Tisch ITP alumni set world recordPosted on October 17, 2013 | by Patrick Anker
The Tisch School of the Arts’ Interactive Telecommunications Program holds the newest Guinness World Record, which honors the Largest Multiplayer Game Played on a Single Screen. In an Oct. 8 NYU press release, the university announced that the Guinness World Records had recognized the multiplayer game “SPLAT” with the achievement.
ITP alumni Phil Groman, Danne Woo and Federico Zannier created the game for a live audience to play with their smartphones. Each player controls a bird on a telephone wire that is suspended above a roadway. The objective of the multiplayer game was to drop bird waste on vehicles below.
Woo said the inspiration for the game came from a class taught by Daniel Shiffman called Big Screens in ITP, which is a two-year graduate program dedicated to exploring all uses of technology in day-to-day life.
“The objective of the class is to create content for the 120 foot by 20 foot video wall at the [InterActive Corps] building in Chelsea,” Woo said. “Considering the very wide format of the screen, birds sitting on a telephone wire pooping on cars below seemed to be a perfect concept.”
Frank Lantz, the director of the NYU Game Center, said “SPLAT” offered a fresh take on multiplayer gaming.
“SPLAT represents a new direction for large-scale multiplayer experiences in shared physical space,” Lantz said. “I think you’ll start seeing more games like this in the coming years,” he said.
Setting the Guinness World Record was a goal for the trio. They said they believed the scale of this project could garner enough attention to set a record. With this goal in mind, the trio’s presentation at the IAC building received an audience of 300 people, with 113 playing at the same time.
“Networked smart phones and networked public screens are an untapped platform for creating social game experiences in public spaces,” Lantz said. “‘SPLAT’ is an experiment in tapping that potential.”
“This has been a long-time dream for all three of us and really pushed us to try and up the number of possible players,” Woo said. “The months of hard work leading up to that moment had paid off.”
The creators took the idea of the game and founded their own business, known as BigPlay.
“We are eager to move forward with it and find clients that need to create interactive content for large crowds,” Woo said. “This would be perfect for conferences, sporting events, marketing events, interactive billboards, etc.”
“SPLAT” is not the only upcoming project of note from the trio of designers. According to an Aug. 11 article in The New York Times, NBC News plans to install Groman as project lead of Stringwire, a Twitter aggregate news system he invented, which sends tweeting individuals at newsworthy locations messages to capture video of the scenes.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 17 print edition. Patrick Anker is a contributing writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.