Massively Multiplayer Augmented Reality Games
I recently finished my master thesis about Massively Multiplayer Augmented Reality Games. This thesis is written with the intention of proving that real-time massively multiplayer Location Based Augmented Reality games can be developed for currently widely disseminated mobile devices. To proof this idea, a focus is laid on both displaying and interacting with location based information in 2D or 3D as well as synchronizing states and local information with other application participants. In addition, the thesis deals with the business point of view of building large-scaled AR applications.
A prototype of a real-time massively cooperative multiplayer game is developed in addition to writing this thesis to prove that complex AR applications can be developed and used at the current time. A Real-time massively multiplayer game is chosen because games of this genre usually have high demands on both user interactions and on graphical representation capabilities. What is more, massively multiplayer online games have a great business potential, which most likely forms the basis of successfully adopting new technologies to the market.
As developing such an application is rather complex and time-consuming, libraries that facilitate the development are chosen for as many tasks as possible. Therefore, only libraries that are available for free are used. This way, it is assured that the outcome can be reproduced without making large investments.
The thesis is structured in five main chapters: Firstly, it is explained why creating applications like the prototype might be financially feasible to companies. The business relevance of AR and Android centered mobile application development is highlighted with examples and figures. Here a focus is laid on mobile game development. Secondly, the thesis compares freely available graphics engines on Android and highlights requirements and technical problems when developing AR applications on mobile devices. Thirdly, the prototype application is explained in detail. The idea behind creating the prototype is pointed out and both the view of the user and the implementation of the administration interface is explained. Fourthly, important aspects of the actual implementation are structured and all encountered problems are clarified. This chapter is mainly focused on engineering and programming tasks. Whenever possible, solutions for encountered problems are given. Lastly, the thesis provides a short conclusion about the results.