Last weekend, one of our admins attended the 2016 Regional Innovation Week in Merimbula, NSW. Part of the week involved a “Hackathon”, in which individuals or teams competed by attempting to create the most impressive, useful or original technology-based idea, then manifesting that idea through two days of relentless coding.
Among these contestants were Brennan Hatton and Annie Harper of Silicon Vagabond, and Andrew and Byron Papanikolaou of Lime Rocket, who are doing some exciting work with VR (virtual reality) technology. As a team of four, they created Castle Rush, played by one person with a VR headset vs. anyone else in the room with a smartphone. Projecting the game onto a large screen enables the game to be played by large crowds in a variety of venues, potentially bringing an entirely new social dimension to gaming.
If you are in a game enabled venue, you can join by simply by going to the BuzzyTV website on your smartphone. A character assigned to you appears on the large screen, and your phone becomes a controller for the game. No app or download is required. As a smartphone-user, you deploy troops strategically in an attempt to storm the castle and defeat the VR player.
In this game, the player equipped with the VR headset plays as a lone archer atop the castle wall (as seen above), and their aim is to pick off the invaders, controlled by the smartphone-users. While VR is typically a solo experience, this combination of platforms allows for the inclusion of large groups.
VR is a rapidly growing platform, with an ever-increasing amount of material becoming compatible with it. By combining the two revolutionary platforms of VR and BuzzyTV, Brennan, Annie, Byron and Andrew have fashioned a truly unique and imaginative gaming experience. The team took out an impressive second place at the Merimbula Hackathon.
The team aims to begin deploying the game in venues in Wollongong, and eventually expand. Requests to host BuzzyTV at your venue can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org