aMazing

Playpublik was aMazing

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).

Here are some more impressions:

    

WhereCamp

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.
 

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aMazing Interview

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!

Introducing: ZebroGameQ and aMazing!

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.

 

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