Founded in 2011 by researchers in intelligent systems and veterans from AAA gaming, Hololabs fuses creative interaction design with advanced engineering to create innovative and engaging new media experiences. With a portfolio ranging from theme park rides to mobile games and virtual reality, the company has won several awards for its projects.
Recognizing that the best projects are formed out of collaboration, the history of Hololabs is rooted in partnerships with creative organisations. Early projects with the Society for Arts & Technology (SAT) included the award-winning video game installation Breaking the Ice, which was featured at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Hololabs has since worked on many other physical installations ranging from outdoor projection mapping for Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles, to state-of-the-art augmented reality dark rides at Universal Studios theme parks. The studio has also produced standalone web and AR/VR experiences for clients such as the National Film Board of Canada, EyeSteelFilm, and the Victoria Film Festival.
Games at the core
However the core specialty of Hololabs is interactive video game development, with an emphasis on games that feature emerging technologies. Hololabs developed mobile augmented reality as far back as 2011, with Farrago, an app that allowed players to capture and share themselves with AR effects, similar to modern Snapchat and Instagram filters. The 2014 release of Papercade explored user-generated content, allowing players to build and share miniature game worlds built from photographic content.
Hololabs then developed a highly customized animation engine for Floor Kids, an award-winning breakdance game that was released on Nintendo Switch, PS4, XBox One, Steam, and Stadia. A mobile free-to-play version of the game is being explored for 2024 when breakdance will be featured as an official Olympic sport.
The game’s accolades include the Indie Prize for Best Game Audio at Casual Connect USA, Winner of the Figgie for “Epic Scope and Gameplay” at Boston FIG and winner or our very own Big Indie Pitch at our PocketGamer Connects Vancouver event.
The Hololabs team is now being bolstered with veterans from free-to-play gaming in order to build the ambitious location-based augmented reality game Sky Haven, where players uncover the mysteries of giant sky creatures roaming above their cities and homes.