Google Announces an Indie Games Festival and VR and AR are Invited

by Jamie Feltham • July 15th, 2016

Google is doing exciting work in both virtual and augmented reality right now, and we may well see the fruits of its labor on the development community in the very near future.

The search engine giant has this week announced the Google Play Indie Games Festival, set to take place on September 24th at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco, California. The one-day event will be exclusively focused on games that have been independently funded, offering developers some exposure and the chance to win some great prizes. Better yet, we could well see some VR games and even projects built for the company’s Project Tango tech at the event.

Google is encouraging submissions for VR games built using the freely-available Google VR software development kit (SDK), as well as those made with the Tango Tablet Development Kit. The former is used to make projects both for Google Cardboard and the upcoming Google Daydream headsets. Hopefully that means we’ll get to see some new games for the latter, which is set to launch towards the end of the year. It enhances mobile VR with a unified ecosystem across several phones and offers motion controls too.

Project Tango, meanwhile, will soon be rolled out for the first time in the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. It enables enhanced AR applications, many of which were recently revealed for the first time, bringing 3D virtual objects into the real world via the phone’s screen.

Those that take part in the festival could end up winning a Tango device, as well as tickets to next year’s developer conference, Google I/O, and ad campaign support from the company. We’re typically focused on finding the big apps for PC-based headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, so it would be great to see some mobile VR and AR games highlighted at this event.

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