Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Augmented Reality: Everything in the world is special.

Augmented reality is going to be the most helpful location-based informational tool of the future. Point your phones camera at anything and up pops information regarding that object or area. The applications for this technology are limitless. From games, history, tours, orgs and government info, our world will become more transparent. We'll peer into the world around us with new eyes gathering new information.

Check out this NPR article for a small taste of what is possible.

Here's a cool game called Firefighter 360. As games evolve, look forward to running around your surroundings shooting virtual enemies - instead of imagining the whole thing in your head like when you were a kid!

The Layar browser is the forefather of it all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prototype161 new hunt "The Cardinal Case"

On Oct. 17, 2009 at 6:30pm I showed up at Mustang Harry's restaurant on 7av & 30st. That is where everyone gathered for Prototype161's latest puzzle hunt called “The Cardinal Case.” The plot was this: “Your fellow agents have uncovered the spy Selma's plan: Potential buyers of the mysterious red attache will follow Selma on pub crawl style quest to earn the right to bid. Your assignment is to pose as a buyer, investigate Selma, and recover the case.”

A short video of Selmas torso and hands closing a red attache case was shown with opening statements.

After a couple drinks I was on a team with David Slone, Ryan and Danielle (who both work on Late night with David Letterman). 70 people were in attendance. We were given plastic cubes with puzzle pieces inside. All teams had to combine their pieces to assemble a picture puzzle that yielded the words: Red Square. In the meantime there was a puzzle on the bar involving the 12 Zodiac signs taped to liquor bottles. When arranged into chronological order, the number of their position was the 3rd letter in the liquor name. All 12 letters together revealed “Herald ?” We didn't need the other word. We were off to meet a guy in Herald Square wearing red.

He gave us a challenge against another team of 4. Run to specific corners and read the instructions there. After 3 locations, we were told to get a peppermint patty from a store and bring it back to the red hooded guy. Then he told us to go to the Bikini Bar on 8ave and see Dynamite.

After more drinks we watched an odd clock that would reveal addresses as it spun (it looked like a + sign). At the addresses we found pages of Shakespeare's play “A Mid Summer Nights Dream.” There were riddles in the pages that yielded the address to the Houndstooth Pub.

We got text messages from the Puppetmasters at 41411 when to move on to the next location.

At the Houndstooth Pub we found the briefcase on a table, awaiting a 6 number combo input. Below it was a mathematical equation with pictures in it and calculators. The pictures translated into numbers on the calculator. After all the maths were done and the case was open...there were red envelopes with the final puzzle inside it.

There were 6 transparencies with different colored lines on them. We were to tape them to the cube from the first puzzle of the night and look at it certain ways to reveal a word. We didn't get this last one. 4 other teams had already cracked it!

Absolute blast. Much better than last years Halloween event “Mare Vitreum” for these reasons:
-More fun atmosphere (bar crawl elements)
-Less difficult (We could get hints every 20min)
-Not 8hrs long (teams were given texts when to move on)
-No pointless activities (physical challenges for red plastic rocks?!)

But not for these reasons:

-The actors broke character all the time. The guy who we were supposed to be getting the briefcase for was giving us hints for Selma's puzzles?!?
-The plot was complete nonsense and the experience design didn't serve it at all.
-Last year had awesome puzzles and covered a lot of ground- half of Roosevelt Island!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

GPS / ARG Apps for iPhone.

Check these out for interactive fiction, GPS adventures and other goodness.

GPS Mission Pro

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Short Snips

-I saw the trailer for GAMER before Bruno. Awesome!!

-I attended last months Come out & Play outdoor gaming festival in Times Square, NYC. Interesting location based stuff. Played Seek & Spell for iPhone and a life sized pitfall game on a stage!

-I've been testing a new iPhone gaming app called Tally-O which lets you create your own GPS scavenger hunts. Cool stuff. Write them to try it out.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fine example of a fine ARG

Why So Serious? Case study.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Game Brain Drain

Kanomi has pulled out of a publishing deal with Atomic Games over the game titled Six Days In Fallujah. Part game, part documentary, the project shows the player what it's like to be a Marine in a modern war that's still ongoing. The real Nov 2004 battle left four dozen Americans and over a thousand insurgents dead in fallujah.

Could this game be a tribute to those who died? Could it educate the public about an important battle? The usual gang of naysayers are trying to stomp out new perspectives saying it's "too realistic." Why wouldn't we want to see the truth about war? Atomic Games president Peter Tamte explains intelligently why the game should be made. Why keep the gritty stuff hush-hush.

The controversy also lies in showing the perspective of the insurgents. The game is based on accounts from real-life Marines and a Marine consultant. War simulator games have been produced by the US Army as training for such battles, heading straight for the demographic that fills recruiting stations.

Video games carry the power to bring us to new worlds and show us a side of something we wouldn't otherwise see. It can even be used to educate us about what is really happening out there.

Atomic Games hopes to release the game next year. Pray it gets a publisher.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

That black square on the paper is a 3D digital creature!

Augmented Reality (a relatively new technology that blends real-world footage and computer-generated graphics in real time, blurring the line between reality and virtual by enhancing what we perceive) is hitting the world with eye popping WOWs and now a commercial by Doritoes hopping onto the technology. You can make your own awesome effect with the FLARToolkit. This is some awesomeness presented by Jerry Paffendorf.
Eminem has tripped into it also:

Eminem Augmented Reality Screencast from Outside Line on Vimeo.

Monday, May 25, 2009

SONY has a patent on mind control.

Shocking, I know. But Sony holds the patent to the most intriguing invention to come along since LSD: a machine that uses ultrasound pulses to alter your brain. These alterations may trigger sensations in your brain such as smell, sense or emotional responses. The power this device purports to wield is so great, our minds may not be our own in a few years. This is Strange Days come to life. Awesome! Read the article in New Scientist HERE.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Null Set Games....Press Start!

Hello and welcome to the Null Set Games Blog! This will be a place for me to write about the latest, coolest and finest info on Alternate Reality Gaming, Pervasive Games and the future of console experiences.

Games have worked their way into the all-day lives of people, from web based experiences to cell phones. Social interaction and location based GPS applications have opened up an extraordinary way to connect, communicate, network and play.

This blog will be an outpouring of ideas and thoughts on these exciting subjects. Hopefully I'll hear the same from you! Together we will find creative new ways to implement these ideas across all platforms- and perhaps into the world around us.