Mobile Technologies Group
Georgia Institute of Technology
686 Cherry Street
Atlanta, GA 30332-0165
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We have developed a collection of mobile phone games that incorporate physical gesture interactions. Users interact with the game by physically moving the phone in free space.
For example, in Pong, a user moves the phone left and right to control the paddle. The games do not rely on special motion sensors. Instead, they use the mobile phone's camera as the 'motion detector.' By using computer vision techniques like motion blur detection and optical flow it is possible to detect up to 6 degrees of freedom. We have developed three entertainment applications to explore this application domain.
The first is a simple single player 'Pong' game. The second is a 'Doodle' application that demonstrates the various degrees of freedom. The third is a multiplayer version of the 'Pong' game that leverages the Bluetooth capabilities available on many camera phones.
On November 6, 2004, the Mobile Technology Group held the first test of its Capture The Flag variant, Mobile Omega Battle, or MOB.
One of the primary goals of the game was to explore how mobile technology (in this case, cell phones) could enhance or change the dynamic of an existing, well-known game. While developing the rules for the game, our goal was to provide so many tasks and responsibilities for the players that it would be impossible to win unless they worked together and developed a strategy that (hopefully) included coordinating using their cell phones.
By explicitly encouraging this type of interaction, we hoped to highlight the aspects of the game that were more interesting as a result, and ultimately further our understanding of how mobile technology affects social interaction.
Operation Clyde is a multiplayer game which utilizes cell phones as the control device. The game provides a local shared area for people to join together and play.
In Operation Clyde, players control ghosts using the number pad on their cell phone, by calling into one of the game's phone numbers. Since Pacman provides a simple and well understood gaming interface, it will be an ideal point of departure for a collaborative, situational game. Conference participants can easily and leisurly join and depart from the game while enjoying an almost non-existant learning curve.
Operation Clyde was designed an implemented for the 2005 Living Game Worlds Symposium. The game allowed conference attendees to use their cell phones to play a version of 'reverse Pac-Man.' The goal of the game was to catch Pac-Man before all the pellets on the board were devoured.
View video of the Symposium.
Pervasive Minesweeper takes the classic videogame Minesweeper to the streets! Teams of four individuals race against each other to complete traditional Minesweeper puzzles played out across a 4-square block urban area.
As with traditional Minesweeper, the goal of Pervasive Minesweeper is to uncover all tiles in the game space that do not have a mine under them. In Pervasive Minesweeper each tile is a city block within a 4-square block area. The tiles ares manipulated by a ShotCode (www.shotcode.com) control panel hidden within each city block. Each player's ShotCode compatible mobile device is paired with their team's puzzle to prevent cross-puzzle tampering.
Each team is given a clue sheet as to the location of their sixteen control panels. At this point, a timer for the team is started. Once a control panel is located, players may open a tile or flag it as a potential mine. If a tile is opened and it is a mine, that team's game is over. If there is no mine under the tile, a number is revealed on the team's xhtml display. The number will tell the team how many mines are touching that tile (left, right, above, and below). When a team has opened all tiles on their game-board that do not contain mines, the team has solved their puzzle and their timer stops. The team that completes their puzzle in the least overall time is named the champion and awarded accordingly
Pervasive Minesweeper will be debuted at the 2006 Come Out & Play Festival.
Shark! is a 4-player game played on a shared display in which participants attempt to eat smaller fish and other players while avoiding obstacles and the dreaded shark. This game converts the touch tone sounds made by any phone into instructions for a computer system, allowing any telephone to become a game controller. Shark! was originally displayed at Living Game Worlds 2006.