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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CamSpace and Wii-Like Flash Gaming - Editorial

CamSpace, a free PC software application that allows you to create your own Nintendo Wii-like controllers for the PC, has branched out to include browser-based Flash gaming compatibility - with rather impressive results. (Robo Maro and Doeo are two such free games currently playable using the app.)

With a standard webcam, controller emulation can easily be programmed based on the game and the objects to be used as controllers. The application can map and track up to four independent objects (controllers), giving players some creative flexibility regarding how they’d like to control the gameplay. (There are some great examples in the video below.)

The technology - in development for over three years - has been compatible with downloadable PC titles (.exe file types) for a while now. The CamSpace website also hosts a list of free “controller plug-ins” that have been created for some existing PC games, with Valve Software’s critically acclaimed first-person puzzler – Portal – as one of the more impressive offerings. Expanding to support Flash gaming is certainly a natural step forward to increasing the number of users.

Don’t get overzealous and bury your keyboard, mouse, and joystick in the desert just yet. The application, while extremely cool, still has a relatively limited suite of games that can utilize it effectively. However, given the quality of the app, it’s likely that we’ll begin to see more Flash developers building games with CamSpace-enabled controls in mind. The low barrier of entry, ease of use, and the fact that it’s free certainly make it worth checking out.

For those who still need some convincing, check out the video to see CamSpace in action.

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