Mittwoch, 26. Oktober 2011

Pirates of the Deep Space

Pirates of the Deep Space was a game installation performed at the Ars Electronica Festival 2011. The project is the successor of the HEIST project.

Two players could compete in their pirate ships to destroy the other one's - thus gaining control of the archipelago.
Players controlled their ships movement by positioning themselves on a bar, affecting their ship's course. Each player had a small miniature of their ship in front of them, divided into 3 pieces. These pieces represented the ship's healthpoints.
If a player could see the other player's ship on his screen, he could start throwing cannonballs (sand filled rubber balls) at the enemy's miniature ship. To reload a player had to abandon his ship for a short time and regather his cannonballs. A player had won when the other's miniature ship was destroyed.

the team
the level (the skull even has LEDs)
interface with miniature ships

Apart from capturing the webcams integrated in each ship and playing soundfiles, each part of the game was executed by team members. In pairs of two team members per ship, one was announcing the other which way the player steers the ship, while the other constantly moved the ship forward - adjusting it's course.
The archipelago was created out of painted and decorated Styrofoam chunks - spending my younger days with Warhammer miniatures and terrain finally paid off.
The island were placed on a colored wooden plate, allowing us to change the leveldesign from play through to play through.

Check out the videos below!
The one on the left shows how players were controlling the game, the one on the right what actually happened 'ingame'.

The team consisted of students and lecturers of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Campus Hagenberg.
The name 'Pirates of the Deep Space' comes from the place in the Ars Electronica Center where the game took place - the 'Deep Space', a huge room with 4 HD projectors directed on projection areas on the floor and up front.

Dienstag, 25. Oktober 2011


Flare is a first-person horror prototype where the player takes on the role of an adventurer. His task is to explore a cavern to recover an artifact. However, in the absolute darkness of this underground cave system lurks a creature, that can perceive the player only through smell and hearing. The player has a limited number of shots for his flare gun with which he can dispel the darkness for a short time. To succeed he has to retrieve the artifact and move silent and cautiously.

One of the more complex prototypes I created for my thesis. The goal was to create horror by depending heavily on audio and limitations (gameplay/visual). Production time was around 2 weeks and I reused as many assets I could find. Sadly features only a boring capsule instead of a graphic monster.

Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2011


A one-button game with which I tried to address some serious topics in a fun wrap. The idea was created during game design class and implemented as course project with my buddy Stefan Srb.

Quiek (also Quick) tries to deal with civil courage and some other socially critical topics. It's about quick decision making in a stressful situation. Think about what you did and what it could mean after playing it. Maybe it is pretentious artsy fartsy after all...

Submitted to IGF 2011 and displayed at Ars Electronica Festival 2011.

Play it here (flash).


the guard units
HEIST was a course group project for the 'special topics' course at the university. The goal was to create a playable game prototype, without using any art assets or programming. The user(s) would sit in front of a computer and give 'normal' orders. These had to make an impact on the game asap. Each of the team members took over some actions and calculations the game would normally do by itself and converted them to ingame actions.

In HEIST two players were competing against each other. One is a thief trying to steal something from a specific room in the gameworld he did not know initially. The other is the security chief who is commanding two guards and trying to catch the thief.

The players would only see what their characters see (first person view) - which was implemented using webcams walking through the level. As the security chief would see the views of his two guards and two static security cams, the thief would only see his view plus he could hack in one guards transmission.
A map with updated positions of this players units made navigation easier.

The thief could hide in rooms whereas guards could check rooms. These actions of course consumed some time. And time as well as timing were an important part for this game to function.
The players controlled their units via voice commands. The numbered doors were used as waypoints (e.g. 'Guard 1 goto door 4!'). To prevent hearing the other players command, each one had a pair of headphones playing an increasingly dramatic music.

If a guard would see the thief, the game was over. Though the webcams were directed slightly downward to prevent a to broad cone of vision.

the 'computer' at work
our level with numbered rooms
the security chiefs view

The advantage of prototyping your game ideas this way is obvious.
In most cases it is very quick and effective. Thou it's not perfectly accurate (camera is stuttering, latency...), it hasn't to be - you just want to test if it's close to the experience you want to create. And of course you can change vital parts of the gameplay on the fly. So if a part of the level would be to easy for player A you could just rearrange it quickly between two rounds.

AEC Facade Visualization

Procedural generated visualization of Shirobon's 'remembering childhood' on the Ars Electronica Center facade in Linz, Austria.

The whole thing was planed as an enormous videogame, where the player has to defend himself against coloured pixels/enemies. These enemys were spawned procedurally to the music. A xbox controller was used to control the color and frequency of the 'shields'.

Unfortunately the resolution of the facade was to low, preventing any decent playthrough, so I made the above version where the 'shields' were generated procedurally too.

Mittwoch, 19. Oktober 2011


A prototype I did regarding my master thesis, trying to cause suspense and surprise in the player.
Your task is simple: survive 2 minutes! Move with the arrow keys and barricade yourself with the furniture by drag and drop.
Despite the horrible graphics and a lot of bugs this prototype had a quite pleasing effect on my test subjects (a.k.a. friends).

Download it here (exe). 
Sounds taken from freesound.org

Thief VS Guard

Thief VS Guard originated from the task to make a hand drawn animation for class. My story should evolve around a thief and a guard - the classy cat-and-mouse game. After finishing most of the animation frames I kinda asked myself why not to flavor the whole thing with sweet, sweet interactivity.

I really wouldn't call the final product a game (it has no goal after all) but it's still a nice little sidescroller gameplay prototype (heavily inspired by the Thief series).

Download the prototype here (exe) or watch a video of it instead.

Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2011

Soldknechte - Medieval Wars

My first real videogame which won the MediaCube award in the category "Best Game". Being some kind of advertising game for my reenactment group, the game was created as a bachelor term project in a group of four students.

It's a hexfield turn-based strategy game where two armies fight each other. Players have to apply their troops strengths cleverly and outsmart the enemy. Each unit has it's own strengths and weaknesses, and there's over 30 of them split into 5 different classes.

Hero characters, buildings with positive effects on units, three types of combat, custom configurable armies... it's everything there. The game is two players hotseat only.

You can download the game here (german).

Freitag, 14. Oktober 2011

Hybrid Sculpture

Some stuff for school, probably never gonna finish it. The task was to create a hybrid, which I took literally... oh well.