Making AR gameplay video

…of our upcoming AR space tower defense game, Attack of the Bugminator

The process of creating a video about your game that draws the attention of the audience is quite hard, especially for AR. Instead of put-up and prerendered gameplay, we want to present the actual gameplay in real places.

The first difficulty comes with the fact that our AR game is in portrait orientation, but if we want to place the video on our website’s header and other social media, the landscape orientation fits better, so we decided that we will go with the later one, which comes to some additional work, like hiding all UI elements. We also needed to turn off some supportive features to make the video a much cooler AR experience.

AR space tower defense

Setting things up

For AR, there is a big “drawback”, if you want pure gameplay, you have to record the real device’s screen, which limits the native resolution. In this case, we choose the iPhone SE 2, sacrificing some pixels (it has a 750x1336 screen) for smooth recording at a 60Hz refresh rate.

AR space tower defense

How an AR tower defense looks like

Another thing is the handshaking. With bare hands, there is no possible way to record acceptable footage, so the use of some kind of mobile stabilizer is a must.

AR space tower defense

Aaaand, action!

Probably the most difficult task was the recording itself. We have chosen spectacular places, but if we want good shots with a nice background or just want to record stuff from below, the tracking was lost. The time of the recording matters a lot also, light conditions, which direction the sun shining, and so on.

AR space tower defense

AR anytime, anywhere :)

And of course, the human factor. Nowadays everyone walking with phones in their hands, that’s not an uncommon thing, we used to it, so other people usually don’t care you are trying to make your life’s best shot and walk in front of you before you can notice it.

AR space tower defense

C'mon guys, are you serious?!

Summing up: decide which orientation you will go. Choose the recording device wisely and stick with it. Create sample recordings before you start the serious stuff, so you can see which parts of your game looks good in the video and which is not. Use some kind of stabilizer. Plan your route and where you want to shoot (you will stay much more time on every place than you think) and when and to what direction (your shadow can ruin some good shots).

More on the game itself later, so stay tuned ;)

Until then, check out