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November 3, 2023

SPACE INVADERS: World Defense, an Immersive Game Powered by ARCore

Posted on November 3, 2023 4 minutes 731 words
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In a delightful treat for classic video game lovers, the iconic “Space Invaders” turns 45 this year. What’s even more exciting is how Taito, the original game developer, has chosen to celebrate this milestone: by collaborating with Google to launch an immersive augmented reality (AR) version called “SPACE INVADERS: World Defense”. Here’s everything you need to know about this revolutionary mobile game.

The Evolution of Space Invaders

Before diving into the latest addition, it’s worth revisiting the legacy of the “Space Invaders”. In 1977, a talented Japanese game designer, Tomohiro Nishikado, began crafting what would later become one of the foundational games of the shoot ’em up genre. Nishikado’s original sketches, drawn by hand, were pixelated into the iconic characters we’ve come to love. From those early days in 1978 to newer versions introducing features like the “Nagoya Attack”, “Rainbow”, and two-player modes, SPACE INVADERS continued to captivate audiences.

To commemorate its 30th anniversary, a unique version was released, featuring music by renowned DJs. And now, on its 45th anniversary, we’re introduced to SPACE INVADERS in a groundbreaking new dimension.

Introducing: SPACE INVADERS: World Defense

Powered by Google’s ARCore and Geospatial API, SPACE INVADERS: World Defense offers an immersive gaming experience. Players can explore their surroundings, discovering new Space Invaders in their local neighborhoods and vanquishing them to save Earth.

Features of the game include:

  1. Real-world Integration: The game uses nearby structures, landscapes, and other architectural elements to design levels that blend with the player’s surroundings.

  2. Global Collaboration: This game isn’t just a solo mission. Players across the globe must cooperate to defend the Earth.

  3. Power-ups and Rewards: As players venture through their neighborhoods, they can unlock special power-ups, compete for the top score, and even share their in-game achievements on social media with an AR selfie.

Behind the Tech

The advanced AR tech that powers this game is truly a marvel. The Geospatial API lets you experience content in relation to real-world locations on a grand scale. The game intelligently adapts to different environments, from busy cityscapes to tranquil towns. And if you’re in an area without VPS coverage, there’s even an “Indoor Mode” to continue the fun inside.

But that’s not all. Developers have painstakingly worked to ensure that users can seamlessly transition between the real-world AR and virtually generated 3D dimensions, creating a truly mesmerizing gameplay experience.

Behind the Scenes with Google’s ARCore

How did Google manage to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual? Let’s delve into the workings. The game is engineered using Google’s latest ARCore technology: Geospatial API, Streetscape Geometry API, and Geospatial Creator.

Google’s Geospatial API is a marvel, turning the globe into a vast gaming arena. It synchronizes content with Google Street View locations, crafting enriching experiences. Even if you’re in a non-VPS covered region, there’s an Indoor Mode ensuring you don’t miss out on the fun.

The game utilizes mesh data from the Streetscape Geometry API, ensuring unique gameplay experiences tailored to various real-world locations. Be it a quiet village or a buzzing city, the game adapts!

And there’s the Invader’s dimension – a segment where players can lower their devices, offering them a respite from continuous play.

All these feats are powered by ARCore and Google Maps Platform’s Photorealistic 3D Tiles, creating an unparalleled global gaming experience.

The Future of Gaming is Here!

This collaboration is a testament to the immense possibilities of AR in reshaping entertainment. Brands can now bring content closer than ever, allowing users to interact and experience things in unparalleled dimensions. Google’s recent unveiling of the Geospatial Creator is a nod in this direction, enabling developers and creators to craft location-based AR experiences effortlessly.

Where to Play

Eager to defend the Earth and dive into this AR adventure? The game is now available for both Android and iOS.

A person holding a smartphone displaying the game 'Space Invaders World Defense' by Taito. The screen shows pixelated alien characters with the words 'START GAME' at the bottom. The background reveals a blurred street scene.

In Conclusion

With “SPACE INVADERS: World Defense”, Google and Taito have reinvented a beloved classic, blending the boundaries of the physical and digital world. Whether you’re a longtime fan of the original game or a new player, this AR experience promises a fresh and thrilling adventure. So, ready to save the planet? The world is now your playground! 🌍🚀

For a deeper dive into the game’s development, check out this post by Dereck Bridie and Bradford Lee, and the history of SPACE INVADERS can be found here.

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