Father.IO Turns The Real World Into A Non-Lethal MMOFPS Arena

Despite enjoying a loyal following, massively multiplayer augmented reality games like Niantic Labs' Ingress didn't really become a mainstream phenomenon. But with the the likes of Pokemon GO, coincidentally also from Niantic, getting the spotlight, perhaps its time to make that leap of faith again. One group of people is making such a jump but not blindly. Setting up shop on Indiegogo, Father.IO is trying to raise funds not only to make the game but also the accessory needed to turn the whole world into one massive sci-fi first person shooter battleground.

It's hard not to draw comparisons with Ingress, admittedly the first to have tried to turn AR into a massive social activity of sorts. But unlike Ingress, which relied mostly on cerebral activity, Father.IO gets a bit physical, or at least gets you moving. It is set in a future where, unsurprisingly, a super intelligent virus-infected AI threatens the existence of humanity. In this game, however, you actually get to pick the side of that AI and its cybernetic Evolved army if you so wish.

The concept, setting, and actual game isn't anything new really. What's new here is how the shooting is carried out. Of course, you can't use guns, even toy ones, and you can't simply point your smartphone camera at a target and pray your shot will hit. A huge part of crowdfunding proceeds will go to the production of what is being called the Inceptor, which is a fancy name for a smartphone attachment that uses infrared technology for targeting and "shooting" and Bluetooth LE for communicating with the smartphone.

Unlike in Ingress, real world structures aren't just interesting points. They can be turned into usable in-game locations and resources as well. Claiming a library for your side, for example, boosts research, while a hospital or clinic boosts regeneration of allies. And hopefully no one will get the stupid idea to actually rob a bank just for increased in-game storage.

The idea for Father.IO is undoubtedly enticing for anyone who has played an FPS and wished they could do so in the real world too. And, if the funding is any indication, there are enough supporters willing to give their money to make it happen. But, unlike a regular FPS game that anyone can play on any computer anywhere in the world, Father.IO's magic will really only be effective if there are enough players in the same geographical area to make it worth the while. You can also play Father.IO as an ad hoc deathmatch or capture the flag skirmish, but that still requires you to have other players nearby.

SOURCE: Indiegogo