Things will never be the same again. #Proxy42, an augmented reality gaming company from San Francisco is building the world’s first real world, multiplayer first person shooter.
What's a real world first person shooter?
The game is called Father.io, and it allows for players from across the globe to come together in glorious augmented combat. Play anywhere, anytime. It's truly original stuff.
Those who download the game to their mobile devices will be able to choose their own real-world battlegrounds. That means anywhere from the local park to your local mall. Father.IO will instantaneously create the game wherever you are.
In terms of groundbreaking, this new concept takes what Pokémon Go is doing, but is taking it one, two — no, make it three — steps further.
The story: "Digital Apocalypse”
In the year 2040, humans decided to utilize cybernetic and bionic augmentations to connect their brains to an advanced artificial intelligence known as the Ethereus.
Connectivity allowed the artificial intelligence access to the entire database of human knowledge and experience. This, coupled with its highly complex algorithm, allowed it to almost immediately put a stop to all worldly conflict.
But with no conflict, there can be no first-person shooter. Something has gone terribly wrong with the Ethereus system. Father.IO, a mysterious digital virus of unknown origin, has infected Ethereus’ behavioral algorithms, and has somehow triggered an evil initiative.
Pick a side
There are two factions in Father.IO. Before players are able to progress, they must decide which faction they wish to join. They choose to side: cybernetic beings designed by the Father.IO virus called "the evolved," or the humans.
The evolved are connected to the Ethereus. Their new orders? To hunt down and kill all humans that are not linked with the mother system.
The human team is being hunted. Facing the potential elimination of the species, it is the human mission to rise up against the evolved and take down the Ethereus.
It almost feels like George's Marvellous Medicine of Sci-Fi, with a pinch of Equilibrium here, a dash of Hunger Games there, all stirred together with a big dollop of Total Recall.
More than just a shooter
But there is so much more. Gamers worldwide will not be limited to the FPS element. They'll also be able to compete in a multitude of online real world games, including territory dash, location-based endeavors, and combat strategy missions like recon and other stealth-orientated games.
To take part in the FPS mode detailed in this article, however, you will need one extra piece of kit: the "Inceptor." This space-age addition will turn your phone into the weaponry required to take down your foes.
Strap it to any fourth-generation or above smartphone and you are locked and loaded. This will give your device an augmented field of view allowing you to take out enemies from as far as 164 feet away. It’s easy to carry so you can be ready to load up at a moment’s notice.
Proxy 42 want to bring the joy of gaming to each and every person on the planet. With this new augmented concept, players of all ages can game anywhere, any time and with anybody. It gets players outdoors and gets people active. With Proxy 42’s new concept gaming is now far from sedentary; it is an actual real world adventure that can be enjoyed by all.
My time with Father.IO
I was fortunate enough to spend a little time with the founder and CEO of Father.IO, Francesco Ferrazzino. Incidentally, he's nicest man in the world.
Proxy 42 have great plans for this title. This ambitious company wants to take gaming into the next century on a device that is accessible to the masses.
Is this a game or a sport?
It is both. It is a massive online multiplayer laser tag. We also have exploratory game modes. It can be played alone or in groups — very large groups. At the end of the day, it is fun, it is a game, it gets people outside and living life.
How competitive do you want it to be?
Competitive. I want this to be the next big thing in esports. Remember how much fun laser tag was as a kid? You can now do that anywhere, anytime with Father.IO. Play with friends, family or complete strangers it doesn't matter this game is what you make of it.
I would love to see Father.IO in the esports big leagues — duck, dive and dodge your way through epic skirmish arenas as part of the ever growing professional esports market. This will be the next big esport. That’s the dream.
Is this a generic game, or will it tailor to individuals?
Father.IO will tailor itself to your own unique game style. [The] FPS element for example: If you are a run-and-gun expert, then you can load up with a submachine gun or shotgun for up close encounters.
If you are a sniper by choice, you can load up a sniper rifle and sit on the outskirts of the firefight and snipe through the scope. Our ranged weapons can shoot over 160 feet. Our new tech is designed to emulate different weapons, it's very exciting.
Is it hard?
“Not particularly. It can be played by both the professional and the social player. In my opinion Street Fighter II was the best game ever invented — apart from Father.IO of course! It was immensely fun, not too difficult, but not too easy. This is the feel I want Father.IO to have. Of course, in an esports setting, Father.IO is relentless and adrenalin pumping!”
Is there a reward system?
Yes, similar to other popular FPS games. Father.IO incorporates a leveling up system that includes prestige rankings.
A new concept that we came up with was to work the game through seasons and champion the best players internationally at the end of each season. Every player's upfront stats will be reset at the end of each season but will still retain their progression level and prestige rank.
This way players can build a reputation and overall skill status whilst at the same time we are able to keep each competitive season as even as possible for the newcomers.
Is it limited to smartphones?
"No, we are integrating both smartwatches and VR into the game. Smartwatches will alert players to any nearby threats and provide the wearer with real-time game updates.
VR can be used to fly into battle zones — at the moment we are experimenting with drones.
Any final messages to our readers?
"Just have fun. Life's too short, turn your world into one big playground. I guarantee you will never look back. Oh, and do please check out our game pages.
How does it work?
The program maps out your real world location via satellite. It then divides that same real world location up into hex-areas on a now localized hex grid. Put simply, it works in the same way that your Google Maps works.
It aims to even incorporate a separate mapping satellite which will provide you with a real-world mini-map. And if that wasn't cool enough, all gamers will be able to record all their battles in 720p and share them with friends and other Father.IO gamers instantly online.
On top of your own games, other games will be happening all around the world, and you may find yourself accidentally walking through someone else’s game on your way to get a coffee. If this happens, you are now a target. You have been warned!
Take a look at this trailer to get a grasp on the game.
How do I play?
The project is in development right now. The team used crowdfunding to raise the money to complete the game.
If this project is successful it will be the first real-world, real-time first person experience to hit the wider gaming market, and to be readily accessible to all. Don't forget to grab that Inceptor for your Smartphone — these bad boys are currently available starting at $25.
For me, Father.IO is at the forefront of the gaming revolution. Further, proof that there is no limit on what can be achieved. The industry is ever changing and without the pioneers, we would never advance. Thanks to Proxy 42 and others like it, the future of gaming is looking very bright.
Platform: Mobile, AR
Genre: FPS, Augmented Reality
Release date: 2017
Developer: Proxy 42
Got an addition that you feel would benefit the game before release? Comment below.