Picture: Nico Uthe
Freeroam.ar is an AR shooter for large spaces. The AR game is also expected to be released for mixed reality headsets like Quest 3 or Apple’s rumored device.
The Freeroam.AR project by German indie developer Nico Uthe transforms large rooms into laser tag arenas. Using a simple construction kit, large rooms or halls can be enriched with digital game objects and cover, and then engage in gun battles with glowing energy weapons.
Lasertag with Quest Pro and Meta Quest 3
The prerequisite is a VR headset that shows the outside world in passthrough mode and enriches it with computer graphics. In a first video, the Meta Quest Pro is used, which already delivers colored and higher quality passthrough AR than the Quest 2.
Initially, Uthe is targeting his Unity project at potential partners like laser tag arenas that are interested in a modern AR shooter. Later, home versions for Quest 3 or Apple’s rumored mixed reality headset could follow once these have established themselves with a larger audience. A public alpha is planned for the first quarter of 2023.
Unlike in Spatial Ops, slow-motion projectiles seem to play an important role. They could enable elegant evasive maneuvers like in Blaston or Superhot VR. Other special features include virtual body armor that bursts when fired upon too much. In the test game in an art gallery, the real exhibits serve as cover, but so do virtual walls and shields.
Draw the room, place the objects, done
With a “Room Mapper” tool (similar to the room setup in Quest Headset), users first draw the room and objects. Then they can use a level editor to place game-relevant objects and make gameplay adjustments. Once the setup is complete, the room data is automatically transmitted to all players and the battle can begin.
In the finished game, there will be modes that are based on classic game variants from laser tag. However, the focus will be on a special mode that, according to Uthe, will be tailored to the advantages of AR passthrough and will rely on teamwork.
Uthe previously worked on the laser tag VR game Tower Tag and the experimental VR dream world Lucid Trips.
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