Can’t Wait for the NBA Season to Kick-off? Play King of the Court Today!

For the past few years, I have been documenting my pursuit of the ultimate augmented reality experience. NBA King of the Court, recently launched by Ogmento on the iPhone app store and the Android Market, is a major landmark for me along this fascinating path.

King of the Court has the ingredients of a deeply engaging game:  a free-to-play casual mechanic that anyone feels compelled to play (shooting hoops to become king of the court), a deeper strategy level that draws you in (protect and extend your kingdom by carefully managing your resources), social rivalry that gets under your skin (schooling your friends and foes in daily competitions), all wrapped up in one of the world’s most favorite sport franchise – the NBA.

Players attest that what makes this game an inseparable part of their everyday life is the fact that the virtual courts are located in their real neighborhoods: at their office, their grocery store, their bank, and that isolated shady bar they can’t really remember how they got there. When the courts are an integral part of your daily routine, the game feels more real. Or like the McNuggets (sadly) unforgettable commercial says: “slams are even dunkier.”

When an alert pops up on your phone, announcing that your treasured and highly customized home court has been attacked (see mine in this post), it gets pretty visceral and hard to remain on the sidelines.

Ogmento quietly launched King of the Court 10 days ago and already tens of thousands of players all over the world can’t get enough of it. That’s why I’d like to share with you a sneak preview of the new update that will take the game to the next level:

• Royal Courts! – Climb the royal ranks and face off against players worldwide to become King of the World!

• Customize your player – Pick your favorite NBA team jersey as your avatar or use your Facebook photo!

• Bigger and Better Leaderboards! Ranking with fans of individual teams and royal court rankings

• Recruitment Bonuses! Get more Basketballs when inviting friends to play!

• Extra Holiday cheer!

Now, here’s an invaluable and timely tip exclusively for Games Alfresco readers: when the NBA season starts (finally!) on Christmas day with much fanfare about the game, the tide of players will rise and the stakes will get much higher. So to stay on top and ride the wave all the way to the finals, grab your local courts today, land the highest score by any means necessary (99 cents can get your pretty far), and promptly fortify them with killer defense power ups. By the time the tide comes rushing in you’ll be riding the wave, collecting royalties for your courts and asserting yourself as THE unassailable king. Rule the courts! Rule the world!

Are you taking control of your neighborhood yet?

Share with us your experience on facebook and twitter.

Seems Like an Accident Waiting to Happen

It’s called OutRun, the brain-child of one Garnet Hertz. Although it’s an obvious example of mixed reality, rather than augmented reality, I believe it still falls under the jurisdiction of this blog

Augmented Reality Metal Slug on Wii U?

If it’s real, then wow, just wow

But it’s probably a fake, uploaded to youtube by a user who has joined the video sharing site just yesterday, and have managed to upload leaked videos of Mario Galaxy DS and Star Craft 2. The F word at the end of the clip above is also a telling clue. But, an AR fan can be hopeful, no?As a bonus, in case this really turns out to be a fake, here’s how an AR version Metal Slug should look like:

Weekly Linkfest

Quite an interesting batch of links we have today:

It seems that I have never posted here about Greg Tran’s work on augmented architecture. Which is a pity. I had the following video opened as a tab in my browser for a long time, just waiting to be published, and somehow I forgot about it. Luckily, Yanko Design posted another video of Tran’s work, which served as a necessary reminder:

Mediating Mediums – The Digital 3d from Greg Tran on Vimeo.

Have an excellent week!

Weekly Linkfest

It’s been a busy summer for me, sorry for not posting the weekly linkfest in, well, a weekly manner. If you want more frequent updates from me, you should follow me on twitter

This week’s video comes to us via Etsuji Kameyama’s blog. I often complained about not having the AR equivalent of Angry Birds (ARAB). Well, we are not there yet, but Junaio now features a channel with the boids, enabling users to take picture with them. Even though it’s a wholly new media, still nobody likes the boomerang bird.

 

 Have a great week!

Request for Comments – Augmented Reality Benchmark

Here is a crazy thought – is the industry mature enough for an AR benchmark? Specifically I thought such a benchmark should cover the following two topics:

  • Comparing the performance of AR frameworks (such as Qualcomm’s AR SDK, Samsung SARI, etc.) using a given set of tests.
  • Comparing the performance of devices using a given set of AR tests.
Which leads to the following questions, I’ll be glad hearing your thoughts about them (in the comments, on twitter, or via email, whatever!):
  • Will such a benchmark be beneficial to any one? Interesting?
  • What tests should the benchmark include? The main problem here is that test should be easily recreated and yet meaningful. We can test “tracking success” by tracking an on screen marker that is transformed by code (to account for change in lights, motion blur, noise and other effects, which can be hard to accurately recreate using a real physical marker).
  • Would any one of you volunteer to run those tests? I don’t have access to lots of AR capable devices, so unless you would like to sponsor me (i.e. buy me an iPad2), I count on the volunteers to run the actual tests and report back.
  • How about benchmarking AR applications? Does it make sense?

The Augmented Reality Hipster

picture source