Since the success of Pokemon GO the augmented reality scene has received a lot of attention, with many developers trying recreate the same achievement with other beloved franchises. Abhishek Singh seems to be getting closer, bringing Mario’s world to life on Microsoft’s HoloLens.
It’s difficult to bring Mario to AR when you think about how much he bounces around and punches the air. After all, the character did debut as Jumpman for a reason. Developer Abhishek Singh recognised that and set to resolve the issue once and for all, resulting in a 360-foot real world recreation of perhaps the most famous level to exist in a platformer, the very first level of Super Mario Bros.
Singh shows dedication to his craft, keen to give the most authentic experience. Decked out completely in Super Mario gear, with the famous red cap being replaced with a HoloLens, he fully showcases this level in an unedited video.
Recreated using the Unity toolset over the course of a month, Singh perfectly displays the box hitting, Goomba stomping, power-up collecting action we expect from a Mario game. Of course, sacrifices had to be made according to AR’s limitations. Singh responds to these limitations in a report by Motherboard.
“[Making the stairs interactive] would require me to essentially recreate the basic physical structures in the real world and then overlay the holograms on them, allowing me to climb stairs while still maintaining the aesthetic of Mario,” he said. “I decided that was probably a little too much work to manage in Central Park.”
The level is notably larger than other AR entries, requiring Singh to split the level into sections. It took him “about 23 sections which then had to be perfectly aligned and anchored in the real world so that the entire level still played properly as a whole.” There was also need to factor in variation between players. “Since I wanted people of different heights to be able to jump and actually hit the bricks, I had to have a height adjusting system built into the game, which would adjust and calibrate the level to the players’ heights.”
Despite setting the standard to beat when bringing Mario to AR, Singh is unsure if he will continue his efforts on the one series.
“I was thinking I might create some of the underground levels in NYC subways if that doesn’t get me in trouble,” he said. “I am considering some other games; I got a few suggestions to recreate Doom and other first person shooters perhaps. However, the HoloLens isn’t necessarily designed for such large outdoor gameplay, so it does require a lot of tweaks.”
KitGuru Says: Well-made AR games can sometimes feel like they are in another castle when browsing what’s out there, but Singh has done a wonderful job with this one. What do you make of AR and where it’s headed?