Simply awesome work, really emphasising ease of use. Genius.
Archive for the 'R&D' Category
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We’re on the cusp of a sea change in the way we interact with the Internet. More and more often the problems I’m asked to solve aren’t concerned with an experience in which you’re in front of your computer screen. It involves a store front or a mobile or an outdoor space or a physical object…
Timo Arnall is a designer working with interactive products and media. He runs a design research project that looks at emerging technologies at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Recently he gave the following presentation:
The web in the world:
Timo Arnall has a couple of blogs with some equally interesting insights:
ElasticSpace – http://www.elasticspace.com
Nearfield – http://www.nearfield.org/
Thanks Timo for making this available.
Coming this weekend is the Hide and Seek Pervasive gaming festival taking place at London’s SouthBank Centre and across the rest of London.
Hide and Seek is a festival of social games and playful experiences, running in London from the 27th to the 29th of June 2008.
The festival celebrates the creative and social aspects of gaming, and invites artists from all disciplines to experiment with game design as a creative tool. This year sees projects from Blast Theory, Gideon Reeling (who were behind the Masque of the Red Death performance after parties on Fridays and Saturdays if you went), Momus, Jane McGonigal, and Coney, as well as parties, seminars, and a bunch of low-tech, high-fun games from the Sandpit.
The focal point of the festival is the Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall, where players can sign up for the big events, hire out devices to try GPS gaming, play Sandpit games, and interact with a variety of weird and playful installations.
There’s an incredible programme of events and social games to play during the weekend.
Sign Up to some of the following games:
Or take a look at last year’s event below:
The next type of game I thought about when it came to MMTRG was The Prisoner. The Prisoner was a cult British 60s TV series with allegorical undertones and a very thoughtful and considered plot – which is vital.
It follows a former British secret agent who, after abruptly resigning from his position, is held captive in a small village by the sea by an unidentified power which wishes to establish the reason for his resignation.
During the entire 17 episodes, he is never identified by name and the exact nature of his job is never explicitly indicated, though numerous episodes provide clues. After resigning his position, he is kidnapped and held prisoner in a small, isolated, eccentric seaside resort town known only as the Village.
With the concept and setting laid down, such as it is, the natural premise for a mobile game would be to have a contestant ‘delivered’ into a particular scenario and have the audience, with the help of the Internet, either attempt to track him down or, more interestingly, helping him to escape.
Interestingly, in researching The Prisoner, I found out that ITV is planning to re-shoot The Prisoner for a more modern audeince – what kind of interactive or digital twist they’re planning to give to it, if any, is TBC…
MMTRG (Mobile Multiplayer Trans-Reality Games) is an evolution of MORPG (Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) fusing the real world with the virtual, digital world via your mobile and GPS. One of these is CitySlikkers and was one of the 10 Android apps I highlighted last week.
CitySlikkers is one of a handful of mobile games that have been devised which integrate the real world with a virtual gaming world via the mobile.
What’s brilliant about CitySlikkers is that…
“…the playing community will always be a minority they hereby form some kind of elitist, secret society which is based on knowledge, but not financial or political power.”
This elitism is the basis on which William Gibson’s ‘Spook Country’ professes to “secrets [being] the very root of cool.”
The game combines elements of strategy, role-playing, sports, social and tactical games, but in contrast to popular MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games), the outcome of the actions as well as the new connections made between people, will affect normal life as the everyday city is no longer the same due to the players‘ experience.
CitySlikkers looks brilliant, but I’ve been thinking about games alot recently – more on that in future posts – but the lure of mobile and the additional dimension it opens up, is fascinating.
With Apple’s iPhone 2 offering 3G and GPS and Nokia’s N95 and upwards offering the same, being constantly connected and able to be pinpointed on a virtual map via GPS is becoming the norm and with it comes enormous opportunities in changing the game of Gaming.
MMTRG is a blog which documents a list of developers and the games they’ve dreamt up and news surrounding them – It’s worth a read…
Other avenues worth following include location based games, Alternate reality gaming and a couple of games that Blast Theory, based down in Brighton have already evolved:
Uncle Roy All Around You – more info here.
Can You See Me Now
CivilAction – an urban code chase game.
What’s key to the last few examples is that at the heart of the games is storytelling. If the story isn’t convincing enough then people aren’t going to play. If it’s believable though then you’ve got a runaway hit on your hands…As always, making the technology invisible to the player is paramount to success.
A year ago, before Microsoft Surface, Microsoft created a video suggesting some of the User Interfaces of the future. Some of these are VERY cool:
None though are as cool as OLED flexible surfaces such as these…
And Sony’s OLED flexible screens:
Wired has an interesting article on a team based at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany, unveiled the CyberWalk, an omnidirectional treadmill designed to serve as a VR-capable movement platform. (via Wired & BBC)
Bring it on! The next generation of video consoles moves from the WiiFit to omni-directional floors – cool!
There’s also a bunch of other solutions that have been developed including:
The Circula Floor
An Omni-directional Treadmill
The BBC posted an article about iOpener, an interactive media company, which has patented a way of sucking in real-time GPS data from racing events and pumping it out to compatible games consoles and PCs.
By using an enhanced type of GPS, called Differential GPS iOpenerhave created a product which can pinpoint the position of a real Formula One car within 3cms and send that information to a console within 5 secs.
“It’s clear that the next trend in gaming is going to be bringing real objects into the virtual world; playing not against other gamers but people doing the real thing,” Founder of iOpener, Andy Lurling, told the BBC. “You can compete against the best of the best.”
This opens up alot of potential, not only for racing, but also for bringing virtual objects into the real world.