Galaga is a beloved arcade classic dating back to the early days of videogames. It has become beloved by fans since it was first released for arcades by Namco back in 1981, since then the title has seen appearances as the loading screen for Ridge Racer, and even getting a cameo in The Avengers movie. Now the arcade classic is making a leap into augmented reality (AR) thanks to Directive Games.
The founder and CEO of Directive Games, Atli Mar appeared on stage at Apple’s Special Event in California to demonstrate the new technology which allowed the AR arcade to go multiplayer.
The AR Galaga was designed to show off the capabilities of the new A12 Bionic chip, which is the new GPU being installed in the new iPhones, as well as ARKit 2, the upgraded and enhanced version of Apple’s AR toolset.
Mar and others from the Directive Games team took to the stage to show off an AR arcade machine, which displayed a game of Galaga as the Directive Games team took each other one, battling to hit the high score. While it initially appeared that Galaga would be confined to the virtual arcade machine, as the demo continued Galaga expanded out from the arcade machine to open up the game to others on the stage.
The other players were then faced with alien spacecraft whizzing around in front of them, their iPhones acting in lieu of the spaceship that players usually control in classic Galaga. It was even possible to activate power-ups which triggered impressive visual effects, like the stun, which created a glittery web of energy, holding all the alien craft in place
The demonstration didn’t just demonstrate the visual capabilities and responsiveness of the new iPhone but also showed how persistent, multiplayer AR was possible using the ARKit 2 toolset.
For future coverage on ARKit and other Apple AR projects, keep checking back with VRFocus.