Red Dead Redemption 2 – AR Concept

Probably we should start with some dense and reasoned discussion around what augmented reality can do in advertising. But hey, we do games, and talking about marketing stuff  would probably bore you, so let’s go straight to the point: this is how an augmented reality app could work with a videogame advertising like the oh-my-godness-I-can-not-wait-to-play-it Red Dead Redemption 2 :

Too many months reading and watching previews of Red Dead Redemption 2,  next Rockstar Games creation, then all these ads on newspapers and magazines, websites and, at least here in Madrid, massive ads in central Callao metro station, precisely the nearest one to our office, with that huge billboard covering a 9-story building in front of us.

We’ve been playing for some time with the idea of doing large-scale AR experiences in a way that several people could simultaneously play the same AR game, and even interact with each other. What makes AR great vs VR is the chance to share the experience with others in the same screen, but having a large scale pattern would allow us to do a muti-user experience, where several users could be playing and sharing the very same experience, but from different point of views (as each of them would be holding her own device)

So when we saw this huge RDR2 billboard in front of our face, it didn’t took us too much to start some AR concept. Of course not for publicly releasing it, but to explore its possibilities (I let the marketing guys dream about all the potential this may have from a biz perspective).

Recognizing this large-scale pattern requires some considerations. Low perspective can be tricky, light can change a lot through the day, distance also matters… So in one hand we have this huge billboard, with the face of Arthur Morgan, the sun behind him, the horses below, followed by the game title. This image is apparently repeated in many other places, from the game cover, to many other ads, so we could expect to us it as AR pattern and recognize it to play the AR game on any of them. However, we quickly realized that these elements are not placed always exactly in the same way and there are small differences, so that was something we had to consider. Differences are not so evident for the human eye, but for the Vuforia pattern recognition, these differences matter. On the other hand, while the billboard would be the pattern to recognize, we don’t want to get limited by the area of the billboard and get visual profit of the building behind it, adding some elements like the fire or smoke going out from its windows. This means that, while the experience could be played in other places, we optimized it for this specific case. In the picture below, you can see how the game can be played in other similar patterns, but the game view does not fit perfectly the background, as it does in the billboard.

The last thing is, of course, the game itself. The game mechanic is pretty basic, a classic shooter where the player has to shoot only to characters with a gun, and shooting those without for 3 times makes the player to lose. As said, pretty basic, but enough for a concept. In a multi-player environment (not developed), users would play together and compete for getting as many points as possible, while speed game increases.

We made a basic 2D implementation using assets from the official website, but we were thinking how using with 3D assets in large-scale patterns would be, considering the perspective and camera position in relation to the the pattern.

What do you think? What would you like to see in the game?  We’ll love to hear from you in twitter