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RTS game runs on a 20 foot-wide multi-touch LCD wall

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July 15, 2011

A graduate student has developed an RTS game played on a 20-foot wide LCD multi-touch wall...

A graduate student has developed an RTS game played on a 20-foot wide LCD multi-touch wall (Image: University of Illinois)

Artur Nishimoto, a graduate student at the University of Illinois' Electronic Visualization Laboratory, has developed one of the most unique RTS games set in the Star Wars universe. Called Fleet Commander, the tactical space battle game initially worked on a 52-inch TacTile multi-touch display, but it has been ported to function as a multi-user game played on a 20 foot (6 meter) wide LCD touch wall.

Nishimoto began his work for research purposes in 2009. Originally called Planetary Defender, the game had base building elements, but later Nishimoto focused on fleet battle aspects and changed the name to Fleet Commander.

He aimed at adapting an RTS game to work with a touch interface on a huge display, to enable most of the common RTS in-game commands, such as deploying units, issuing movement and attack commands, and activating the special abilities of units. The Star Wars theme was applied in Fleet Commander "just for fun," Nishimoto explains. The game is complete with iconic Star Wars ships, sounds and music. Audio aspects as well as larger art assets (Star Destroyers, space stations) originate from Lucasfilm and Lucasarts sources, whereas fighters and bombers were designed by Nishimoto himself, using Blender, Photoshop or even Paint.

In 2010, Nishimoto began to adapt Fleet Commander to EVL's multi-touch 20-foot wide 8160 x 2304 pixel LCD wall. One notable change from the 52-inch version is a convenient radial menu with ship spawning controls, that opens by placing a palm on the screen's surface.

Such a large screen is not a common household item as of yet, so it looks like it won't be possible to try Fleet Commander any soon, although a tablet version of the game seems to be reasonable. Fleet Commander is not a commercial product yet.

Take a look at the video below, that illustrates the gameplay:

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1 Comment

Can anyone say Kinect?

Racqia Dvorak
18th July, 2011 @ 08:42 pm PDT
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