Active AR games by forwARdgame

Having joined Snapdragon Spaces™ XR Developer Platfrom at the early stage, forwARdgame strives to bring the joy of physical games to the “Always On” generation – with the help of AR.

The company’s co-founders Tom Minich and Tim Friedland strongly believe that XR is the future of how we interact with the world and play. Merging physical and virtual worlds, the company develops AR games that let users actively move around, while they stay immersed in the gameplay.

“Computer, console and mobile games give players breath-taking experiences, keeping them engaged for hours. Yet those games lack physical activity and face-to-face interaction”, say co-founders. “We believe we are brave enough and open-minded to work with this novel technology and have the creativity it takes to build magical experiences that are only possible with XR.”

forwARdgame had shared their thoughts and impressions about working with augmented reality at the Snapdragon Spaces developer panel at AWE:

AR experiences require more physical interaction from users than flat-screen games, so the company emphasizes making games appealing to the players. Interacting with digital content in the games is done through body movements. This helps to make players feel at home in augmented reality — specifically in headworn AR. The company relies on Positional Tracking and environmental awareness to make a strong connection between real-world objects and digital game elements.

One of the games forwARdgame built using Snapdragon Spaces SDK is FlinkAAR. In this game, the player controls a dragon by moving in the real world. As the dragon follows the player wherever they go, the goal is to lead their dragon through magic portals.

AR experience highlights:

  • Using players’ bodies as a controller. The game embodies the principle of active AR – to play, the users need to move around to direct their dragon through magic portals and collect crystals.
  • Stability of the AR experience. The experience’s sturdiness allows players to step into the magic island atmosphere, walk around it and engage without losing the sense of realism.
  • Movement tracking + local SLAM. Leaning into these features allowed AR game elements to stay pinned to the real world, even when the camera quickly moves as players catch hoops and crystals.
  • Stable 6DoF controller. The smartphone acts as an additional controller, enabling more interaction opportunities for the players.

“Seeing the dragon’s island and walking around it is a fundamental AR experience, but doing it right feels like magic. We are very happy with local anchors. They make a serious improvement to keeping the experience in place. We make games where players constantly move around, and tracking movement can be challenging.

Snapdragon Spaces SDK offers fantastic movement tracking and local SLAM. We can create a magical world around the players and link the virtual world to the real environment and to the players themselves. This base is critical, and we’ve got it with Snapdragon Spaces. As a bonus, we have an incredibly stable 6DoF controller – the phone.”

– Tom Minich, co-founder, forwARdgame