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Levelhead: Trippy Augmented Reality Game

by Paul Strauss

New Zealand digital artist Julian Oliver is working on a cool game that blends the electronic universe with the real world. His work-in-progress game called levelHead uses a series of cubes placed on a table top. Digital cameras and custom software sense the movements of the cubes and superimpose digital images of a tiny little 3-dimensional gameplay universe.

Julian Oliver’s levelHead Interactive Game

As you tilt each cube, the player climbs through the environment, moving in concert with the angles of the physical cube. The objective of the game is to move the cubes to help guide the digital player to the exit of each cube’s virtual environment. Some of the doorways lead to another cube, while other are dead ends that make you start all over. The whole interaction looks like a Michel Gondry video to me.

Oliver developed the game to run under Debian or Ubuntu Linux, and plans on releasing it as an open source project soon.

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Comments (11):

  1. Trendmeister says:

    This gadget shows that gaming is beiing lifted to the next level. It’s amazing!

  2. Akrid says:

    can you say playstation eye?

  3. Evan says:

    plargstaton eye. Nope can’t say it.

    stuff like this has been around a lot longer then the playstation eye. I don’t know much about the playstation eye but I don’t think it does image tracking quite like this.

  4. Jason says:

    Wow. This video needs some After Effects help. I understand the point the artist is trying to make but the glitchy video overlays make it look like crap.

  5. technabob says:

    I don’t know if you could use After Effects for this kind of real-time object tracking. Can you?

  6. kevin says:

    I think jason was talking about the concept vid not the actually workings of the device

  7. technabob says:

    That’s not a concept video as far as I know. It’s actually how the game works. I’m pretty sure you look at a video screen and it superimposes the images onto the physical cubes.

    That’s what makes it an augmented reality application.

  8. Duvet-Dayz says:

    LevelHead: Open Source AR game…

    It started off as a residential project at the “Medialab Madrid” called “Unprepared Architecture”. Julian Oliver – the developer behind LevelHead – worked together with designer Simone Jones during June 2007 in Madrid on this &#…

  9. JO MAMA says:


    • technabob says:

      Actually, this is real. That’s just the way that these type of augmented reality applications look – the image is superimposed digitally over the real world footage, so you occasionally get that type of “bleed”.

      Think of it like the way that chromakeyed backgrounds look on TV if someone accidentally wears green in front of a green screen and the background shows through.

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