It seems like whenever someone needs a simple basis for a ‘proof of concept’ videogame, it’s Super Mario Bros. That they turn to. We’ve already seen the original NES title turned into a virtual reality (VR) experience, now a HoloLens developer has recreated it as a HoloLens augmented reality (AR) experience.
Abhishek Singh, a HoloLens developer, recreated the famous first level of the classic NES platformer using Unity and then went to New York’s Central Park to play it using Microsoft’s HoloLens headset. The AR recreation is life-size and 3D, staying as close as possible to the NES layout. Goombas can be stomped upon, holes can be jumped across and power ups such as the Mushroom can be picked up. The simulate the growing effect of the Mushroom powerup, the world around the player shrinks to create the proper perspective.
The AR recreation still has a few hiccups and quirks, and some purists might find the idea of simply side-stepping around enemies instead of jumping on or over them to be sacrilege, but the core of the NES classic is there. As Singh told UploadVR: “I also had to model all the assets and elements of the game and at times rethink the experience and gameplay to work in a real-world 3D setting. The most time was probably spent on tweaking the game to work in a large outdoor environment. It still has a few quirks but is definitely playable. The final level was more than 110m long!”
Super Mario Bros. isn’t the only title to be recreated for HoloLens, however. An ambitious developer known as KennyW has gone to the trouble of recreating space-bending puzzle title Portal in AR for the HoloLens. Though not as complete as the Mario recreation and more of a proof of concept, the Portal recreation allows HoloLens users to throw around Portal’s iconic Companion Cube using portals. Since the HoloLens Portal is only an early demo, there are as of yet no puzzles to solve, but what the future holds for the HoloLens when it comes to videogames could be interesting.
VRFocus will continue to bring you news on Microsoft’s HoloLens and other products and software.
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