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MDM Student Project Explores Leap Motion Controller's Potential

May 28, 2013 By Crissy Campbell

Several gaming devices are set to be released this year, many of which explore enhanced ways of interaction. The Leap Motion Touchless 3D Controller—a touch-free, 3D motion sensing and motion control hardware—is one device coming out this year that’s been getting lots of interest from both software teams and the media for its potential to radically change the market. 

MDM students Rafael Vazquez, Justin Eddy, Isabelle Alles, Micheal Tam, Chris Lee and Patricia Nunez are spending this semester exploring Leap Motion’s potential and what it means for the future of gaming. 

In the final semester of the Master of Digital Media program, students can either choose to work on an industry-supported project, where students are partnered with real clients to create applications or products, or pitch their own project to work on. These projects are proposed by students and simulate the early stages of developing a startup.

These 6 students pitched team Pix, and will spend the semester exploring Leap Motion’s capabilities. They will research the device, analyze it’s affects on gaming and use these findings to develop two levels for their game "Pix: to the Nth dimension."

While most new technology gets buzz, Leap Motion is getting so much attention because it’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use. "You just plug it in to your USB and you have a Minority Report state in your hands," says Rafael Vazquez, Game Design Lead for the team. "Interfaces affect how we interact with computers and if that changes, everything changes."

The team has been in touch with other companies that are researching Leap Motion and found that they’re working along the same lines as these other companies. What Pix is doing that others aren’t, however, is a large amount of documentation.

"We haven’t seen many game companies document the process all the way through. They do a ‘making of’ video at the end, but we want to document the entire process as it happens to help people understand how game development works," says Justin Eddy, Project Manager for Pix. To help with this, Pix is video blogging their whole process on their website.

Overall, the students believe that their competitive advantage is their size. "As a small team we can pivot quickly. We’re not tied down by bureaucracy and as soon as there’s a change, the whole team knows about it," says Eddy.

Vazquez adds, "We can iterate a lot faster. We started with over 50 ideas and we quickly scratched most of them out. Large companies need clearance to change direction. Hopefully this means that our final product will be a lot more aligned with what the new technology is now enabling."

The students are eager to extend the project past this term, hoping that it turns into a Venture Internship for their final semester of the Master of Digital Media program.


Meet Justin Eddy, Project Manager:  

Meet Rafael Vazquez, Game Design Lead: 

Visit the Unclickable Studios YouTube Channel to meet the whole team.