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First Person Shooters (Games) Entertainment Games

Playing a First-Person Shooter Using Real Guns 225

Blake writes "A group called Waterloo Labs rigged up a few accelerometers to a large wall and projected a first-person shooter onto it. Using some math, they can triangulate the position of impacts on the wall, so naturally they found someone with a gun and bought a large case of ammunition. Even cooler, this group usually posts a 'how we did it' video a few weeks after a project's debut, including source code."
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Playing a First-Person Shooter Using Real Guns

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  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @06:24AM (#28984121) Homepage Journal
    shoot back?
  • Guns? (Score:5, Funny)

    by acehole ( 174372 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @06:25AM (#28984129) Homepage

    Real guns or not, iddqd and idkfa is all i need baby.

  • Source code (Score:3, Funny)

    by xerent_sweden ( 1010825 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @06:35AM (#28984183)
    I sure hope it's bullet proof!
  • Sadly... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pvt_Ryan ( 1102363 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @06:38AM (#28984199)
    This will only encourage those idiots that say games are simulators for killing people.

    On a brighter note it was still a pretty cool idea.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Annwvyn ( 1611587 )
      Eh... no one pays attention to those people anyway. They have a right to an opinion just as much as I have the right to own my gaming systems as well as a real firearm. If they REALLY don't like it they can always start one of those online petitions (because from what I hear they are SO influential... *sarcasm*).
    • Re:Sadly... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @07:45AM (#28984531) Journal
      And they demonstrated it works fine while hitting the damn wall WITH A SHOVEL ! That was the greatest part. Forget the Wii, I want the next zombie game to be played with a wall of concrete and a shovel.
    • I wish someone would prove it using them as the display...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by amateur6 ( 1597289 ) *

      Actually, this will make the games more like simulators for killing people. Hell, I played a (crappy) sniper game for an hour and then walked out of the arcade onto a catwalk above a food court... and couldn't help picking out targets. Mentally, of course.

      In this case anyone playing will learn that you can't reload just by firing off-screen, and that real guns are loud, kick, eject shells... and they'll get used to it. I'm not saying that it will turn an ordinary person into a killer, but there is an argume

    • What's described is little different from firearms training systems such as CAPS, which project live-action video onto a life-size shoot-thru screen - allowing training with full-power live-fire in realistic situations. Police, military, and citizens* have been using this technology for more than a decade (albeit perhaps not quite as technically sophisticated).

      (* - some of us realize that the police & military won't be there for us when their job needs to be done.)

  • by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @06:46AM (#28984231)
    Shooting at a close wall representing a target far away, and shooting at a target far away are not the same thing, ballistically speaking. Depending on the angle, a shot taken might have traveled past the intended target and missed if it were for real. Also, a closer shot means you don't have to adjust for windage or elevation, or at least as much. In Marine Corps boot camp, we fired at man-sized targets at 500 yards outdoors, which is not easy. I knew someone in the air force who said they did the same thing - little targets much closer indoors. Not surprisingly, he thought it was easy.

    All that being said, this sounds pretty cool. It might liven up range time if nothing else.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      True story: in boot camp, on pre-qual day I was platoon high shot, with a 242/250. On qual day, I fell to a 237 (choked under pressure) and someone else stole high shot.

      Later, in the fleet, we were going to be tested, right? So, the knuckleheads in the butts thought they'd be funny, and they gave me crap windage data, flagging me as a total miss on half my shots. I KNEW I was hitting, so I blew it off, even though it meant I couldn't log any windage data for qual day.

      So that night, this wise ass in my pla

      • I managed a 221 in boot camp (220 is minimum score for expert). Without glasses. Somehow I missed the eye exam and should have gotten glasses. At the 500 yard line, the target was a little gray blur inside a little white blur, so I just aimed at the center of the blur and got 7 out of 10.
        • Yea man. Center mass is what it's all about at 500 meters. Even though I had 20/20 back in the day that strategy usually gave me 7-8 shots in the black from 500m.

          Unfortunately I never shot expert until just before I got out when I finally got to use the M-16A2. With the added .75" in the length of the stock I no longer had the rear sight assembly smacking me in the eyebrow with every shot from sitting position (which accounted for 20 out of 50 rounds.)

          by the end of the week I looked liked I'd been in a p

          • Yea man. Center mass is what it's all about at 500 meters.

            Which I'm sure sounds easy to the non-Marines here. Never mind the little gray blur is smaller than the front sight post.

            I've heard the M16A4 is so much better that Marines are taking regular shots at 800 yards in Iraq at point targets.

        • What's "expert"? The list of qualifications. Then more please on your 221 and 7 out of ten experience. 7 out of 10 what's?

          For example in my little world of high power rifle.

          A Individual classification
          High Master 97% or above
          Master 94%-96.99%
          Expert 89%-93.99%
          Sharpshooter 84%-88.99%
          Marksman below 84%

          B targets and sizes

          200 yard target
          Aiming black
          x ring 3"
          10 ri

      • by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @09:51AM (#28985455)

        Did you know the army gets tested by shooting at sheet metal signs 300 yards away? If the sign goes "Ding" they get marked down as a hit.

        That's nothing, the Bundeswehr practices by shouting "bang" and politely asking the target to fall over.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward


        A few years ago I was at Markham Park in S. Florida introducing a friend to shooting. Though I have the technique and terminology down pat, I'm not really a good shot (lack of practice mainly). I can hit an 8" target pretty consistently at 125 yds though (yes, is pretty pathetic but I'm damned proud of it).

        So I was standing there explaining how to load, how to unload, what to do when the "all clear" blows, etc.. My friend was picking it up. In the next lane was a guy dressed in full camo. He had some

        • by Irish_Samurai ( 224931 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @10:27AM (#28985789)

          The guy in camo is what competition shooters call a mall ninja. He can't shoot, was never in the military, but wants to be a bad ass. That's why he had a big elaborate gun, he bought his way in. You see them at competitions wearing shirts that say "Blackwater" and hats that say "C.I.A".

          Bunch of damn tools.

    • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @07:26AM (#28984437) Journal
      Ssshhhh, any FPS player knows that bullets travel in infinite straight line at the speed of light.
    • Makes sense, but what about zombie-sized targets?

    • How many FPS games do you know that adjust for wind, elevation (ok, a few have that to a minuscle degree on sniper guns and the like) and other physical effects? We might see them in the near future, but that's hardly a feature of contemporary games.

      • Well, not so much for wind, but Unreal adjusts for elevation in most of the weapons.
      • by Nimey ( 114278 )

        Red Orchestra: Ostfront makes you correct for range with all weapons, and individual rounds are simulated. No wind in-game, though, and you need a mod to simulate penetrating walls.

      • The problem is less a matter of doing the math to figure in wind and more a matter of giving the player realistic information to make wind calls. As in really shooting a real rifle over a long distance, the hardest part is figuring out what the wind speed(s) actually are. Sure you can hold up a Kestrel and know what the wind is right where you are, but what about the angle? What about gusts? Is it the same speed 400 meters away? 800 meters? That would be even better to know, since your bullet will have slow

  • Just saw that last night in one of their patented "off the wall tangent" clips. They were playing paintball in the house and realized they didn't have paintball guns, so they decided to use real guns.

  • System (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TerraGreyling ( 1605413 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @06:56AM (#28984285)
    When I was in the ARMY we trained on a video game system that had normal ar15's connected to gas lines that would simulate a round being fired. The whole wall in the trailer would be the target zone, close and far distances. This would also have wind, barometric pressure, and temperature so you know how to adjust your fire. And this was back in 2003, so how exactly is this new? This system would also use live ammo, but the ballistics gel isn't a fine surface to project onto.
    • Live ammo is actually irrelevant part of the project.
      It would have been far cooler if they played the fact that ANYTHING thrown at the wall registers as the accelerometers they've placed in the wall measure impact of practically anything.

      As can be seen at the end of the video - it is far more fun to hit zombies with shovels than to shoot them.

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

      Only new because the average joe is doing it with off the shelf components?

    • It's new because:

      a) Live ammo. Different technology.
      b) It's *fun*, and put together by a bunch of students, not a defence contractor.
      c) Dirt cheap. I mean, really - the most expensive part of the rig is probably the LabView license.

      • >>c) Dirt cheap. I mean, really - the most expensive part of the rig is probably the LabView license.

        The most expensive part of the rig is probably the ammo. .40 s&w sells for over 50 cents/round most places. 9mm is not much better.


    • I don't know MILES Gear seems better for training. [] That's what I used in my day. Personally I prefer paintball because there is more viceral feedback if you get hit.
  • I've tried. They just stop showing the pretty pictures.

  • Jack Thompson! Sigh. Hopefully he or someone else like him does not see this.
  • by davidbrit2 ( 775091 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @07:12AM (#28984367) Homepage

    Granted, their version used something like Airsoft pellets rather than live rounds, but the idea was the same. Kind of a fun game, if you ignore the pellets that keep bouncing off the target and hitting you in the face...

    Some info on the game. []

  • by C_Jax ( 1331301 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @07:13AM (#28984375)
    Finally, a chance to level playing field against all the smack-talking 13 yr olds playing COD on Xbox live, Say hello to my M203
  • I preferred the bit at the end where they start dispatching the bad guys with shovels.

    Now I want to play Left 4 Dead with a shovel!

  • ... where walls, accelerometers and all that fancy stuff is optional.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by codeButcher ( 223668 )

      Where I live there's an indoor shooting range with a projection system. I remember one afternoon in the late nineties when a couple of us went and had a huge amount of good, clean, violent fun with the street battle scene from the movie Heat [] - must have been a year or two after it was released.

      After that I've often wondered how one could go about creating a 3-D projection system for total immersion. One of the walls I ran into was the problem of running onto a wall :-) And then soon after, paintball took o

      • by lewko ( 195646 )

        Running into walls?

        You should have been standing still. Were you trying to create a projection system, or a Holodeck?

    • Wait, what? The Combine have taken over? Oh dammit, I should spend less time in the basement.
      • I must confess that as I'm not a Half-Life gamer, I had to refer to Wikipedia. Quoting:

        • The Combine consist of alien,... Nigerians and Zimbabweans - Check.
        • synthetic ....Yep, fakes and frauds all the way from the top down.
        • and human elements. Hmm, not sure. Some do however look remarkably like humans [].
        • The Combine are frequently shown as harsh rulers over the citizens...., suppressing dissent with brutality, policing using violence... Unreservedly check
        • using invasive surgery... Nah, nothing of the sort. Oh
        • Now I am the one who had to refer to Wikipedia. I take it you are talking about South Africa, then?
  • Backwards (Score:2, Funny)

    by Jeppe Utzon ( 721797 )
    It's funny how they were able to think up this quite cool technology use but then manage to get their explanatory graphics wrong. At 0:40 in their Youtube clip, they show the shockwaves travelling out from the sensors and then intersect at the impact location. That is, of course, the exact opposite of what is really happening.
  • The whole idea of playing Half Life is not to go outside with real guns and kill aliens, but to sit in front of your laptop and killing them with mouse clicks.

    If I wanted to kill aliens with real guns, I could do that without starting my PC... right?

  • by El Cabri ( 13930 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @09:47AM (#28985391) Journal

    Reminds me of basic training in the army in the 70s. A projection screen is rolled around two rotating vertical cylinders, one on the left and one on the right, therefore forming a "double layer screen". A movie is projected on the front of the screen and light also shines from the back. The trainee shoots at the screen, where the movie representing the advancing enemy is running. At the "bang", the movie projector freezes the frame and we can see light shining from the back through the two aligned holes in the front and back screens. The instructor can determine whether it's a hit and then the cylinders are rotated so that the front and back holes are not aligned anymore and the impact disappears, and the exercise continues.

  • reloading (Score:2, Funny)

    by WAG24601G ( 719991 )
    Do not shoot off screen to reload!!!!!
  • I have seen lasers and blanks with rifles and differing scenarios for military use, but real bullets would make it even more real since you would get the kick, muzzle rise etc. This would be more realistic than blanks and a laser. So IMO this is really cool and I want one.

  • I wonder how this affects lag? Sure, a bullet will get to the wall pretty quickly, but in some games, there is basically zero lag between firing and hitting the enemy. Here you fire, the bullet hits, the computer calculates, and then the avatar shoots, right?
    • You are the avatar; there'd be no reason to include an on-screen avatar in an immersion simulation. All the computer has to do is calculate the (x, y) of the impact and then check to see if an enemy is currently drawn over that location.

      The only lag would be due to the shock waves not being instantaneously received by the sensors, but since those travel at the speed of sound and there's relatively little distance involved I don't think it would be noticeable.

  • You know, like ricochet off the wall.
  • by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Friday August 07, 2009 @12:31PM (#28987263)

    Just browsing the summary, but this sounds very similar to some of the archery systems they have set up at hunting stores.

    A woodland scene is projected on a screen, and you actually fired your own arrows (points replaced with a blunted tip) onto the screen. It would mark where you hit, and then 'score' your performance based on where it felt the best position to shoot the animal was.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost