This is the first massively multiplayer shooter people play in real life

Good luck explaining to the police why you dived into that bush

An ambitious new Indiegogo campaign wants to deliver the first real-life, massively multiplayer first-person shooter. Father.IO is a game you play in the real world against real people, firing at them through your phone using augmented reality. It’s like laser tag and uses a smartphone attachment for firing shots and detecting hits. If you see us doing commando rolls while waiting for the bus, don’t be alarmed.

It works like Google’s old Ingress game that will soon live on as Pokémon Go. Both these games use geo-locations of players and augmented reality to have players interact with real world locations. The actual game mechanics of Ingress weren’t as exciting as the premise itself though. Father.IO hopes to bring the best of what Ingress promised but with first-person shooting as the core gameplay element.

Image © Father.IO

Like Ingress, your smartphone will alert you to nearby players and battles. Once you get to a location with a match taking place, you attach your Interceptor to your smartphone. The Interceptor is the attachment that allows your phone to shoot at enemies and sense incoming shots. It’s like laser tag but a match can happen anywhere at any time.

You don’t have to be in the trenches (which means the car park behind Tesco) to take part. You can play from your bedroom using a browser in Commander Mode, providing strategic assistance to your team. You can see everyone’s location so you can alert team-mates to flanking enemies and help them plan their attacks. The most impressive surprise in the demo video was when a commander used a VR headset to control a drone on the battlefield and fire at enemies. Players can even shoot at drones to neutralise them.

Image © Father.IO

There’s a story to the game with players either playing as humans or “the evolved”. There will be scripted real-world events to encourage people to get involved. If all this sounds a bit much, you can also host a deathmatch in your living room with friends. Check out the video to see how the whole thing should look when finished:

The Indiegogo campaign went live today looking for $50,000. It’s already made double that, which is a promising sign because the game will need a lot of players to make it worth it. There was an early bird backing option that rewarded an Interceptor attachment for just $18 (£12.91) but they’re all sold out now. The cheapest remaining option is $30 (£21.52) plus shipping (to be clarified). The creators are aiming for the first shipments in the summer.


Main image © Father.IO

Story from TechCrunch