Magic Leap unveils new Augment Reality software which features a steampunk shoot-’em-up

The intro page to Dr Grordbort's Victory game
The intro page to Dr Grordbort’s Victory game

You may have seen the trailer video for Magic Leap’s new system which incorporates Augmented Reality that places a virtual desktop over a real landscape. It allows you to access emails, documents and the general internet, but the biggest mark of interest has been stirred by the first person shooting game.

The first thing that the user does in the trailer for the system is flick through a virtual office before finally selecting a game called “Victory” by New Zealand based steampunk weapon maker Dr Grordbort.

He is the person responsible for some of the dinosaurs in King Kong and the weaponry in District 9. In fact, while he was working on those, he was using his spare time designing, making and painting some of his earliest creations. When completed, he showed them to his friends at Weta and they encouraged him to market them.

Eventually, the products became more popular and they spawned a series of books including the first one titled Doctor Grordbort’s Contrapulatory Dingus Directory” which was published by Dark Horse.

It seems that his links to Weta have allowed him to have a hand in this new development that is also backed by Google. The video suggests that you would need to own a Dr Grordbort gun in order to play the game. This type of product alliance isn’t unknown of, though. It runs in a similar vein to video games already out such as Disney’s Infinty and Activision’s Skylanders games. In these games, you also have to buy separate characters and accessories to progress, upgrade or play other areas of the games.

The part of the game we see in the video is the user picking up the gun and robots dropping from the ceiling. The user then uses the gun to shoot them which becomes a virtual working model. The user also creates a static sentry gun to aid the fight.

There’s been some pessimism regarding the capability of recording virtual reality to make a video. It’s been suggested that this may be a mock up, however counteracting that claim, the head of PR Andy Fouché wrote “This is a game we’re playing around the office right now (no robots were harmed in the making of this video)”. Could they be showing real footage of what looks like an exciting new turn in video game play?

Time will tell, I suppose. They were due to give a talk at the recent TED meeting, but didn’t and released the video instead.

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