Wonderbook details emerge

Developers from Sony's London Studio reveal the technology and concepts driving the upcoming augmented reality title.

The development team behind Sony's upcoming augmented reality title Wonderbook: Book of Spells have unveiled more details on the concept and technology behind the game.

Sony's Wonderbook.

In a behind the scenes video on YouTube, the London Studio developers, including creative director Russell Harding, revealed the idea for Wonderbook began in the early days of the PS3, when the publisher's augmented reality technology had given way to two possible ideas for implementation: a virtual pet, or an augmented reality book.

Since the technology involved the camera tracking a marker (usually a card with a specific pattern on it), the Sony team decided to go with the virtual pet idea because it required the tracking of just one, not multiple, markers.

After the success of EyePet, the publishers decided it was time to revisit the technology and begin work on the augmented reality book.

Wonderbook essentially an enhanced version of the EyePet technology: while the same marker design is repeated in Wonderbook, there are now multiple markers for the camera to track and superimpose graphics on, visible on every page of the book. Markers can also be obscured from view (for example, when turning the page) and the technology will still work.

According to the London Studios team, turning the augmented reality book concept into a book of spells that would allow players to use the Move controller as a wand was a natural fit that could allow them to develop simple user interface and one-to-one movements.

Wonderbook: Book of Spells is a collaboration between Sony and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and was first unveiled at Sony's E3 2012 press conference.

The game is due out this holiday.

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Wonderbook: Book of Spells

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Discussion

81 comments
Razer361
Razer361

The concept is good, and there is potential for good games, but the Book of spells or what-ever looks down-right stupid.

interrasteral7
interrasteral7

I wonder when SCEE London Studio might go back to developing Eight Days and The Getaway instead of making these casual video games.

farcorners
farcorners

Interesting. I hope this is not another uDraw Tablet, like THQ's.

 

Sndewey
Sndewey

Looks like a piece of !@#$ to me, i just want to play real games, doesnt even look like the kids will enjoy it very much a day a week. Then they will get board

jark888
jark888

The presentation of the game doesn't seem to be very fun.

jark888
jark888

With second thought, what about detective or puzzle games using PS move controller.

jark888
jark888

Sorcery seems to be more fun to me. Creating first person adventure-exploration games would be more interesting.

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

This thing better bring me a pop-up Playboy magazine and a full 3D Better Homes and Gardens magazine, or I will be most displeased.

 

I need a life.

malec_1
malec_1

I want to like this project but there is a core concept that causes it to fail for me. The concept of reading a book through a TV. Looking at the video, some of those words are going to be hard to read unless very close to the TV. And also, while the TV will show all the sparkles, when the kid looks down at the actual book it will always be a jarring difference that ruins immersion.

 

Something like this needed to wait until things like Google Googles take off. AR via a phone or TV will always be subpar to AR in glasses.

 

blackace
blackace

This will keep kids attention for maybe a week and then the fun and interest will be over. How many spells could they possible put in that book? It looks like it has maybe 8-10 pages. Once all the spells are mastered and all the special effects and creatures are scene, kids will either go back to REAL video games or go out and play.

berserker66666
berserker66666

The big question is can this wand turn water into wine and objects into solid gold?

vgbum
vgbum

I'll get this for my little cousin.

No_SuRReNDeR
No_SuRReNDeR

I guess if I was a parent and my kid was 8-12 I would think was pretty cool...but Im not so....meh.

xpepox
xpepox

This looks awesome.  I cant wait to see the later implications for ar.

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

Here's a better idea, parents: Just buy your kids an actual book. 

TCMOREIRA
TCMOREIRA

Developers are still crawling in terms of augmented reality. But let's give this premature birth a chance....

sasami_adachi
sasami_adachi

Let's go read some real books and use our imagination! The AR effects can only do so much and it will require an near-idealistic environment and participant to work correctly. I have no doubt that after the initial excitement wears off, kids and adults alike will struggle more with it than enjoy the provided content.

jayjay444
jayjay444

This will be good for some kids but these days kids are mostly interested in blowing stuff up, sorry but i dont see how this is going to work unless its aimed at 4 year olds witch i doubt it is. 

MusclesJAM
MusclesJAM

Honestly, if you watch the video, I'm pretty convinced that kids would in fact love this.  I'm not a Sony guy, but they definitely have something going here.  The big issue I see though is the need for so many peripherals.  You need the Eyetoy, this wonderbook, the game itself, and the PS Move.  That's a lot to ask a person to get just to have their kid play a game for a few months.

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

YEAH BABY! I can't wait till they release Playboy for the Wonderbook. That'll sell way better than this kiddie BS.

mattman127
mattman127

If you want to get lost in a fantasy read an actual book. These resources could be spent making something everyone would enjoy for more than an hour.

Vojtass
Vojtass

And not a single fuck was given that day.

Lhomity
Lhomity

Kiddies will love this.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

It might sell reasonably well on the strength that most Harry Potter fans are fucking idiots, but it's not gonna go the distance. More and more these days as Sony and Microsoft try to artificially extend the life of their consoles with crappy peripheral after crappy peripheral I am reminded of Sega's "genius" with the Sega CD and Sega 32X, because THOSE worked out SO well......right?

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

The issue I have with this is that it is a throw away toy that will end up abandoned after a couple of days, much like Eye Pet. My daughter lost interest in said game very quickly due to the unsupported, shallowness of the game. The camera recognition is often glitchy and she ended up more frustrated with it than enjoying it. I can see this happening again with this game so I will not be wasting my money on it. 

statix666999
statix666999

Nothing against the product.  It is what it is.  The problem I see is this having no marketable aspects unless it's for more than some Harry Potter title.  It getting such a show at E3 also seems silly.  I'm reminded of those goofy skateboards that came out with a Tony Hawk title.  Nintendo is aimed at kids, which this seems to be 100% meant for, and I have a hard time seeing even them selling a peripheral with such limited use.  Nice tech, but no gaming appeal.

Crash_WL
Crash_WL

I love how everyone's acting as if Sony described this as a hardcore game. It's aimed to the children, and its technology is impressive. So shut it. If I had a child, and this would make it happy, I'd be standing out of the store from the midnight to get one when it opens.

 

"Gamers" know what's gaming, and what's purely for nonsensical entertainment for kids. How low has the IQ average for the gaming community went?

OldStupidGeezer
OldStupidGeezer

AR games sounded like theyd be fun, but after playing them for 2 minutes, they are so boring. i have no interest in ever playing an AR game, ever

interrasteral7
interrasteral7

 @farcorners

 In my opinion, it is weird that the Wii U gamepad looks similar to the uDraw Tablet. I wonder if THQ might sue Nintendo, when they see the gamepad themselves, then again they do not have a lot of money.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

 @blackace but this is just one game and there will be more games coming hell they have already announce more games for it than just that one game  and actually I think you go through the book for each spell

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

 @No_SuRReNDeR I have a kid that is 5 years old and he is very excited about this and that is what it was design for kids

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

 @Sgthombre or do both my kids like to read but they also really like this and it is also can be a great learning tool for kids

Vinland_Fighter
Vinland_Fighter

 @Sgthombre What you actually the parents to educate their kids? That is insane, boy. Imagine when they will grow up and will actually become highly educated... No more Tea Party members, peace and open mindness... Hell no. We don't want that.

TCMOREIRA
TCMOREIRA

 @Sgthombre Yeah but there are 2 sides here. 1) Kids today can't emerge themselves into books like children from the past . After all a book it's just a piece of "dead paper". 2) This tech allows children to get into books, so personally I don't mind children skiping real books for this one instead.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

 @MusclesJAM The goal here is to help sell the Play station move, it really never sold as well as Sony was hoping for. I wanted to get it until I tried some of the games and just figure I would pass on it until something worth while was made for it and I still have not seen anything to entice me to have bought the move, but on the other hand, the people who own the move this is just another way to try to get a little bit more enjoyment for such a investment....IMHO

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

 @DarkSaber2k yeah so well that most where terrified to even buy the Dreamcast cause they dumped so much money into those 2 items right there that the Dreamcast had no chance out the gate and now Sega gets to make games for the Big 3 that are left........poor Sega...

fullynickmate
fullynickmate

 @Crash_WL Lol yeah i noticed that too. Its definately a kids game.. But as a parent and a gamer, i just wanna make sure its good before u get it for my daughter.. I just feel like, there have been lots of AR titles and they are all average. they should have it perfected by now lol

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

 @Crash_WL 

Apparently if they don't like it, no one else is allowed to like it. That's the mentality I've been seeing. Things like Wonderbook that allow the user to get lost into a fantasy will always have an audience. i wouldn't mind trying it out myself (if we had a Move). I'd much rather see kids talk about this than Call of Duty, that's for sure.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

 @TCMOREIRA  @Sgthombre I don't know where you live so I can't comment on the children there, but in the schools my daughter has attended, reading has been hugely popular with the children and new books are provided for them on a daily basis. Secondly, Wonderbook is an expensive piece of kit and government research has found that it is the children living in poverty that are the poorest readers and/or have little exposure to reading. So how exactly are those children expected to access something like Wonderbook when their parents can barely afford their utility bills?  

GinsuVictim
GinsuVictim

 @TCMOREIRA  I work at Hastings and we still sell PLENTY of books to kids. (Not just parents buying them, I'm talking kids paying for them) Books have been around forever and will be around forever.

Crash_WL
Crash_WL

 @abHS4L88 I liked the one shown at GamesCom, involving that worm-inspector. I know I'm grown up for it, but if Wonderbook proves to be functional and fun, I might get that for the laughs.

TCMOREIRA
TCMOREIRA

 @kavadias1981  @Sgthombre Yeah but, think of future generation... In many places is getting more common to see kids playing with tablets and videogames rather then reading books...

GinsuVictim
GinsuVictim

 @kavadias1981  @Killer6b9 The question is WHERE in the States, though? It's definitely not digital in the majority of places. We mostly still have textbooks.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

 @Killer6b9 lol ah you must live in the states. No wonder it was different for our kids. No, I live in England. 

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

 @Crash_WL 

Because isn't that the basic function of games, to have fun? Something a lot of "gamers" tend to forget.