Whether it be Resident Evil, Silent Hill, or even Dead Space, horror games all have one thing in common: they exist purely in a digital space. But what if a horror game could occupy both the digital and physical spaces simultaneously? What if, instead of controlling a character trying to escape from ghosts, zombies, and other terrifying creatures on your television, you had to literally escape from them in your own home? Those are the key concepts behind Novum Analytics upcoming IndieGoGo-funded augmented reality (AR) mobile game, Night Terrors.
AR games aren’t brand new – the 3DS and Vita have had them since launch, and we’ve seen more than our fair share on mobile – but the concept of a good AR game is something else entirely. “Why are we still waiting for that really great augmented reality game? Where are those games that are so believable and so immersive, that you’re afraid to play them?” says Bryan Mitchell, Developer for Novum Analytics in their IndieGoGo video.
For years, developers have struggled to utilize the unique technology in a way that could lead to a captivating and rewarding gaming experience, but Novum Analytics hopes to change that. By using clever algorithms that recognize and map out your environment, utilize your phone’s cameras and sensors, and accurately projects creatures and events into your world through your phone, they may be on to something here.
And there’s no CG in Night Terrors either. All augmented elements are created using real photography and videography to accurately match and inhabit your real world environment. “It’s a little different; you’re not stationary, you’re walking around and turning corners and getting scared,” explains Bryce Katz, Producer. Novum Analytics is able to accurately detect not only general surroundings, but the exact locations of the walls, floor, and ceiling using nothing but the technology already inside your phone.
Most interestingly though, is that Night Terrors aims to make players more than just passive observers or puppet masters pulling the strings of a pre-determined character. Instead, the game is truly about you. It all takes place in your home and positions you as the hero of the story using your mobile device as a conduit for immersion. Rather than rely on a controller to connect players to a fictional world, Night Terrors uses the player as a tool to interact with its creatures through a window into another reality.
Of course, this isn’t the first time an AR game has made headlines. The technology itself isn’t new as a concept, so what makes things different this time around? For starters, it’s not just standard augmented reality features — it goes much deeper than that. The team at Novum Analytics have created custom algorithms that make all of their calculations possible, and the footage in their IndieGoGo video is already strong proof of concept.
In short, it’s shaping up to be the perfect combination of technological advancement, innovative ideas, and ideal platform, all coming together in a harmonious shriek of terror.
You can find out more information about Night Terrors on Novum Analytics’ IndieGoGo campaign page here. They are currently targeting iOS devices at launch, but intend to expand to Android and Windows phones soon afterwards.