Last weekend we had the opportounity to stage aMazing as part of the Playpublik festival in Berlin. Playpublik is all about urban games played in the city streets, no matter if they are smartphone based (like in our case) or can be run without any tech at all.
As last year it was a great event with loads of interesting talks and games. We organized four sessions of aMazing with about 40 players in total. Sometimes we played on Alexanderplatz, sometimes in a park near the Computer Games Museum where the festival took place. Player feedback was extremly positive, the weather was perfect (not too sunny) and the tech worked without any hiccups.
The ZDF television crew was also there and the festival made it into the news, including a short segment about aMazing. Check it out in the ZDF Mediathek (festival starts at 6:16min).
On June 22nd to 23rd we attended the WhereCamp 2012 at Beuth University in Berlin (http://wherecamp.de/).
The WhereCamp is a geo unconference for everyone who likes to talk about locations. It is a unique platform which connects people from science and industry dealing with spatial information and technology. We presented the TOTEM project tools and organized game sessions, so people could play Tidy City and aMazing.
Our students who did the aMazing game have now been featured over at GameCareerGuide. They tell about their game design considerations and the actual implementation using ZebroGaMQ. Check out the interview!
One big problem for mobile games is often the communication with the server. Although mobile coverage gets better, there are often issues with the data connection which makes traditional calls to the server unreliable.
This might not be too relevant for slow-paced single-player games like Tidy City, but just imagine an action-packed game for multiple players where players constantly need to exchange information and the overall game state needs to be kept in sync.
aMazing! is such a game. It is a location-based game inspired by old classics like Snake and Tron and two players compete against each other while racing around the city streets trying to claim crowns and trap the opponent. Information needs to be constantly exchanged between the players and the game state needs to be kept in sync between the different devices. It has been created by students Alexander Hermanns and Tianjiao Wang during a lab course at Fraunhofer FIT and the game design was rated as one of the best entries of the "Game Design Challenge: Location, Location, Location" at GameCareerGuide.com.
In order to support such games, we have developed ZebroGamQ, a middleware built on RabbitMQ, which helps game developers to stop worrying about communication issues.
ZebroGamQ is now publicly available on GitHub, and you can also check out the aMazing!-sourcecode there to get an impression on how to use the middleware.
Last weekend we presented Tidy City during the 3. jet-TAGE in Erlangen. This is an annual event for kids and youths organized by the local theatre. On Saturday we offered a workshop on how to create a mission and on Sunday the mission could be played.
Florian (age 12) used the opportunity to come up with several riddles placed in the Old Town of Erlangen. His mission is now publicly available for everyone and is called "Unterwegs in der Altstadt". On the picture you can also see his sister Rebecca (age 8) who took on the task to solveher brother's mission.
Many thanks to all participants who were not afraid of the freezing cold that hit Germany and made walking around outside a tough challenge by itself!
Starting this Wedneday and lasting until Sunday, TOTEM will be present at the Gamescom in Cologne. Gamescom is the world's biggest trade fair for video games, so it should be quite exciting!
You can play Tidy City and also our new mobile AR game Portal Hunt as well as try out the game specific authoring tools. Furthermore we will also showcase a first glimpse of our general authoring tools.
You can find us in the outdoor area F08, booth A-018.