SideHoff FTW

Now that the Devsta competition is finally over we can reveal just what we have been working on the whole time. Introducing:



SideHoff is a Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget which displays a picture of The Hoff in some (but not all) of his glory. If you cannot stand near the Hoff in real life and bask in the glow personally, this is the next best thing.

Seriously though, although we did enter SideHoff as a legitimate entry at the last minute just for laughs, the project we’ve been working like mad for 9 days on is Turbulence.

Turbulence is a meta-game (a game you play in real life [remember when nearly all games were meta?]) which is based on the school-yard game of Tag (Chasey, It, Dibs). It is played with GPS-Enabled Windows Mobile Devices which connect to a central WCF-based Game Server hosted on an ASP.NET site.

WaitingToStartAs the player moves around they repeatedly update their location with the server and find out where all of the other players are which are then displayed on a Virtual Earth provided map of the local area.

If you are “Tagged” (or It or whatever) then you can tell which other players are also Tagged and which ones are not. If a Tagged Player gets close enough to a player who is not Tagged, they get the opportunity to tag them.

Tagging in the schoolyard game usually just consists of touching another player which, given the resolution of common GPS devices, we figured was going to be pretty difficult to reproduce. Our version has a little more skill involved with it.

AllYourFaceAreBelongToUs When you opt to Tag someone you are presented with a collection of profile pictures of other players. At least one of the people pictured is close enough to tag so you must “know thy enemy” before you can tag them.

Just like the real game, a successful Tag involves the Tagging player becoming un-Tagged and the target becoming Tagged. Once a minute the server will ensure that the game has enough tagged players in it (20% of players with a minimum of 2 [should have been 1]).

We had a lot of fun developing this application and to be honest, it’s something I’d like to play in real life. What we are hoping is that if we were to win the first place prize that Microsoft would help to set up a game at the MIX conference which would awesome.

OhNoesThere are a few features (bugs) in it at the time of submission but I really think Turbulence could win. That is if it isn’t blasted away by the glory of SideHoff.

What do you guys out there think? Are we on to a winner or what? Who wants to play Turbulence? TAG. YOU’RE IT.
*Runs off to hide somewhere*

Posted by: Mike Minutillo
Last revised: 27 May, 2011 02:42 PM History


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