The Light Shooter, created by Masasuke Yasumoto at the Tokyo University of Technology, is a first person shooting game which makes use of a real Japanese bow as the interface.
The goal of our research is to let people know what the real thing feels like. Players use an actual Japanese bow, so they can really experience what Japanese archery feels like.”
“In the game itself, abstract characters created from points, such as people and dogs attack you, and you have to fight them off. Right now, the picture’s a bit dark, but when you draw the bow, the area around what you’re aiming at becomes bright. There are already several enemies lurking here, and you go for them like this.”
“The advantage of using real equipment is, the gear itself teaches you how to handle it. Rather than reading in a manual, “Press Button A, press Button B,” in this game, the gear itself teaches you, with no manual needed.”
“The sensors are all housed in the grip. One is a strain gage, which measures the bending of the bow. In other words, when you draw the bow, this part bends slightly. The amount of bending indicates how strongly the bow’s been drawn. Then, time-series data shows whether the bow’s been drawn slowly, or whether you’ve released the string and shot an arrow. There’s also a combination of acceleration and magnetic sensors. The data from those is converted to information about your target and your stance.”
“What we’re working on now is building a mobile laser projector and smartphone into the grip as well, to show where you’re aiming. Currently, you only get a picture of what’s in front of you. But if we build in a projector, when you try to shoot behind you, the corresponding picture will appear, so you can shoot in that direction, or upward or downward, anywhere. We’d like to add more sensors, and bring in 3D data for the room, so the space itself can be made part of the experience.”