Tower Power

The process of building my first app with Augmented Reality
Tower Power image


Last year, I had the opportunity to work with a group of students to create an augmented reality game called Tower Power. It was our first time building anything with AR was a great introduction to the field. In this article, I’ll take you through our experience creating Tower Power and what we learned from it.

The Idea

We were tasked with creating a simple game in AR and only had a few weeks to do it. We decided to recreate Jenga and wanted to do so for a number of reasons. One, we wouldn’t have to create any new mechanics or gameplay which would save us a lot of time. Two, it’s a game everyone can recognize and play which would reduce the need for any sort of tutorial building in the app itself.

The Development Process

We used Unity and Blender to create the game from the ground up. We also used Trello to keep track of our progress and GitHub to collaborate on the code.

We started by creating the basic mechanics of the game, such as how the tower would be placed, how the blocks would be moved, and how to determine the win and lose conditions. We then worked on the visual elements of the game, such as the 3D models for the blocks and the tower.

One of the biggest challenges was figuring out how to interact with the blocks in a natural and intuitive way, without taking away from the feel of playing Jenga. We looked at several solutions, but finally decided on having the user tap to grab a block, and then physically moving the phone or device,

Another challenge we faced was figuring out how to make the blocks interact with each other realistically. We had to experiment with different physics settings in Unity to get the right feel for the game.

The Result

After a few weeks of development, we finally had a working version of Tower Power. We were thrilled with how it turned out, and we were proud of what we had accomplished as a team and it was well-received by our classmates and teachers.

What We Learned

Creating Tower Power was a great learning experience for all of us. We learned how to work together as a team, how to use Unity and Vuforia to create an AR game, and how to collaborate on a project using Trello and GitHub.

We also learned some of the differences that are important to consider when developing for AR versus another medium. For example:

  • How do your users interact with the game? How might that interaction differ from a normal platform such as pc or mobile?
  • The perspective of an AR game is 360 degrees. How do you design your game so that it looks good from all angles?
  • How is the UI implemented in AR?
  • How do you create immersion without separating the experience from the real world?

Overall, creating Tower Power was a challenging but rewarding experience, and it gave us a taste of what it’s like to develop augemented reality experiences within Unity.

Published: March 27, 2023
Group Project