m not sure if it will make its way into the mobile version. The upgrades are things like: color map, color camera, color street view, full sight (remove the flashlight effect), improved radar range, etc… But I think that removing the flashlight and the B&W effects will destroy the essence of the game and the kind of spooky ambience I’m trying to create.

On my next update, probably next week, there will be a link for the demo (the update rate will still be low until next year, after I finish my Ph.D.).

Plans

It has been a long time, sorry. I found that the N95 hardware isn’t the most suitable one for the game I have in mind. I need more sensors (magnetometers and gyroscopes) to cope with perfect motion sensing without heavy image processing (as you see with some WiiU controller demos) and a 3D camera to handle occlusions. I’ll probably get back to the game in 2012 using a new platform, preferably a not-yet-announced Nexus phone with stereo camera, so the game will move to the Android platform. Current suitable hardware for the game should be the 3DS, but it’s so hard to even start developing for Nintendo that I prefer to stay with the mobile phone platform. Besides that, other similar titles are being announced for 3DS by real game companies (even the Fatal Frame one itself), and I don’t want to be eaten by the sharks. There are already some 3D phones, but no Android API to work with them yet.

Introduction

Hi! My name is Rafael and I’m learning and researching augmented reality games, more as a hobby. For such purposes, I’m currently developing a mobile AR horror game, currently entitled “Ghost Hunter”. I’m programming with PyS60 (Python for S60) in a Nokia N95-3 cell phone. I’ll post the game design document here soon, but you can see some images from the game in the “Gallery” section.

Screenshot 001

Screenshot 001