SOURCE: 13th Lab

13th Lab

March 18, 2014 11:00 ET

13th Lab Kickstarts Reality Gaming Platform for Developing Truly Immersive, Mobile, Multiplayer First Person Shooters

Combines the Physical Experience of Paintball With Virtual Reality

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 18, 2014) - GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE -- 13th Lab, best known for commercializing the real-time 3D tracking and mapping SLAM technology used by NASA's Mars Rovers, today launched a Kickstarter campaign for the first Reality Gaming platform that lets developers create truly mobile, multiplayer, immersive first person shooters (FPS) unlike anything ever seen or experienced before.

The campaign aims to speed distribution of 13th Lab's new computer vision-based Rescape Game Controller and software development kit (SDK) for the iOS platform to game developers and enthusiasts, but anyone can join the initiative on the Kickstarter page.

"FPS gaming is huge on consoles and PCs, but not really big on mobile because until now the games have just been shrunk down copies of the console and desktop version, not really leveraging any of the actual capabilities of the mobile device," said Oskar Linde, 13th Lab co-founder and CEO. "We believe FPS games on mobile should be even more fun and immersive than they are on consoles or PCs, since the mobile device let's you move around and interact with other gamers in a totally different way than consoles and PCs do. Now they can be, because Rescape lets you replace reality 1:1 -- indoors, outdoors -- including you and the other players -- with centimeter accuracy and all in real-time. It's the physical gameplay of paintball or NERF guns on digital steroids."

The royalty-free SDK includes the Rescape computer vision engine for real-time motion tracking and positioning in 3D space, structural 3D reconstruction software to let players map a digital game canvas on top of the physical world, a Unity game engine plug-in with multiplayer support for developing new games, and a Rescape controller library to easily enable Rescape for any existing game -- everything developers need to create totally new Reality Game experiences, or quickly port any existing mobile FPS games to the Rescape Game Controller.

The SDK and Rescape Game Controller for Android are scheduled for release later this year.

Rescape was created to take virtual gaming out of machines and into reality. With the phone's screen mounted at eye level on the game controller, and earbuds in their ears, players move naturally through the gameplay, ducking, running, jumping and shooting -- true to their senses. The result: players aren't just playing a game, they ARE the game.

While Rescape enables a totally new genre of gaming, called Reality Gaming, where the real world is digitized and then shot to pieces by players, it can also drastically change the experience of any existing mobile FPS game in a snap.

For companies that want existing FPS games to utilize Rescape's motion sensing technology as a six degrees of freedom (6 DoF) game controller, 13th Lab has included a directional pad for moving over greater distances within a game without having to physically walk or run.

By adding support for Rescape into these games, which is just a matter of dropping in 13th Lab's free game controller library, a developer can turn any existing iOS FPS game from a small screen shooter into a fully immersive gameplay experience, letting user physically run around in their games, beyond what's possible even on full size consoles and PCs.

"Once you and two of your friends have tried playing games like Quake together, using Rescape, running and jumping around like mad in your respective living rooms, you'll never want to play it in any other way again," said Linde.

13th Lab is showcasing the Rescape platform at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco starting today.

Developers or press interested in meeting with the 13th Lab founders and playing Office Defender and other games on Rescape should email karen.blondell@gmail.com.

"What's really cool about Rescape is you're not standing still in front of a screen or sitting in a chair wearing goggles," said Linde. "Instead, Rescape lets you use your phone mounted at eye level, and you move, hide, aim, shoot and interact with your friends. There's no separation between you and the game. Rescape takes the game and puts it into reality, letting you physically move around in it. It turns gaming from a purely digital and virtual experience, into a physical experience. With your senses -- sight, sound and physical movement -- working together, you get truly immersed. It's a super adrenaline rush."

About 13th Lab
13th Lab is a computer vision company offering developers the first Reality Gaming platform for creating first person shooters that are truly mobile, multiplayer and immersive. Best known for commercializing NASA's real-time 3D tracking and mapping SLAM technology used on Mars, 13th Lab now makes it possible to seamlessly combine the fun physical experience of paintball and office NERF guns with dynamically generated virtual reality environments that map 1:1 to the real world with centimeter accuracy. 13th Lab is 5 years old, privately funded and based in Stockholm. Bring mobile gaming's new dimension to life at 13thlab.com.

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