Fun in Numbers - FinN

Fun in Numbers (FinN) is a platform for developing and playing mobile, locative and collaborative distributed games using wireless sensors. Using FinN, a very large and diverse set of games can be enhanced, by maximizing the on-game experience and collecting statistics for offline, web-based view. At the same time the essence of such games remains the same: fun in large numbers, in every place and at any time. FinN is implemented using a combination of JAVA Standard and Mobile editions, while on the hardware part we use wireless sensor devices, called Sun SPOTs. In the future, mobile phones that have some kind of sensors embedded, or other custom devices can be used for the same purpose.

FinN’s architecture is based on a hierarchy of layers for scalability and heterogeneity. A number of services that allow localization of wireless devices in indoor environments (e.g., neighbor discovery), performing sensing tasks while on the move, coordination of actions (e.g., leader election) and delay-tolerant communication are currently implemented. Moreover, statistics are gathered, processed and stored, for off-line view through a web-based user interface. The use of our platform is rather intuitive and does not distract the developer from his main task, the design, development and testing of exciting game applications.

The key characteristic of the games developed with and played through FinN, is that players engage in interactions with each other and their surrounding environment by moving and gesturing, as a means to perform game related actions. The player, as a physical entity, is the center of the game and there is lesser need for providing continuous visual feedback than most of the video games played today. Furthermore, the input the players give to the game is kept to minimum (e.g., by means of performing a specific gesture) or indirect (e.g., based on the location of the player). Similarly, the feedback of the game to the player is again minimum (e.g., win or lose) and some times sporadic (e.g., indicating that the player reached a specific location or is close to an opponent). FinN games can be played in the neighborhood, in the city, in the beach, in the camp, in every place and at every time. After the game finishes, the players can upload the data collected by their devices for processing and producing the statistics.

Example games implemented through our platform are Moving Monk, Hot Potato and Anonymous:

Moving Monk: Each player in the game is a “monk” moving continuously amongst a predefined set of “temples”. The goal for each player is to visit temples as fast as possible, perform specific “prayers” in each location. A temple is defined by the coverage range of a base station and the prayers performed are specific gestures. To help the monk find the temples, clues can be given regarding the exact location of a temple.

Hot Potato: Each device has the potential of generating a Hot Potato, which “explodes” after a specific amount of time, eliminating the last player who was carrying the potato. Each player can randomly pass the potato to one of the neighboring players. The goal of the game is for each player to pass the potato to the rest of the players, thus eliminating the danger of the potato exploding on his device. The winner is the player standing alive.

Anonymous: A powerful player is the “master”, while the rest of the players are the “apprentices”, unaware of the master’s identity. On the one hand, the apprentices are in search of the master’s identity and aiming in combining their powers to eliminate her. On the other hand, the master must hide her role, locate the apprentices and eliminate each one of them by performing specific gestures. Last player(s) standing is the winner.

We believe that these games reveal, to a certain extent, the variety and the joyfulness of the games produced by FinN. The Moving Monk game features location-aware services, while Anonymous and the rest of the games demonstrate player interaction, offer context-aware services and support delay tolerant networking.

You can read more information at the FinN home page.