York University
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Concordia University
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Tentacles: iPhone Application Development


Tentacles is a unique application for the iPhone/iPod touch turning your device into a mobile game controller. An innovative concept linking the real to the virtual, each Tentacles player controls a squid-like creature by using the device's touch screen interface. When players login together, their individual creatures populate a deep oceanic world in a multi-user, location-based ambient gaming experience projected into public spaces.

Research Collaborators: Michael Longford (York University), Rob King (Canadian Film Centre Media Lab), Geoffrey Shea (Onatario College of Art & Design)

Research Assistants: Sara Cwynar (York), David Green (Ryerson), Ken Leung (OCAD), Tracy Ma (York), Christopher Moorehead (York), Sarah Scarbrough-Wilner (York), Nick Storring (CFC/York)

Players are immersed in an inky pool of darkness found deep near the ocean floor. Each player controls a Squid-like form evoking primitive sea creatures in search of life sustaining micro-organisms dubbed “tenticules.” As your creature grows in size, players are subject to the presence of other oceanic avatars. Played in a world for all to see, the shared display reveals what happens as the actions of individuals co-exist in a sea of others’. As creatures interact, players must make the decision to “share” or “scare,” for as they collide, a tentacle’s tip is capable of stealing valuable “tenticules” inhibiting a creatures ability to grow.

Tentacles can be played indoors or out – projected on walls, in theatres, stadiums, giant outdoor screens, or on the side of a building.

Tentacles is an ongoing project developed with funding from The Consortium on New Media, Creative, and Entertainment R&D in the Toronto Region (CONCERT), support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and with the participation of Apple Canada.