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Six impossible things before breakfast - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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October 12th, 2002

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10:17 am - Six impossible things before breakfast
So bateleur got me thinking in the shower...

Live Action Super Bomberman.

Take a hangar or somesuch, say, 25 yards by 15 yards. Mark square yards on it. Place four people in the corners. Put a translucent heads-up-display style visor on each person. You overlay details of which squares are blocked out, which squares contain bombs, powers-up and the like onto the visors, which are connected to the master computer by a wireless network. The players then run around the hangar dropping bombs and trying to blow each other up, with their game position and visor view changing according to which square they're in and which direction they're facing. (People who do not respect the virtual walls get disqualified.) This music, or something similar, would be playing in the background.

Would that not be nifty?

Of course, traditionally Super Bomberman is played from a god's-eye-view of the gameboard rather than this first-person perspective view. You'd at least be able to see where the other players were in the arena.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2002 02:30 am (UTC)
GPSes, mobile phones, open spaces / streets of London or grid-system Milton Keynes as a gameboard. More nifty or less nifty? About as nifty, I think.
Date:October 12th, 2002 03:43 am (UTC)
Ah, Bomberman, ah the memories of my brother's Amiga 500...
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2002 04:51 pm (UTC)

Sweet nostalgia

Yes, that's where I first became familiar with the game too, four-player joystick adapters, fifth player on the keyboard and all.

Bomberman is possibly one of the ten or twenty most famous, familiar, easily-understandable electronic game concepts. OK, it isn't whack-a-mole and it isn't Tetris, but it's not all that far below on the scale.

I hope you're feeling healthier now, by the way!
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2002 08:12 am (UTC)

Fun !

Though I think there'd be a case to be made for real (if possibly padded) walls and just have the rest virtual.

Of course, once 'homebrew' games people get their grubby mitts on headsets like that, Bomberman is only the tip of a very big gaming iceberg ! To start with, it would be possible to play a game of laser tag where the entire body was a valid target, which irons out almost all the game's annoying features (because instead of doing it with light sensors you compute whether the shots hit).
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2002 03:36 pm (UTC)

How it's really done

Worked this out on the way to the bus, five minutes after I left the house.

What you need are wireless network cards and wireless network, er, "receivers". (Don't know the technical term, sorry.) Each player then gets a palmtop or laptop computer with a wireless network card in. The palmtop/laptop need be nothing special; battery life would be the crucial part. On the screen of the palmtop/laptop would be the top-down view of the game board as per traditional Bomberman.

Not sure whether this is technically more or less feasible than trying to do things with GPS.

Can someone well-informed let me know whether it would be more practical to try to set up a really big wireless network (for a Milton Keynes scale game - say, a 21x21 grid, each square being about 100m x 100m) or to do something which integrates GPS technology and mobile telecommunications? (The "geocaching fox hunt" mentioned yesterday may illustrate the state of the art there.) Would the situation be different if you were running the game in a big field - say, a 21 x 21 grid, each square being perhaps 8m x 8m? Can you relatively easily triangulate a computer's position based on readings from a number (3? 5? 7? 10?) of different wireless receptors?
[User Picture]
Date:October 13th, 2002 06:38 am (UTC)


Most of the wireless technologies I'm aware of (such as the system used to get this comment to my router) aren't designed for range or position sensing of the signal.
[User Picture]
Date:October 13th, 2002 03:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Tricky

OK, this wouldn't work at a field level.

Surely a wireless network at the Milton Keynes level should be able to tell which of a few hundred stations a particular player (or, more to the point, their laptop) was accessing the network from?

I suspect the cost would be prohibitive. Perhaps the GPS solution is the more reasonable one after all. Thinking on it...

(New icon!)
Date:October 25th, 2002 12:07 am (UTC)
This is an old post, but wow. I was just playing Super Bomberman the other night and was thinking the exact same thing. Scary. :)
[User Picture]
Date:April 16th, 2003 09:08 pm (UTC)

life-sized speed chess

I still like the idea of having a huge chessboard with a huge chess clock and watching people run to move their pieces and hit the clock... I can't imagine playing chess standing on the board. ;-) That just sounds awesome... maybe 5 minutes per side. Could we do it at MSO 10? ;-D

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