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Weta Workshop getting into augmented reality games

From Middle-earth to augmented reality

New Zealand-based special effects company Weta Workshop have had a hand in everything from Xena: Warrior Princess to Lord of the Rings. Indeed, I'm even wearing some of their clobber right now -- a hoodie to commemorate the work they did on the Alliance armour in the Warcraft movie. That's not the company's only video game crossover, either, as Weta opened up a new studio today, specifically for games.

Weta Gameshop are working exclusively on games for Magic Leap's upcoming AR headset, Magic Leap One. Their first game is inspired by Weta's own worlds. Dr. Grordbort's Invaders is based on the retro sci-fi brainchild of Weta's game director, Greg Broadmore, and it's been in development for eight years. Expect superb moustaches and nifty ray guns.

You can catch a glimpse of it in this Magic Leap One concept demo from 2015.

The Magic Leap One headset is an AR device that superimposes images over the real world and then projects digital light to make the 3D objects look just as tangible and realistic as the environment they're in. It sounds pretty neat, but you will need to look like Poundland Sam Fisher.

poundland sam fisher

The Weta Gameshop is made up of "creatives and storytellers", along with Magic Leap technologists, and Dr. Grordbort's Invaders is being co-produced by Weta and Magic Leap.

"Building our game on Magic Leap's astounding new tech and having a role in shaping the platform itself has been the hardest but most rewarding challenge of our creative lives -- by orders of magnitude,” said Broadmore. “It's a creator's dream to see your characters and worlds come to life, and to see them inhabit your own home, your own space is truly mind-bending."

Magic Leap One and Dr. Grordbort's Invaders are due out this year.

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