If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a huge supporter of unique games that break the mold, and so I introduce to you Athar: a full immersion war game integrating live action game play with software tracking. Athar is essentially an innovative laser tag game which also combines virtual story elements. Or is it a massively multiplayer role playing game that also combines the immersive game play of laser tag? Athar utilizes various technologies already in production to keep track of player data in the “real” world and then relays that data to the game server, thus bluing the line between “reality” and the digital world.
Estimated Delivery: August 2014 (Beta in June)
Here’s a sketch of the equipment. As you can see, a smart phone or phablet of some kind is connected to the gear. The gear is essentially a Bluetooth transmitter that works in a similar fashion to a Wii remote. Player data is sent to their game server, which handles story interaction, experience points and other game related features.
More than Just a Game
Because Athar utilizes special technology for player tracking, as well as a server engine to keep track of game mechanics, the project offers far more than just the development of a single new game. Athar can very well become the base for a whole line of games. I wanted to see if the production group had any intentions of making the system available in this way. A short time after contacting Patrick from Athar Group, I received a response indicating that yes, the group was planning on releasing an SDK. If this project succeeds, I look forward to seeing how many more projects will be produced because of it.
Pledge Levels: Four levels ranging from $1 – $199.
Chances of Sucecss
Alright. So there are some concerns regarding this project. First, it’s a major undertaking. The team at Athar Games is not only creating new game equipment, albiet equipment based on existing technology, but they are also designing a whole game for use with that technology. I would like to see more detail regarding the technology, story, and game play itself. I think a lot of other potential backers would as well. In regards to the funding campaign, like with some other projects I’ve reviewed, I’m not sure if the pledge levels were planned out as well as they could have been. Quite frankly, I would expect to see rather large pledge options with a project like this.
Still, given the uniqueness of the game and the system, I am hopeful that the project will succeed. Even if it doesn’t succeed on its first attempt at funding, I would have no problem backing this project a second time around.