Game Demonstrations Using Immersive Technologies
In addition to standard mouse/keyboard/gamepad-driven projects, the university encourages research into alternative input devices and game mechanics. You can see the influence of immersive technologies in the following demos:
Block Head is the result of a project showcasing how games might work with different input devices, and it uses an EEG monitor to report the player's mental state. In this side-scrolling platformer, the player controls a ninja directly, but the player's EEG result also changes the game world based on whether or not they are relaxed. The player needs to manage their brain state in order to make it through the levels: being calm can turn water into ice, while being agitated can turn some blocks into fire. The students created over 90 levels for this game.
This project explores a way to incorporate physical fitness into video game play. The player controls a first-person shooter while pedaling a stationary bike. The game reads pedaling speed and direction: pedaling forward assists offensive power, pedaling backwards improves defensive power, and higher pedaling speed earns better in-game abilities and rewards. Students built the original demo in a single day using a Half-Life 2 mod.
Magicduel is a two-player duelling game that employs Kinect sensors. Players use gestures to shoot balls of magic at one another, and they can move and jump to dodge their opponents' projectiles. This prototype game got some interest and was demoed on the Space Channel.
Students Tassos Stamadianos, Rohit Moni, and Brandon Drenikow were recruited to get a VR demo together for a tour. It took them just 24 hours to take Unity engine assets and create a first-person driving game that works on the Oculus Rift, complete with Razer Hydra hand controllers for steering. They later created another demo where the player controls a flying bird, also while wearing the Rift. You have to flap your arms (using Razer Hydra controllers) to move the bird's wings in VR, and fly through hoops.
This is a student's study project, designed to investigate whether or not apparent stereoscopic depth can be used as an action mechanic for gaming. The game is a top-down scroller where the player maneuvers a craft around hazards in 3D space, with the depth also marked by colors for 2D play. Despite the color indicators, players of the 2D version tended to give up, while players of the 3D version did quite well. For the next stage of the study, more indicators will be added so that 2D players have a better chance of successfully navigating the course.