To kick-start it’s Google Goggles Campaign, and to give people the much desired feel of ‘augmented reality’, Google has launched an awesome augmented reality game called ‘Ingress’.
Ingress is an inside project of the former Google director of geo- John Hanke, who along with his Niantic labs had long ago started developing a conceptual ARG.
Ingress- is an alternate reality game, which changes the way people see things around them, and provides them a more realistic playground. Imagine, pointing your camera towards worldly objects to see real-time, augmented graphics- like having digitalized details of objects around, or having different tasks to complete by walking around the simulated path.
Ingress has adapted a dystopian cyberpunk theme for the game and the entire gameplay revolves around an ancient war field. The gameplay simulates a zombie apocalypse and challenges you to a fast-paced race against the zombies. The game is very much like the concept of ‘World of Warcraft’, where everyone around the world plays the same game, but you have to progress through levels to gain more ‘XP’. You can choose to play either with “The Enlightened”- the ones who embrace the powers, or “The Resistance”- the ones who fight the powers.
The description of the game reads: “A mysterious energy has been unearthed by a team of scientists in Europe. The origin and purpose of this force is unknown, but some researchers believe it is influencing the way we think. We must control it or it will control us.”
The game also allows you to track your progress and unlocks new challenges, whenever you complete certain objectives. The game also has an inbuilt social networking platform which allows players around the world to communicate, and also allows them to track everyone’s progress in the game. Though anyone can play from anywhere in the world, there would be more competition for resources in areas which host lots of players. There are certain objectives, which you cannot complete individually and would have to be completed with proper co-ordination and team-work. Co-operation across neighbourhood, city or country is required to complete a certain set of objectives.
Google feels Ingress would be great for its business, specifically from the advertising point of view. Ingress already has a lot of real world physical stores (affiliation with Hint Water, Zipcar, Jamba Juice and Chrome apparel), and products (messenger bags, etc.) embedded into the game.
With Google Goggles coming around, Ingress could be a gamer’s paradise. Google is already in plans to make real-world gaming tools available to developers. This would allow developers to develop products, and levels, which could be integrated with the Ingress gameplay.
Though the idea is enthralling, it would take some time for the mainstream audience to get lured by its charms. However, the game is set to attract the hardcore gamer community, who would love its fascinatingly ‘realistic’ game play.
Attached below is an exciting trailer of the awesome ARG. The game is in closed beta stage now, and is expected to hit the Play Store soon. If you’re interested in trying out the game, you can apply for a beta invite at the Ingress website.