Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tango - Real Life Tron Game

Project Status: App Idea


This app would require a Google Tango device to run, though it would be much more fun with multiple devices playing at once. It would also require permission to use the Tron game concept or ability to adapt the idea so that it does not infringe on any copywritten or trademarked material.

If you are looking to buy a Tango device check out this post which links to the newest devices on the market.

The Setup

If you aren't already familiar with the movie Tron or any of the many games developed in reference to it then be sure to check out some YouTube videos of Tron gameplay so you will understand what I am talking about here.

The Idea

I think it would be really neat, and quite simple for a developer (or team) to build, a Google Tango app that allows a player or multiple players to have a real life Tron like experience.

Basically you open the app to start the game. Then as you physically move around your space a trail is drawn where you have been. In true Tron game-like fashion, this trail would be a vertical semi-transparent glowing solid colored plane. If multiple devices are available for simultaneous play then each player would have a uniquely colored plane of their own.

A player loses a life or loses the game when he/she physically crosses over where a player has been before, designated by the glowing trail, even if this is where he/she has been.

The object of the game is to outlast your opponents, virtual opponents if no other players with devices are available, by getting them to collide with your or his/her own trail.

Adapting gameplay to real life

Traditionally in versions of the game you are on a motorcycle that is always moving and in a confined space. This means that players will always eventually run out of space and collide with someone's trail.

For this to work in a real life setting, using these devices to augment reality, some creative choices will be required to ensure the game is both playable and fun. The developers must make decisions on whether the game size will be confined or not and how to handle situations where a player is boxed in but does not physically keep moving. By camping out a player could live forever, meaning some penalty or game mechanic must be implemented to keep players moving or to kill them off if they decide to stand still.

Making it awesome

So far as I was describing this idea you might have imagined a player walking around holding a Google Tango device, or a group of people doing this. Similar to how you see in the following Google Tango Pac-Man like game:

Yes, this will be the most likely use case of course, but imagine if you will having a way to mount these same devices of the handlebars of bicycles. Don't believe Google Tango would work from a bicycle mount? Then check this video out my friend because it has been done before.


There you have it, another Google Tango app idea. Relatively easy to develop but I would imagine it requires getting permission to use the Tron concept.