Who doesn’t like good old Mario and his pal Luigi? I’ve spent hours as a kid squishing Goombas, saving Princess Peach and flying my raccoon tail clad Mario to retrieve elusive (and hidden!) coins. And while we are anxiously awaiting the latest installment in the Mario franchise, Super Mario Odyssey, I bet it won’t be nearly as cool as the version Abhishek Singh has come up with.
Singh is a developer who works for the Microsoft HoloLens, a holographic computer that lets you “…engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you”. As he was learning the trade of HoloLens development, the idea of creating a whole new level of the classic Super Mario game that could be played in the real world came to him. The result is a first-person Augmented Reality (AR) game that allows the player to act just as Mario (or Luigi) do on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Jump up to dislodge blocks of bricks and gather coins, run after stars and mushrooms and even raise the flag in the castle at the end of the level. It must look strange to bystanders in the park who can’t see what he does, but I bet they would want a turn if they knew just what Singh is seeing. You can watch him in action (and see through his Microsoft HoloLens while you’re at it) here. I mean, he even dressed up as Mario, how awesome is that?
The video he shot got no post-production, but it looks pretty good to me. He says his biggest challenge was “…tweaking the game to work in a large outdoor setting, something the HoloLens is not necessarily designed for”. Unfortunately, Singh doesn’t own the copyrights to release the game and let us enjoy it for ourselves, but he did tell CNET that he’s thinking about sharing his code with other game developers. Share the wealth and all that good stuff, right?
If you’re really, really disappointed in not being able to play real life Mario and Super Mario Odyssey just doesn’t cut it, you can always take a trip to Japan’s New Nintendo theme park for a lap of real life Mario Kart. You won’t even need to wear a pair of HoloLens.