Unfolding The 8-Bit Era
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.
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.