BrumHack 2017 - WizARds

BrumHack 2017 - WizARds

Category
Hackathon
Published
2017
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In the ever-expanding world of Virtual/Augmented Reality technologies, we wanted to create something that would show how quickly an application could be put together with impressive results.

Any fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise will appreciate how cool it was seeing projected monsters fighting, especially wanting one of their own. Sadly, I never did manage to create a full-scale monster fighting stadium in my backyard.

Our group being collective fans of card games all have too wanted to experience virtual monster battles.

We set out to create a relatively small AR wizard fighting game. Here are a few of the features we managed to include in just 24 hours:

  • Three ‘types’, Fire, Water, and Earth (think pokémon) would form a combat triangle, allowing for more strategic gameplay
  • 6 playable characters
  • A basic attack and two special abilities for each character
  • Live health, displayed alongside the character
  • Attacks bound to character rather than as an overlay
  • Active player detection
  • Round management for turn-based fights
  • Live hot switching!! Swap out a character at any time

Through the magic of the AR framework, Vuforia, we implemented tracking fairly quickly, leaving most of the work down to the actual mechanics/player systems.

For Vuforia to track an image well, there must be a high amount of distortion in the image. For example, compare these two cards:

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Fig A: No background, basic model and stats

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Fig B: Background to both model and card

Due to the tracking data being based on the grey scale histogram of the image, there must be sufficient variation in tone/texture.

Another issue I ran into was determining which player was which. Originally, the plan was to allow a battle to take place at any angle, allowing for repositioning at any point. This poses the issue of detecting who owns who; there would be no way to determine this without verifying the player’s “deck” at the start of each game, adding a delay to every match.

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To circumvent this, I gave ownership of the characters based on world position. This generic assignment meant there was never an official owner of the model, resulting in the need for a constantly static playing field.

Adding a few world-positioned canvases to the characters was the only other step and bam, we have summonable models!

Round management was pretty simple after this; it ensures two players are on the field, waits for both to select an attack move and fires away. If a player selects a move and ‘disconnects’, their status is revoked and cancels the turn, preventing the other player from getting any free hits in.

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This project was a bunch of fun to work on and came out looking somewhat polished.

We were honoured to win gold sponsor Capgemini’s prize for innovation, receiving a fancy new Raspberry Pi in the process. Here’s an awkward photo:

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