A video game which involves the player being immersed in a coffin is to be showcased at a BAFTA-sponsored commercial games expo in London.
Designed by James Brown, Computer Science Research student at the University of Lincoln, UK, Taphobos – An Immersive Coffin Experience can be experienced at the EGX Rezzed event from 12th to 14th March, 2015. The game is one of 24 chosen for the Leftfield Collection from more than 300 submissions and James joins hundreds of other game developers who will be exhibiting their pre-release games.
Taphobos – Greek for tomb “taphos” and fear “phobos” – is part of James’s research into uncomfortable gaming experiences, and uses a real coffin as the game controller.
One player is sealed inside the coffin and the game is based around the fact they are running out of oxygen. Their only hope is someone at the other end of a call, who they then must guide to their burial site through voice alone as they find clues dotted around the coffin. The ultimate aim? To avoid being buried alive.
James said: “This combination allows you to experience what it would be like if you were actually being buried alive with just a phone call to the outside world. One player gets in the coffin wearing an Oculus Rift, while the other player plays a First Person game; both using headsets to communicate. They must work together to uncover where the coffin is and rescue the trapped player before their oxygen runs out.
“Exhibiting at EGX Rezzed will be immensely helpful with regard to the gathering of data for my research. I want to find out how different players cope with the experience of being in a coffin and if they do not wish to get inside, why that is. This will hopefully lead to conference papers and an eventual release of the game to the public.”
The original idea for Taphobos came from a two-day game hackathon held as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Performance and Games Network project, which is led by the University of Lincoln.
The project aims is to bring together games developers, performance practitioners and academics to explore new concepts in the design and creation of movement-based games. The project is part of a wider initiative to develop the creative industries and put Britain back at the forefront of creative technology.
For more information on Taphobos go to http://taphobos.com/