Jun 142015
 

One of the best part of working as a game dev teacher as well as what I do over here at KJ Interactive is that LBS Stockholm can buy the cool tech, and I get to use the cool tech, and that is exactly what I did not many days ago.

Tobii and SteelSeries worked together to create a consumer friendly eye tracker, and for you that are not familiar with what that is I give you a short description.

Eye Tracking attached to a screen.

Tobii SteelSeries Eye Tracker

Eye tracking is a device or task of surprise, surprise… Tracking your eyes, and to be exact, what you are looking at on a screen, this can be used to analyze how users interact with software, web sites and so on, and also as an input model, seen most recently in Assassin’s Creed Rouge.

Well, the school has two of them and as I am suppose to use it for teaching and the kids are home during the summer I took them home with me to try them out and get me some brain smarts.

Before I go deeper into this I will give some credits, I will begin with Roland Koch from  a composer and sound designer I’ve worked with previously and and currently and will continue to work with, you can check out his work and follow him here:

Littorina Sounds on Facebook

SoundCloud

I also used some graphics I found online from the following sources:

Game Art 2D

One Point Six Studios

Jelly Doom

Screenshot eye tracking

Jelly Doom

Is what I sou creatively made, you play as a wheel chaired girl whose brother stole her so critical means of transportation leaving her stranded on a weird floating in the air island and these yellow jellies keep jumping out splashing on the ground filling the increasingly narrow space with jello-fluids threatening to kill her unless she shoots them first with her L.A.S.E.R gun, I know, it’s an awesome idea.

The mechanics is you have to shoot the Jellies and you aim with the help of an eye tracker or mouse if you want to try it but don’t have an eye tracker. Every now and then a new Jelly jumps out and bounce around and if it drops from a small platform it will increase the level of Jelly blood until it threatens to drown you.

Development

Setting everything up was a breeze, from installing the device (have some requirements like USB 3 etc) and after getting the SDK from Tobii (the have packages for Unity, Unreal and more) I started coding and it was all quite simple, the only issue was the extremely jittering, at first I thought had spastic eyes but after researching it for a few hours in front of the mirror I came to the conclusion that I might have a lot of issues but spastic eyes was not one of them. Having to deal with this issue was not a major issue, slowed it down, lerped it and made it work just a lot of slower than I initially had hoped for.

Jelly Doom Unity and VS 2015 screenshot

Screen of development of Jelly Doom

Conclusion

I have’t tried eye tracking in any games so maybe you can do some awesome stuff with it when it comes to controlling a game but I saw some drawbacks when it comes to using it when speed is an issue as well as accuracy and I also have a difficulty seeing it being a major part of game mechanics, and thinking about if for an hour or so you know I’ve fully visited the problem.

I can kind of see it as a tool in a horror game, getting under the players skin if he ever gets so scared he closes his eyes or shows erratic eye movement you start the Sound Horror Intense Terror-treatment but it would be interesting to hear your ideas on eye tracking and game design.

You can see a short gameplay video below or download it (KJ – Jelly Doom) and try it for your self, should be playable with a mouse as well but our QA-department doesn’t exist just so you know.

Hope you all enjoyed it and get to try some cool tech on your own, I would really like to hear about it and of course get to know about any new interesting tech out there.

// Krister

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