DEATHWHIFF 3000 is a four-player cooperative game that integrates a system for scent delivery that associates key odorants with characters in the game. The Deathwhiff 3000 is the scent delivery hardware that is at once a virtual and physical device – both the characters in the game and the players in the physical world are connected through the use of the device. In this way, it pushes the sensory experience of a traditional screen/controller game by relying on the players’ sense of smell in order to differentiate characters in the game.
The game is set in a hypothetical, not-too-distant future where zombie apocalypse scenarios are plausible. A team consisting of soldiers, a medic, and a dog try to shove past hordes of hostile zombies to diagnose and cure potentially infected civilians. The only way to properly detect if a civilian is infected is by having the team’s assigned sniffer–a dog hooked to a smell machine that amplifies and shares everything he detects–smell the potential zombie patients. Then, players are encouraged to communicate with one another to decide on their course of action; whether they decide to cure or destroy potential zombies, players have to be coordinated and teamwork is crucial.
We created this game as a project for the summer class “Playing with the Senses,” taught by Heather Kelly. The game was made in a week using Processing and Arduino. Over Fall 2014, we ported the game to Unity–a much more stable engine than Processing–and began refining the initial prototype’s design as well as redoing all game assets.
Our smell machine was made out of squirrel blower fans, tubing, essential oils, and an Arduino board.
Our summer 2014 process was documented in Heather Kelley’s WordPress dedicated to the course, and submitted in issue 0 of AMAZE’s INDEPENDENCE AMAZING magazine dedicated to experimental games. That post-mortem can also be found here in blog entry form.
DEATHWHIFF 3000 was displayed at The Pleasure Room in Toronto Digifest 2015, and it had a positive reception.
In comparison to the summer prototype, Version 2 has over twice as many sprites; By including both directions of spritesheets, we have over 400 sprites in total.
Olivier Albaracin (Game Designer & Lead Programmer)
Ana Tavera Mendoza (Game Designer and lead artist)
Milin Li (Game Designer, programmer and UI/2D artist)
David Somiah Clark (Hardware Designer)
Nima Navab (Hardware)