Testing a new magnified reality game is usually difficult enough. From the beginning you have been pushed into a world that looks and feels like reality, but is living in a different set of rules. But when you are forced to play the same game on what is actually a prototype headset, the line between hardware and software begins to become blurred.
This was the challenge I experienced during demoing Insomniac Studio (producers of Spyro, Ratchet, and Clank, and the new Spiderman game on PS4) new game Seedling on the Magic Leap. And while my experience was not exactly what you would call evenly, the way the whole experience was bored by a troublesome platform, I thought about the future of gaming – both traditional and magnified – for several days long after the demo had ended.
The core is a simple game. There is much like Nintendogs or a modern Tamagotchi, except that instead of looking for a pet, your job is to take care of a body plant. Sure, Seedling has an additional tale of a galaxy on the verge and how these plants are the last surviving vegetation of a dying race, but the game can be readily summed up as a space botanics simulator.
Where things get interesting is when you combine the Seedling concept with Magic Leap AR Headset, which not only allows you to pick up a virtual water can and cutter to take care for the plant, it also places the plant in the same room you are in, instead of a random computer-generated room in the virtual room.
Now I will not say that Magic Leap's AR effects have made my space plant feel real, but at the same time I did not feel fake either. I mean it was sitting on a real table in front of me, an overgrown ginsengrot thing complete with rombugs that swam nearby who flew away when I tried to sweat them.
You can water the plant, crop its branches, tear away blight, and watch it grow right in front of your eyes. And when I took a quick break and removed the headset for a while, it was quite strange that the facility suddenly disappeared, even though nothing else in the room had moved.
For someone like me who hopes one day, hoping to have some garden in a greenhouse, this was almost the second best. And while my demonstration was not long enough to see the plant's full growth, Seedling's creative director Nathaniel Bell assured that throughout the game, my little sprout along with a bunch of other bushes and plants would continue to grow within a month into a big Happy Three. Besides, through the power of AR and cameras built into the headset that can map the surrounding space, the seedlings can even become part of any room and grow in and around nearby objects like a shelf or lamp post. 19659003] The whole thing was an enchanting, bit-sized experience. It's good, because you're just going to play Seedling for about 15 minutes a day, as you tend to plant the needs, checking in on it from time to time, and watching it grow. And with a price tag of just $ 10 (available today), I'd love to fork over so much money if the game was available on everything I own. But there's nothing that can only exist on a Magic Leap (or maybe a HoloLens), which is currently only available as a developer-focused Creator Kit for $ 2300.
When I think about that price and the current state For Magic Leap technology, a large link is displayed. Nobody has to pay $ 2,310 for this. Insomniac and Magic Leap would need to include an actual moonrock with the bundle for me to even evaluate it.
I had never tried the hardware before this experience, and I found the ergonomics not terrible, but the overall experience of the Magic Sprint is terrible right now. I drove into some problems. When I used my fingers to hit a page in my virtual Seedling Scout book, the page became stuck in the middle half. Even the simple action of starting the game by pressing a virtual red button that appeared on a nearby table never worked, no matter how many different times and ways I tried to tap.
They were not the only issues I drove either. Even when everything worked properly, I noticed that the wireless controller is unpresentative and that the headset AR field of view was still too small. It covers the center of your field of view (about 40 degrees left and right and 30 degrees up and down). But it still leaves a lot of a room around the edges unprepared for. That means you do not feel completely immersed as you really want, and instead get forced to go back a bit when you want to take the whole scene, a process nibbled on the AR-driven illusion.
 This made me think of Magic Leap's high appreciation, which has been estimated as high as $ 6 billion. At this point, all I can say is that it appears to be through a combination of overly enthusiastic VCs, unbearable optimistic marketing, and an infertile platform where developers barely scratch the surface, hype for Magic Leap has simply gone far too far.
It's definitely a nugget, a seed if you want, for new and unique experiences buried deep inside Magic Leap's technology. But the platform needs a lot of work and a big price reduction before people get a chance to try it. Here, the hope of the Magic Leap team is able to nurture and crop the headphones that I did with my spacecraft, so that only maybe it can realize its expanding potential.