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The hyper-realistic FPS game simulator
October 30, 2011 8:51 PM   Subscribe

The Gadget Show has created a hyper-realistic FPS game simulator using tons of custom hardware and software, and recently released Battlefield 3.
posted by Foci for Analysis (36 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now they just need to cram it into one of these and load up Mirror's Edge...
posted by indubitable at 9:21 PM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am releastically simulating riding a giant gun down the street by walking in a tight circle :-)

Ah, who am I kidding. I'd totally do it, though I am reminded of those huge impractical Battletech simulators.
posted by Artw at 9:21 PM on October 30, 2011


Well, at least that's better than what I was expecting from the phrase "hyper-realistic FPS game simulator": a video game about sitting on the couch playing video games in your mom's basement.
posted by pwnguin at 9:29 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like "realistic" isn't really the term we're looking for here. Perhaps "involving" or something? That doesn't really get to it either.

I mean, it's less "realistic" than playing paintball, but in some ways it feels a lot cooler or more exciting.
posted by kavasa at 9:29 PM on October 30, 2011


I still remember the accute disapointment of first getting a go with a head mounted VR rig...
posted by Artw at 9:30 PM on October 30, 2011


The moving floor is what really sells it. Well, that and getting shot at.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:35 PM on October 30, 2011


This is pretty cool. They need something in the mask which gives you a shot of chloroform when you die and the whole thing will be complete. Maybe add a tilt mechanism to the treadmill.
posted by maxwelton at 9:50 PM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, they should just include a hardcore mode with real bullets.

The scary thing is that people would actually play that.
posted by empath at 9:56 PM on October 30, 2011


Yeah people love getting shot and killing themselves via a video game.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:04 PM on October 30, 2011


Oh well aren't we all 2011 Whist Champion.
posted by rhizome at 10:30 PM on October 30, 2011


They should tour this - I would pay to experience that. It would be very profitable and a great way to market games.
posted by niccolo at 10:37 PM on October 30, 2011


Does it accurately simulate the well-known "squatting-up-and-down" action? Because if not this has been a terrible waste of money and resources.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:41 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


So it's come to this. Video games are a large enough industry that there now exists a show with enough budget to produce this level of immersion. A specialist was flown in to install a custom rolling floor; a military consultant was hired just to see how realistic it felt; no expense was spared on the five projectors, the hardware setup etc. etc. And one specialty TV show paid for it all. Astonishing.

Never, even in my wildest quarter-feeding-frenzied teen years, would I have thought someone would spend that much time and money to be immersed in a game. In the eighties some people would pay a buck extra in an arcade for the wrap-around screens of the fanciest racing games, but they only existed in select locations - the demand simply didn't justify the cost for most locations. VR helmets, when they first came out, didn't exactly light the world on fire with their sales. Partly because of technical limitations, sure, but the tech was just as impressive to us then as this new stuff is now.

Fast forward to the 2000s. When Guitar Hero and Rock Band were hitting their strides I was amazed to see the cost of a full set of instruments, yet they became some of the most popular games of the time. You still see the effects in thrift stores; 'pretend' instruments always outnumber real ones now. There were a metric buttload of guitar controllers, plastic drums and cheap mics sold in the last decade and they'll dot the landfills for a long time to come. Now it's not uncommon to have the cost of additional controllers and add-ons being higher than the systems.

Perhaps it's just an effect of growing up (relatively) poor but whenever the cost of one of my hobbies approaches the cost of car payments I start questioning my judgment and the value of that activity. Why is cost seemingly no longer that much of a consideration for today's gamers?
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:50 PM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why pay off a car when you can fire birds at blocks of ice and pigs? Truly your sense of wonderment has been lost.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:59 PM on October 30, 2011


And one specialty TV show paid for it all. Astonishing.

The military specialist worked on the just-released major label game, and the show devoted 15 minutes to it, while showing all of the product suppliers' wizardry and mentioning them several times by name. (And, of course, the technology was presumably all lent as a demo; the shoot probably lasted a couple of days, then the equipment was back to the labs or showrooms of the respective companies.) Astonishing how the show got the temporary use of the equipment, all to show off a really cool major-label game with a $50 million marketing budget.

I mean, it's a pretty neat tech demo, but don't go thinking that The Gadget Show dropped half a million on some rig that's in their back yards.

(obligatory PBF comic)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:11 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Perhaps it's just an effect of growing up (relatively) poor but whenever the cost of one of my hobbies approaches the cost of car payments I start questioning my judgment and the value of that activity. Why is cost seemingly no longer that much of a consideration for today's gamers?

I think the car comparison is apt. You know those car magazines where they'll race four $300,000 vehicles? Or show off vintage cars where, like, every engine part has been dipped in chrome? And you think Jesus, that is just so opulent, enough people care about this that they can afford to do that?!?

Enough people care about video games now. Cars haven't been just transportation for a long time, and video games aren't just entertainment anymore either. It's getting to self-identity-level stuff.

Regarding the video, it's rather fun in a technical geeky way, but there's something deeply creepy about spending so much time to simulate one of the most horrible things we humans do to each other. I know, I know, it's the adrenaline rush of combat they're simulating, not the pain and trauma and disease and untold broken lives of everyone it touches. It's interesting that the "scariness" and "terror" of being in the simulator (for the show host, at least) was mentioned; I wonder what percentage of people who play games like that would still enjoy them if they were genuinely scared of being smacked with a paintball. It'd be interesting to know where the uncanny valleys of virtual experience lie.
posted by DLWM at 11:19 PM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


But how do you strafe?
posted by Chuckles at 11:23 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pretty easily, judging from watching the video.

I totally want to try Portal in this.
posted by egypturnash at 11:28 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


As much as I loved watching this, I wish those presenters would just tone it down a bit. "By this point I was so immersed that I was actually talking to my team mates!"

... "alright buddy"
posted by gronkpan at 12:07 AM on October 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Back in the early Aughts I spent five years making console games and drove my team nuts by regularly talking about a "pain vest" that I wanted to build to create a heightened sense of tension in FPS games.

They all thought I was nuts.

Vindication!
posted by bpm140 at 12:17 AM on October 31, 2011


Wait till you guys seem my StimShorts™.
posted by maxwelton at 12:26 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


egypturnash, not strafe, strafe.
posted by Chuckles at 12:41 AM on October 31, 2011


The editor on that show needs to be shot in the head. And so do the presenters. And the overzealous reviewer.

Also, if you look for big money spent on TV programs, go to Top Gear. If you haven't seen something, you'll see something.

Last bit: I always shake my head when someone talks about a "realistic" FPS. It's like raving about a running machine - just get out into a forest and run, for gods sake. Same with the game - you want to kill people? Start with paintball, and then go serve in the military.

Sorry for the hate, I understand that in a world where the 4% working in agriculture feed the rest of the people we need to find a way to keep the 96% out of harm's way and fill their time, and games are as good as anything - but if you must have realism, go into the real 3D, which is called the world outside.
posted by Laotic at 1:50 AM on October 31, 2011


Does it accurately simulate the well-known "squatting-up-and-down" action? Because if not this has been a terrible waste of money and resources.

If you fast-forward to about 9 minutes, you will be pleased to see that the addition of a Kinect capable of detecting a lowered posture fully justifies the half a million pound expense.

I have to say that Battlefield 3, realistic as it may be, is a pretty pedestrian choice. Imagine playing Rez in this thing. Then starting up Dark Souls to watch people literally die from terror.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:48 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which part of this video doesn't contain the white-glasses idiot spouting hype and actually shows something happening?
posted by DU at 4:05 AM on October 31, 2011


I think there's about 45 seconds a couple of minutes before the end, although not a continuous 45 seconds.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:28 AM on October 31, 2011


look here's what you should spend your money on instead:
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:58 AM on October 31, 2011


The editor on that show needs to be shot in the head. And so do the presenters. And the overzealous reviewer.
uh
Same with the game - you want to kill people? Start with paintball, and then go serve in the military.
uhh. hm.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:00 AM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


but if you must have realism, go into the real 3D, which is called the world outside.

I can't interest you in a cane shaking simulator then? With virtual lawn to get virtual kids off from?
posted by MartinWisse at 5:57 AM on October 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


If you want to go outside and try something more FPS like than the sometimes dayglo inflatable barrier playstyle of paintball, try a full mil-sim Airsoft game.
posted by Standeck at 6:15 AM on October 31, 2011


I am reminded of those huge impractical Battletech simulators.

After 19 years, I finally got to play with those at Origins last year. Do not pass up the chance, if you get it.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:33 AM on October 31, 2011


<>As much as I loved watching this, I wish those presenters would just tone it down a bit. "By this point I was so immersed that I was actually talking to my team mates!"

You don't do that anyway?

Same with the game - you want to kill people? Start with paintball, and then go serve in the military.

Many of us play the games because we don't actually want to murder people, but I can see that it's just methadone for some.
posted by cmoj at 10:05 AM on October 31, 2011


Wow. That really was impressive. When he's going on about being soaked in sweat and pumped full of adrenaline it reminds me of the stint of laser tag I played outdoors in a parking garage. I bet the physical element really would push you into fight or flight reactions.

Not sure how practical this is as any kind of arcade future-tech (how would it work with multiple players?) but as proof of concept, amazing.

Fast forward to the 2000s. When Guitar Hero and Rock Band were hitting their strides I was amazed to see the cost of a full set of instruments

When I left for Japan, there was no "Guitar Hero" and no "Rockband". But Japan had DrumMania, and I was hooked. But I thought "this will never be console-adapted for North America. No one will pay for peripherals like this." (Heh. I just got my Ion Drum Rocker set on the weekend)

But the practical future of gaming still looks like the upper floor of many Japanese arcades to me.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:12 AM on October 31, 2011


So, they've basically made the Holodeck -- it doesn't have to be used for shooty war games. I would love to play a ship's captain of a pirate ship on the Spanish Main or something like that (although that might involve cannons and such, which might upset some people)
posted by GriffX at 11:19 AM on October 31, 2011


I thought holodeck, too, but only because I dimly recall some convoluted explanation of why people in the holodeck can seemingly travel long distances and not hit a bloody wall. Misdirection or the like. It was pretty iffy. What they needed was an omni-directional treadmill, but it wouldn't be high-tech enough.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:35 PM on October 31, 2011


I totally want to try Portal in this.

Just imagining that has made me quite motion sick, and if anyone needs me I'll be lying down in the other room with a cold towel on my forehead.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:30 PM on October 31, 2011


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