Virtual Jousting

Sponsored by Higgins Armory Museum

IQP Team:

  • Hyungjoon Kim
  • Justin Liu
  • Patrick Newell
  • Steven Shidlovsky

Advisor:

  • J. L. Forgeng

A team of four WPI students developed a “virtual joust” for use at the Higgins Armory Museum. Museum visitors interact with a Flash-based game through a Nintendo Wii remote embedded in a shortened medieval-style lance, using a second Nintendo Wii remote attached to simulated reins, representing interaction with the jouster’s horse.

The game’s introductory section allows visitors to select their own heraldic colors and coat-of-arms. The visitor’s heraldic design is procedurally incorporated into the game’s visuals. Jousters score points based on horse control and point of contact with their lance, in a system based on original medieval jousting scores. Players who score enough points have the joust renamed in their honor in subsequent gameplay.

The game premiered at the museum in May 2009 and was a predictably huge hit with visitors. The initial version was designed for projection in the museum auditorium, although it can also be played on a personal computer without the Wii interface. The game was designed for eventual permanent display on a touch-screen kiosk, with web-based access to allow visitors to interact with the virtual joust before and after their museum visit.

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