SCAD will show for the first time in Asia a much-anticipated Augmented Reality (AR) game, "ARhrrrr," created through a collaboration between SCAD and the Georgia Institute of Technology's Augmented Environments Lab.
The shooter game combines aspects of the physical world with computer-generated "augmented reality" to provide a truly interactive gaming experience, leveraging advanced graphics processing and a camera. "ARhrrrr" utilizes the Tegra graphics chip from NVIDIA, designed for next-generation hand-held devices. Many devices, including cell phones, utilizing the Tegra chip are anticipated for the future, while currently platforms include Microsoft's Zune HD.
The game features a mobile platform device that provides a window into a 3D town overrun with zombies. As players engage with the game by pointing the device at a special game map, they discover that civilians are trapped in the town, and must escape before the zombies eat them. From the player's vantage point in a helicopter overhead, they must shoot the zombies to clear the path for the civilians to get out. The zombies fight back, though, throwing bloody organs to bring down players' helicopters. Players must move the phone quickly to dodge them. Small, hard candies named "Skittles" are used as tangible inputs to the game, with players placing one on the board and shooting it to trigger an explosion.
SCAD professor Tony Tseng led SCAD's development of "ARhrrrr," and will be on site at Asia Game Show to showcase the groundbreaking game. Tseng teaches interactive design and game development at SCAD. SCAD offers bachelors and masters degrees in this area, and will bring its game curriculum to the new SCAD Hong Kong location for its Fall 2010 opening.
In 2008, The Los Angeles Times named SCAD among the top 10 universities that game developers mention for recruiting new talent. The university's partnership with celebrated gaming companies such as Electronic Arts (EA) also provides current students with the opportunity to earn course credit while working on video games that will be sold and distributed internationally. Because of the university's emphasis on outstanding career preparation, more than 8 out of 10 SCAD alumni in 2008 responding to a survey reported that they were employed in their field or had been admitted to graduate school.
"Augmented Reality takes gaming to a whole new level, with a true merging of physical and virtual, to provide a gaming experience that is beyond anything that has existed previously," said Tseng. "At SCAD, we are focused on teaching our students to push past what is currently defining the industry to discover the unlimited possibilities for the future of gaming. We look forward to offering this type of education at SCAD's Hong Kong location soon, and to helping develop Asia's next generation of creative thought leaders."