House of the Dead 4 Special
In the first part of this month’s arcade feature, Kevin Williams looks at the deployment of sophisticated amusement motion platforms to fully enthral the player.
The ability to offer a near simulator experience for amusement players builds on the added depth and immersion that a motion system creates. The movement corresponding to the graphics on the screen can add immensely to the playing experience, and offers a level of physicality that is hard to emulate any other way.
The modern arcade scene has a vast array of motion systems for interactive gaming. One of the leading amusement factories, SEGA, has invested heavily in this technology. The ‘Cycraft’ represents a cradle-suspended game platform offering three Degrees of Freedom (DoF), which is able to run different releases. First launched running Club Kart
, the system could also run arcade releases F-Zero AX
and even Initial D: Arcade Stage
After Burner Climax
The versatile system was actually developed by a South Korean company (SimuLine) under license. Its expertise has been used to develop the latest SEGA big attraction. The super DX version of Afterburner CLIMAX Super Deluxe
offers an especially themed motion platform and big screen, heart-pounding action. This ensures that arcade version was totally different to any home rendition.
OutRun 2 SP Special Deluxe
SEGA has always dabbled in developing its own motion systems, it launched OutRun 2 SP Special Deluxe
(2006) - a version of the popular driver - with the added feature of twin capsule motion for eight players. It’s a thrilling experience that uses motion seating to take the game to the next level. The marriage of compelling motion ride-quality experiences with arcade action is also achieved with The House of the Dead 4 Special
; a theme park presentation for the zombie blaster - pivoting seats adding the intense rush of oncoming gun action.
While Japanese arcade factories devote a portion of their development on motion attraction, other manufactures see simulator style gaming as a major factor in future success.
Wasteland Racer 2071
Canadian based TrioTech Amusement has taken its expertise in moving riders on its film-based ride system, and developed a compelling driver; Wasteland Racer 2071
. This offers an apocalyptic dash through obliterated cities, supported by a intense motion-base that can shake the fillings from your head. Building on this, TrioTech has turned to the kid-based scene with Jett Rider
offering a fun ride experience.
The use of passive film experiences complemented by a full-motion experience corresponding to the on-screen action represents the theme park roots of theme park motion rides. The development of smaller ride technology has allowed this type of enthralling experience to be packaged for amusement deployment.
English developer FX Simulation has created its X2, 3-DoF system that presents compelling ride films in a fully functional enclosed two-person ride capsule – installed in amusement and shopping-mall locations.
The ability to create a single-player personalized interactive motion capsule has been the ideal, though difficult to achieve within the price restraints of modern amusement.
One Asian developer has worked hard to create the such a package: IMotion sees its IGO system as a highly effective 2.5-DoF system using an immersive screen to pull the player into a PC game - in this case Panzer Elite Action
– which has been modified for arcade application. The striking system offers a unique blend of motion and action.
The next part of this feature looks at the expanding selection of amusement motion systems and advances that make the physical experience uniquely arcade.
About the author: Kevin Williams is founder and director of the out-of-home leisure entertainment consultancy KWP Limited. His extensive years in the global video amusement and hi-tech attractions industry includes top management and design posts, with special focus on new technology development and applications. A well-known speaker on the industry and its technology, he pens an extensive number of articles. Founder and publisher of The Stinger Report - a popular industry e-Newsletter and web-based information service.