An Augmented Reality Dating Sim?


With the huge popularity of Pokemon Go, it is inevitable that other “augmented reality” games might happen in the future.

I’m a fan of innovative games. Over the years I have seen innovations in games come and go.  Some have stuck around a long time, like first person shooters.

Others, like games for Kinect, kind of disappeared. Even the Wii controller with its motion control detection never got used to its full effect except by Wii Sports and a couple of other Nintendo titles.

The jury is still out on “Virtual Reality”.  Everyone thinks it could be the next big thing, but VR headset sales have not set any records.  Until a “killer app” arrives, adoption is likely to be lackluster. “Virtual Reality” could be the next big thing, or it could prove to be just an expensive novelty like Kinect. Billions of dollars are riding on this one, but that is another story.

I’m convinced that if it weren’t for the fact that everyone has a touch screen on their phone, touch screen based games would have disappeared by now. Tablet sales for Android and iOS are down across the board, so the only successful touch screen games are the ones that can be played for a few minutes at a time on a tiny phone screen.

And that is where “augmented reality” comes in. It takes advantage of the ubiquitous smart phones, almost all of which have cameras and GPS, and makes the real world part of the game.

Niantic, Inc. created the first fairly successful augmented reality called Ingress then after getting a license deal from Nintendo, they created the international hit Pokemon Go which in one month is the most successful mobile app ever.

The big question is: Is this just a momentary blip, or are “augmented reality” games here to stay?

Part of the answer lies in answering if other gaming genres could benefit by augmented reality. Pokemon Go was a natural fit, with people suggesting it during the early days of Ingress development. But can you imagine other genres of gaming benefiting from “augmented reality”?   If not, this whole thing could fizzle out in a year.

Could a Dating Sim work in Augmented Reality?

The only genre of gaming I am a certified expert in is Dating Sims, and after thinking about it an augmented reality dating sim could be very successful… Or not

On the “yes” side, may I put into evidence Love Plus, the wildly successful  Japanese dating sim for the Nintendo DS which included a couple of very simplistic augmented reality enhancements like the use of the built in microphone so you could say “I love you” to your virtual girlfriend, and use of the built in clock and calendar so you could schedule dates with your virtual girlfriend in real time.

Now imagine if the dating sim were enhanced the way Pokemon Go is. What if you had to go to an actual park, or bar or restaurant or gym or library to meet potential virtual dates? Google maps already has data like that labeled. What if your scheduled virtual dates involved actually going out to places like restaurants, parks, and theaters?

What if the game had 50 to 100 potential dateable characters (both male and female) with different personalities and looks, and you could potentially juggle multiple characters?

On the “no” side, fans of dating sims might not want to leave the house to play.

Still it’s a good idea that will probably happen eventually.

Augmented Reality is not a gimmick

That’s just one idea, there are plenty of others. There is already interest in a possible “Harry Potter GO” game.

I think a lot of people just like the idea of gaming in the real world as opposed to at home in front of a monitor.

That is not to say augmented reality will replace traditional gaming. I am 100% certain that will never happen. We fans of gaming like variety.

But my experiences with Pokemon Go has proven that games like this are fun experiences. The novelty has worn off so it is more of a casual game for me now, but it almost feels like that is exactly what it was designed to be.

Looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.


  • I think that *this* is going to work. To be honest, almost all the Dating Simulators have an model. For me, a game needs to be innovative and addictive. It should make you interested, have interesting choices that can change the whole story.
    It is going to be cool if *you* go to, I don’t know, a church, the girl (or boy if you gender is female, I don’t know, maybe a gender selection) is a nun, if you go to a teacher the girl/boy is a teacher, i don’t know, I’ll let the choice be with you.
    If you need help with something (or translate to Portuguese), please contact me!

  • I think it has potential to work, but it would probably lose out somewhat on people who have an attitude of “If I’m gonna leave the house for it, I might as well try getting a date with a real person”. And there are already plenty of dating site apps.

    Not that social activity is a bad thing, and not everyone would pass for that reason, but any company would be bound to consider how something like that would affect their bottom line.

  • how do you play it

  • How does someone “Contact the author to discuss a third party release/translation”?

    We recently developed a framework (done in Unity3D) that’s good at navigating and triggering events on arbitrary sets of 360 photos and videos.

    While developed for other reasons, I’m encouraging an extension to support score keeping, variable tracking, and a simple scripting language for coding point-n-click adventure games.

    Think Myst meets 360 Camera/Video. You can still play on a PC/tablet/phone (VR headgear is optional), and the player can pivot the camera around to view the whole scene (the camera is still in a fixed position unless it’s a video; but the camera’s view can pivot/rotate to look any direction). The experience is best rendered from a first-person POV.

    Collectively the “Dating Sims” seem like they’d make really good candidates for a test run would like to render a scene or two, which if went well, might potentially be another release format.

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