ITP Spring Show 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2-6pm & Monday, May 11, 5-9 pm

Oscar Von Hauske
Vitaliy Dikker

Ant Warz

Interactive tabletop multiplayer real time strategy (RTS) game for up to 4 people

Animals, People and Those In Between,Computational Cameras,Methods of Motion,The Nature of Code

Ant Wars is a camera based tabletop real time strategy (RTS) multiplayer game. Each player begins with a fixed size ant colony and competes for survival against other players ants. Players aim to collect most food, protect their colony from invaders and reproduce effectively to come out as the last ant standing!

A lot of time was spent learning about ants and thinking about ants. A huge part of research time went into figuring out the best way to design camera based interactive tabletop fixture.

I think Ant Wars could appeal to players of all ages. Its simplicity of interaction and multitude of possible outcomes leaves a lot of room for exploration and play.

User Scenario
Each of four players guide their personal ant colony around the game board using an LED based wearable device. Users simply point the light on an area of the table where they wish their ants to go. Using this control method players move their ants around the tabletop area, collecting food, fighting enemy colonies and trying to survive extinction.

On hardware side setup consists of a wooden 24x36 construction, which supports a plexiglass mirror at the bottom and vellum projection surface on the top. Controllers are four distinct colored LED finger wearable devices.

On the software side, entire project is coded in Processing. Also processing video library is employed for all LED motion tracking.

I have discovered that carpentry is not my strong skill. Building tables is hard. I have also discovered that I truly enjoy planning and programming complex game code logic.