The lights are on
Last month, Microsoft revealed a proof-of-concept video for something called Illumiroom. Like a lot of things at CES, it's likely that this is one of those things that was shown merely because it could be. In other words, don't start making space for it in your game space quite yet.
While Illumiroom might not come to fruition, it did make us think about the technology and how it could be incorporated into games. Here are some of our ideas.
ScanningOne of the coolest parts in Aliens was when a scanning device discovered Ripley in her hypersleep chamber. A sharp blue line swept across the pod's interior, sending data back to her eventual rescuers. Judging from the reaction to Aliens: Colonial Marines, it's likely that Sega is going to be putting the franchise into hypersleep for a while, too. Still, we think the idea of a scanning device sweeping over a room could be neat – especially if it was used in conjunction with Kinect, providing instant feedback that a person was detected in the room.
How Are You Feeling?At this point, character damage in FPS games isn't represented by a numerical value. Instead, it's been replaced by a red tinge bordering the edge of the screen and eventually overtaking the display entirely. Why not expand on that, using a player's wall as a backdrop to show how injured their characters are? Having all that space could allow devs to provide even more visual space for damage feedback.
Horror Comes HomeYou're playing a survival-horror game, when you enter a room filled with spiders and centipedes. You see movement in your peripheral vision, before you realize that your walls are becoming overrun with the creepy-crawley creatures. Sure, it's an illusion, but we can't help but think that it would be quite effective.
InterfaceThe interfaces behind Codemasters' UI are some of the best in the business. They've made great use of bold typography, sweeping effects, and dynamic pans and zooms. If the studio could work with an even larger canvas, it could do some pretty amazing things. The official video shows how snowy conditions and weather effects could be incorporated into games, as well.
Warp SpeedWe've geeked out over the thought of speeding through the galaxy ever since we saw the original Star Wars trilogy. Not only is Illumiroom the perfect technology for throwing an expansive star field on our walls and ceiling during sci-fi games, but having those stars streak past us when we enter hyperspace would be thrilling, no matter how scientifically inaccurate it is.
BustedGetting chased by cops in GTA is nerve-wracking enough. Now imagine wall-sized sirens flashing on your walls.
Did we miss any bright ideas? Share them in the comments section below.
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I'm good with just a normal television set up. I'm not a fish, I don't need flashing lights to keep me interested. Especially when it comes to playing games. 3D was stupid and this will be to.
Those are some cool ideas, especially the Star Wars one.
I think this could be really cool for subtle lighting effects. I do not believe you could really have anything game-critical in it though. You will have to be able to play the game without it on.
I can imagine walking through a corridor though, with slit windows overhead or something, and this tech enhancing that experience. Could be really cool for driving games too.
The Illumiroom seems disorienting.
The coolest thing I could think of is for RPG's. Take Destiny for example. If the game Destiny was able to project around the room, it's environments, weather, and anything out of view, that would be amazing. The only issue I see with this is developing a way to show that you are in the center in the room and that the surrounds are real time (you are the character and not just an FPS screen). But that is just not attainable. But I could see the real live world of Destiny coming into action on this such as someone entering and leaving an area. As soon as something is off screen, you don't think about it anymore. But with the Illumiroom that something will still be there, and it's almost as if it's tangible.
Those are some pretty interesting suggestions. The technology is really impressive and I expect more than a few cool things could come out of it, but probably not anytime soon. Launch tech is always glitchy and experimental, but in 3 or 4 years. . . who knows?. . .
I can't wait to see this concept come to life.
These are all good thoughts.
I love the concept of Illumiroom. I also love a lot of the ideas you guys have. If Microsoft can deliver, I can see this being a huge success.