This is a new type of (computer) game.

You can play it with a mouse, but it is meant to be played with a web cam.

The game is a simulation of the Wooden Labyrinth maze game. The goal is to maneuver the marble to the end of the maze, by tilting the board left, right, up, and down; while avoiding the holes in the game board.

The web cam works similar to an optical mouse. It locks on to some item in the video feed and tracks it. As you tilt the web cam, the game board tilts accordingly. You control the direction of the ball by tilting the board.

Your web cam should be plugged in and working before starting this application. Try opening Windows Movie Maker beforehand if needed, or if your web cam is plugged in and not getting recognized by this game

Point the web cam at some static world environment. Unlike an optical mouse, you dont want to be real close to the item being tracked. e.g. I usually point it at some item multiple feet away. If the item it locks onto is real close, then the game will be super sensitive. So try to point it at something further away. You can also adjust the sensitivity setting of the web cam in the game.

You should not point the camera at moving items. If the camera locks on to a moving item, then the game will behave erratically. This would be similar to your desktop moving out from under your optical mouse. The goal is to move the camera, and the scene you are pointing at is static. i.e. the inverse of motion detection.

You'll also want to point it at a world environment with alot of items. This gives the web cam more options to choose to track. i.e. you do not want to point the camera at a white wall. Optical mice have this similar problem.

Also, the room needs to be lit. If the room is lit, then it can track multiple items with different colors. If the room is dark, then you'll need to point it at a bright item to track.

The game is meant to be played on a web cam attached to a slate Tablet PC. As I tilt the tablet, then the game board reacts accordingly. NOTE it could be ported to a PocketPC with a camera built-in. When playing on a Tablet with the web cam, i disable the mouse in the game. If i play on a Tablet with the pen (and not a web cam). Then i enable the mouse, and adjust its sensitivity way down.

Alternately you can play with a corded web cam attached to a desktop PC. You hold the web cam in your hand and then tilt the camera to control the game. There is a game setting to inverse the web cam controls to make this easier. This is how i tested the game during development.

NOTE the camera sometimes gets bad tracking data. Everything might be going smooth and then it might send a bad coordinate. I handle this as much as possible in code. This behavior happens less the more careful you are with the camera. e.g. you dont want to make quick large moves with the camera. it will work better with slow smaller moves.

If you move the camera away from where it was originally pointing, then it will reacquire a new target to track. This is similar to picking up your mouse and then setting it down again.

The game gives you context clues as to what is happening. The board and view tilts to represent how the board is slanted. e.g. if its tilted to the left, then the ball will roll to the left. Also, you can turn on to show the velocity and force vectors. These are represented by red and green lines respectively. Velocity shows the direction and speed the ball is rolling. Force represents the tilt of the board.

NOTE this is a freeware application. The Shareware Starter Kit is used for registration, exceptions in the render loop, and feedback. It is not used for Payment or Licensing

REQUIREMENTS

OPTIONAL

KNOWN BUGS

ARTICLE

http://www.brains-N-brawn.com/cameraFlow/