2020 Games Look Mostly Augmented

Gamasutra recently announced a competition for best game ideas. Games of 2020.

The winners are already in and their games are mostly…augmented.

Check out these 4 games:

House Chores by Wesley Wiebe.

It builds on the idea that if you cleverly use game pleasures people would be willing to tolerate almost anything – just to get the built-in reward. The same dopamine system in our brains that handles addictions.

In this case, the game controller is a broom. And your challenge: sweep the floor.

The setup is your “everyday” augmented reality game: your own house is modeled into the game, you wear see thru digital goggles with built in cameras, you interact with the real world (your living room) blended with virtual elements (water splashes)…

Intrigued?

Keep reading the next game:

Appliance Gaming By Daniel Cook

The concept in Daniel’s own words:

Cloud connected household appliances combined with simple games and an augmented reality feedback system. Hook up some inexpensive sensors and a wireless connection to assorted dishwashers,vacuums, refrigerators and washing machines. Add a feedback device in the form of a vision aware monocle.

The game device looks awfully like Yanko‘s Monocle (who’s first?):

I also like the punch line:

The resulting consumer boom is widely credited with ending the economic malaise of America’s Lost Decade.

Play Everywhere By: Angie Oikawa

Here is what every Augmented Reality fan dreams about

a diverse collection of casual, social gaming experiences that integrate easily into a persons everyday life. PE! is a mobile “game platform” that allows people to choose virtual “Smart Game Objects”, customize them, and place them into real world locations for friends to find and play with.

What’s this mobile platform like?

…an evolved smart phone with a high resolution holographic display, or glasses that allow a person to superimpose virtual objects into the real world

And a game play example shows an inspiring woman’s touch: leaving sexy clues for your spouse to find on your anniversary:

…she is greeted by a flock of doves who sing to her and drop rose petals across the hall way into the bedroom where you are waiting for her.

Chow Time By Trevor Paradise

The (wacky) concept: eat healthy food in reality, while the game makes you think you eat your favorite junk food.

Scratchy.

If you like these – there’s a whole bunch just like these at Gamasutra.

The only remaining question is: why wait for 2020?

These Top 20 Game Publishers Will Disappear – Unless…

Game Developer Magazine just published its Top 20 Publishers of 2008.

How many augmented reality games have these formidable companies published?

Sweet Fanny Adams. Diddly squat. Zilch.

Here’s a summary of the Top 20, with links to individual profile pages:

20. Midway
19. Eidos Interactive
18. Codemasters
17. LucasArts
16. Disney Interactive Studios
15. NCSoft
14. Capcom
13. Namco Bandai Games
12. Vivendi Games
11. Konami
10. Square Enix
9. Microsoft Game Studios
8. THQ
7. Sega of America
6. Take Two
5. Sony Computer Entertainment
4. Ubisoft
3. Activision
2. Electronic Arts
1. Nintendo

The article recaps the publishing landscape:

This year’s list seems to have been influenced somewhat by which companies could adapt with the times…most of the publishers in our top 20 have a decided console focus, demonstrating that the adaptation of new forms of games into the existing model will take some time.

Sure. When a game title costs upwards of $20M to develop (not including marketing) you got to sell a whole load of it. You can’t take risks.

Darvin said that if you can’t adapt, you’ll die. I will argue that in 10 years these publishers (and affiliated studios) will disappear from the list. That is unless they open their minds and wallets to reality games.

I have raved this month about a flood of augmented reality games coming to the iPhone, Google’s Android, and Nokia mobile devices. So what am I ranting about today?

Well, these mind-blowing games are not coming from the above top publishers; they are emerging from the fringe. Tiny boutique studios aren’t trying to predict the future; they are bringing it forward by pushing the envelop of game experiences.

If I were a betting man, I’d say these risk-taking-tiny-boutique-studios will top the charts in the future.