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Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Mobzombies - Run From Zombies Anywhere

Mobzombies is a game that lets you, the player, run away from virtual zombies in the physical world. I contacted Will Carter, one of the designers, and he told me a bit more about the game.

Basically, the game uses a digital compass and an accelerometer fastened to your hip (transmitting data through bluetooth) to get a relative position. That position controls a little zombie character in a virtual game world, and your main objective is to basically run away from zombies - by really running (or walking...). You can also drop bombs, but the trick is that you have to get away from the drop zone quickly before the bomb explodes on you. Other than zombies, the virtual world is really lacking any other obstacles - again, the idea is that the barriers are all brought in from the physical world. For example, in the game world, you might see a clear path away from the zombies, but in the physical world, that path might contain a busy street, or a wall. So that's where a lot of the difficultly comes in - learning how to navigate both these worlds and be hyper aware of your position in each.

The game has some history - I started designing it as a research project at USC, and it was entirely GPS based. However, we really found that it was a totally different experience than what we wanted, because of GPS resolution issues, as well as the ~1 second refresh rate. So my friend aaron and I built out an entirely different version based on relative movement. Now that we've got this version
up and running, we're thinking about ways to get GPS involved again, while still retaining the analog control feel. One of the ideas we've been toying with is having community-assisted item pickups. In the current game, we randomly spawn heath and bomb pickups nearby your character. We were thinking it would be cool if people on the web could drop item pickups for you by clicking on a map. We could place those items in the virtual world based on a gps position, but once it was in the world, the player could still use the same control mechanism to get to the item. So yeah, basically thinking of creative ways to use GPS and maintain the nice analog feel of the human-as-joystick thing.

As an avid follower of all things Where 2.0 and having just finished reading the excellent World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, this is right up my alley. Unlike Backseat Playground (Radar post) you can play this anywhere as there is currently no GPS involved. I like the fact that you can play this anywhere. I am hoping to be able to play sometime soon; I'll relate back when it happens.

[Via BoingBoing]

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Comments: 1

annie   [06.18.07 01:10 PM]

omg this guy is hot!

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