Finally, a new mobile gaming system that requires more than just your thumb.
When it comes to gaming, Mark Ladd and Tom Ketola envisioned something entirely different than just sitting on a couch or inside a dorm room. The Maker duo, who together lead the team behind LyteShot, have developed a reality gaming alternative that converges modern-day technology with old-school outdoor fun.
The ATmega328P based platform is comprised of a wireless device and sensor that essentially acts in laser tag-like fashion. Both the Lyter and LytePuck, respectively, are equipped with IR transmitters/receivers, Bluetooth Low Energy, accelerometer, HUD navigation controls, along with vibration motors and LEDs to show in-game data. The handheld gadget is customizable with a series of peripherals that enable a player to transform it into a gun, wand, staff, sword, bow or just about anything else through 3D printing, making it ideal for a wide-range of role-playing and first-person shooter games, interactive capture the flag, scavenger hunts, and adventures with complex story-lines.
“Asking if LyteShot is different than laser tag is a lot like asking if Xbox is different than Halo. LyteShot is a platform, first and foremost, and one that supports a wide range of games. The LyteShot platform can not only support a game of laser tag (easy!) but also provide for the creation of an entire library of live-action games from thrilling spy games to tower-defense games, and from Alternate Reality Games (ARG) games to fantasy RPGs,” Ladd writes.
How it works is relatively simple. The Lyter and LytePuck sensor connect with your mobile device to transmit game data to other players via the cloud. Point the device at another player/object and click the trigger. For instance, if the person wearing one of the sensors is “hit,” the blow will be registered in the point system for whatever game is being played. Once the LytePuck receives a command, it reacts by lighting up or vibrating, alerting the player who is sporting the LytePuck to the in-game response. This command is then sent instantaneously through the cloud to all the participants’ mobile devices, alerting everyone with up-to-date, real-time information and messages.
“For gamers of all kinds, LyteShot provides cloud-based wireless technology that enables instant shared data. Players can use real-time tracking of game logistics, leaderboards, hit detection, geo-tracking, quest completion, in-game communication, and more to provide an immersive and socially driven experience. Gamers will no longer need a referee or gamemaster to play. LyteShot digitally tracks all game stats, enforces all boundaries, guides the storyline and more – instantaneously.”
LyteShot is in the process of making a number of games available on its open platform. Among them are Assassin (a live-action game where participants aim to eliminate each other), Besieged (a medieval fantasy digital territory capture game), and Invasion (a game played against the computer in which players “battle a swarm of viruses taking over the planet”).
Using its open-source SDK, Makers and developers alike have the unique ability to create the next generation of augmented reality gaming, including a heads-up display app. In fact, LyteShot is already working with Epson to integrate the system with its Moverio BT-200 smart glasses. Through LyteShot’s Arduino (ATmega328P) powered hardware platform, there are endless possibilities of what can be created, ranging from virtual grenades to claymores to the use of drones. In the near future, the team even plans to launch a marketplace where users can share their gadgets and code.
Are you ready to put those thumbs to rest and take mobile gaming outside? If so, hurry on over to the team’s Kickstarter page, where they are currently seeking $168,534.