What does an indie video game developer have to do to get noticed on Kickstarter?
That’s the question that stillalive studios, a small Austria-based team of game developers, are trying to figure out.
Its game “Son of Nor” looks pretty sharp, with its desert fantasy aesthetic and a game mechanic that revolves around terraforming, or altering the environment. But stillalive studios added another feature, one that it hopes will bring the attention it needs to fund the game: mind control.
The game itself, built using the Unity game engine, is a combination of third-person combat and puzzles in the fantasy desert world of Noshrac. A main component of play revolves around manipulating the surrounding environment — using “telekenesis” to throw rocks, casting fire magic on sand to turn it into glass and using terraforming magic to create sinkholes and mountains out of the sand.
Using the Emotiv EPOC, a headset that monitors electrical signals in the brain, players can perform attacks and other moves within the game by raising their eyebrows, gritting their teeth or merely thinking.
Throughout the course of the game these in-game actions are calibrated to a type of thought pattern triggered by the player that is sensed through the Emotiv. So, when the player thinks that thought again, the Emotiv can recognize it and translate it to the specified in-game move. [See also: ‘Beyond: Two Souls’ Video Game Challenges Screen Actors]
Adding the “mind control” feature didn’t actually take that long, stillalive said. Emotiv provides tools that let developers create apps to work with the Emotiv hardware. So mapping the functionality in “Son of Nor” to the Emotiv EPOC’s scanning abilities was relatively straightforward.
Despite this, there are very few games that use Emotiv or similar hardware, such as the Mindwave Mobile, for hands-free gaming.
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