Unfolding The 8-Bit Era

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F. Zünd, P. Bérard, A. Chapiro, S. Schmid, M. Ryffel, M. Gross, A. H. Bermano, R. W. Sumner

Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Visual Media Production. London, United Kingdom. November 24-25, 2015.

Paper Abstract

We propose a hardware and software system that transforms 8-bit side-scrolling console video games into immersive multiplayer experiences. We enhance a classic video game console with custom hardware that time-multiplexes eight gamepad inputs to automatically hand off control from one gamepad to the next. Because control transfers quickly, people at a large event can frequently step in and out of a game and naturally call to their peers to join any time a gamepad is vacant. Video from the game console is captured and processed by a vision algorithm that stitches it into a continuous, expanding panoramic texture, which is displayed in real time on a 360 degree projection system at a large event space. With this system, side-scrolling games unfold across the walls of the room to encircle a large party, giving the feeling that the entire party is taking place inside of the game's world.

When such a display system is not available, we also provide a virtual reality recreation of the experience. We show results of our system for a number of classic console games tested at a large live event. Results indicate that our work provides a successful recipe to create immersive, multiplayer, interactive experiences that leverage the nostalgic appeal of 8-bit games.

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