Stepping into the deep blue interior of the Vivid Group's Turbo Kourier module, the participant's image is introduced into an interactive computer-generated environment and projected on a video screen. The outcome of the experience is determined by the participant's control of an animated "skyboard" that passes over a scrolling futuristic landscape. Participants must move quickly to collect objects that fly around them while avoiding obstacles and opponents.
The Mandala Technology
The Mandala Virtual World System uses a video camera to display a participant's image superimposed over computer-generated graphics. Moving in front of an Ultimatte Blue screen, the Mandala participant watches the interaction on a video monitor. Partic-ipants can interact with 3D graphic objects on the screen while controlling their movements through the environment. This mode of interaction allows completely free, entirely unencumbered interaction with the virtual environment.
The Turbo Kourier Game
Turbo Kourier places the player in the role of a futuristic courier riding a gravity-defying skyboard. The object of the game is to collect packages and energy-increasing elixir while avoiding hovering animated opponents. Players use exaggerated gestures in front of the camera to control their on-screen images as they move through full 3D-rendered foreground and background graphics and a compelling sampled soundtrack.
One of the most notable features of the game is how players control their images to "fly" around the screen. In order to achieve this form of video manipulation, the Vivid Group reduced the size of the digital image so the system can interpret not only directional cues but also the speed with which players move. Another unique feature in this new Mandala game is the directly controlled scrolling background image, which, combined with three-dimensional graphic images, gives the game a traditional video game feel with a cutting edge look. Turbo Kourier also gives players the opportunity to display their images on a continually updated "Top Ten" screen, which stores video "snapshots" that are repeated with each game played and during the attract loop.
Potential Future Impact
There is considerable interest in non-violent interactive entertainment that encourages participants to use their entire bodies as they play a game. The next step for the Mandala Virtual World System will lead to a stronger emphasis on networking modules and environments in order to allow people to share interactive experiences.
The Vivid Group
317 Adelaide Streeet West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1P9 Canada
The Mandala Virtual World System plus module
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