Arthur Nishimoto is a graduate student in the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory, who developed a real-time strategy game to be played on a wall-size LCD screen.
Fleet Commander is a Star Wars based real-time strategy game where players control their ships through simple touch-based gestures. It gives the users the ability to drag ships throughout the map or touch each ship to open radial menus for additional options, like prioritizing targets or sending a swarm of X-Wings to destroy an Imperial Cruiser. The game ends once one side takes out the other’s main base.
The most interesting part is that Fleet Commander is only limited to how many people you can fit around the screen. So you can go from a 1 v 1 game to a 10 v 10 game solely based on how many people you can fit around a 20-foot wide multitouch display. Which can make a big difference when considering most touch-screen devices like an iPad or Nintendo DS can barely fit two.
The wall of screens is part of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory’s Cyber-Commons, an experimental, high-tech conference room built-in 2008 which Nishimoto participated in a student project to create a virtual canvas that lets users mix paint colors utilizing an iPad as a palette, then paint on the LCD wall using fingers or an actual paintbrush.
Fleet Commander is playable now, but Nishimoto claims there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. His original concept was to allow players to drop off shuttles of troops onto planets, making this preview more of a tech demo than a finished game project. However Nishimoto says he has spoken to LucasArts and says they are interested in discussing potential commercial applications for Fleet Commander.
Watch the video to see the game in action: