Media Technology MSc

Room Racers (2011)

Room Racers

Room Racers by student Lieven van Velthoven lets you create your own race game tracks by simply placing real stuff on the floor. Race with up to 4 virtual cars around anything you can find in your home. Object detection is completely real-time (so you can change the track during play), checkpoints can be placed to define the route, players can drop in or out of the game at any time, there is even a combat game mode… The system was built around a PC, modified camera and a video projector.

Mixed reality gaming

Mixed reality (a.k.a. augmented reality) techniques are increasingly popular, with the advent of cheap high-end smart phone and tablets with built-in camera's. Lieven's works focus on projector based mixed reality. Via a modified camera he analyses structure in the real world, in practical real-time. Using this information, he then projects new objects onto the real environment that interact with its structure. Virtual cars can bump into real objects, in Room Racers. In other projects Lieven grows virtual plants on real-world structures, also in real-time. See some video's of Lieven's work.

Awards

Room Racers won the Jury Award for Best New Media Production 2011 of the international Cinekid Youth Media Festival, and the Dutch Game Award 2011 for Best Student Game. It was also jury-nominated for a Dutch Game Award 2011 in the category Best Original Game Design. It was awarded second-best place in the 2013 Future Ideas European Master Thesis Competition, in the category Entertainment, Media & Gaming. Room Racers was shown on several international media festivals, and at the ZKM | Medienmuseum in Karlsruhe, Germany.

(The photograph was thankfully borrowed from a Mediamatic article. Thanks!)