The Beginning of Invasion Dawn
About the project:
We are building a World Scale Augmented Reality and location-based multiplayer game. The game is sci-fi themed and it will include quest-like interactions, battles, scavenger hunts and riddles solving. All the real world interactions are synchronised in Shared AR and stabilised with low latency solutions (where available). The main driver of the game is physical movement – the players need to reach different locations 1-10 miles from the starting position.
Invasion Dawn is meant to deliver on the promise of Augmented Reality game – it transforms the city and lets the players truly step into the game. The game elements are linked to physical environments and locations, the players’ moves and actions on virtual objects in the real world are synced, creating an incredibly realistic and immersive experience.
Invasion Dawn will open a new gaming genre, where new updates are as exciting as new Netflix episodes. We will give our players new reasons every week to go out for a jog and explore their neighbourhood while discovering new details from the sci-fi story.
Initial game story:
Very hostile aliens started appearing in neighborhoods everywhere around the world. A group of scientists from Berlin were able to create a detecting device that allowed observing the aliens. And it became apparent – they came to steal some form of Energy from Earth. The aliens look like some sort of fungi that take over mechanisms such as spacecraft. This is why we, the Earthlings, call the aliens the MUSH. That group of scientists was later contacted by an unknown entity and was provided with an upgrade to the detection device. The upgrade included the Energy Shield and a blaster gun and the ability to collect the Energy and transform it into a charge for the weapon and to maintain the shield. The Entity promised to send more help and explained how dangerous the MUSH really are. The entity advised the scientists against engaging the MUSH, but the brave team decided to defend the planet. And now you can join the battle. Get your gear and join the fight as we see the Invasion Dawn in front of our eyes.
This very first version has two main gameplay elements – Energy Collection and MUSH Attack. MUSH – the aliens – came to earth to steal the Dark Energy to charge their massive attack fleets. Only a relatively small group of them arrived but they already placed multiple Energy Mines around the world. The Energy mines with the deposits can be seen in cities and the Deposits can be Hacked using the special device the Entity provided. This Device can be easily disguised as a mobile phone. When a deposit is Hacked – its energy – in a form of Energy Spheres – gets released and the special physical property of the Spheres make them spread heavenly along the streets in a random direction for about a third a mile. The Spheres can then be collected by the Resistance (players) – by running along the row of Spheres. The players need to reach all the Energy Nodes (street corners) along the Energy discharge path. The collected energy is then used to load the weapon and fuel the shield. Only the bravest Resistance members can then attempt attacking the MUSH. The aliens usually nag around deposits or other alien facilities. Usually the MUSH would allocate 2-3 craft that they stole from one of the previously concurred civilisations to guard and patrol their facilities. Attacking the MUSH should be done in groups – as many of them are armed with strong weapons. But they are not invincible – the MUSH spend A LOT of energy to control the craft, to hover and move them and to communicate – that’s why their abilities are also limited. The Resistance members who choose to attack the MUSH need to switch their device to Attack mode, approach the MUSH, aim and tap the “shoot” button. When a Shield sustains damage – it uses energy to repair. The energy stored in the device is also used to produce the plasma projectiles. This only means that when all the energy is used by the Resistance member – they become “invisible” to the MUSH – as they are shielded with a very efficient and low energy mechanism of the device. In order to continue the fight – the member needs to Hack another portal and collect its Energy. This very first version of Invasion Dawn already includes multiplayer function – players can see each other on the mini map and in the real world – see each others’ Energy Shields and of course fight MUSH together – players see each other’s projectiles and the movements and actions of MUSH are also synced.
Here we are proudly submitting what we call the alfalfa – the alpha of the alpha :) version of the game. The next phase of this project will include Game Exchange who will gradually add Web3 abilities to the project. Invasion Dawn is a baby of two parents – forwARdgame and Gamexchange. Together we bring to the table the two main pillars of the project – AR gaming and blockchain. Both teams have been working together for more than a year on multiple projects, and we have our technologies well integrated and tested. Both teams are great experts in their field but it’s the chemistry and the relationship that we built working together. A project like Invasion Dawn won’t be just another nice AR game or a good NFT game – Invasion Dawn is a game changer for both – it is the most interactive and immersive AR game that combines innovative and advancing NFT utility.
On the gameplay side we plan to add different game modes – such as hunt and survival. We plan to implement mixed-remote multiplayer, allowing players get together and smash the aliens without being in the same physical location and allowing multiple groups play together – a team of 3 from Berlin with a team of four from Paris. We are creating a lore library and stories about the world of Invasion Dawn, hoping for the players to feel like the story is happening in front of their eyes -- right here, right now. We are adding rules and regulations for different game elements. All of them will become relevant for the next phases of development.
All of us love sci-fi and we all love games. Bringing digital games into the real world is our dream and we were so happy with the amazing results Geospatial allowed us to achieve – making the game truly immersive. Starcraft and Halo are just a few of our inspirations, but in general – aliens are invading and it’s time to defend the planet is a narrative everyone is familiar with. We mentioned War of Worlds multiple times during the making of Invasion Dwan and we hope the players will get the “I’m in a movie” feeling as well.
Working with Geospatial taught us a lot about AR positioning in the street, it made us aware of the precision and of positioning of the player relative to a “scanned” street. It was pretty challenging to get the anchor and pose and accuracy to properly fall in place. As we often say – when building with AR there is an infinite number of ways to make it wrong and very small number of ways to make it right, and sometimes there is exactly one way. We hope we hit many of the right paths. We had Google Routes API to guide us :)
We use Geospatial API to determine the position of the players relative to the real world – by that achieving Shared AR – allowing multiple players to act in the synchronised virtual space. We use socket.io to sync the positions and actions of the players – transmitting the changes in lat/lon to everyone in a session. We have two servers – one in the EU and one in the US to help reduce the latency. We use Places API to randomize the positions of MUSH (alien invaders) and Energy deposits – Places API allows us to validate the place actually exists. Then we use Routes API and Roads API to verify that the place is navigable and it’s safe to send the players there. We use Directions API to produce a navigable path to the point of interest – MUSH base or an Energy Deposit. We use Mapbox to create a customised 3D map and we also use Mapbox to get the 3D buildings. We then position the world scale Mapbox 3D map according to the correct lat/lon location provided by Google API and thus overlay virtual houses over real ones – this allows somewhat precise occlusion – making the virtual objects be occluded by the real world buildings. This of course significantly improves the immersiveness of the game. To create the videos submitted we did not use any aftereffects or any other kind of altering, except cropping and pasting multiple direct screen recordings together.
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