In this year’s futurezone Award, World of Senoi took first place in the category of Game of the Year. The app is a free location-based game for Android devices. It has similarities to the currently popular Ingress from Google, but is tailored to Vienna. As is common in GPS games, World of Senoi combines the virtual and real world using GPS and map data.
The player can act alone or join one of three groups and must then explore Vienna to collect money and objects and complete missions. Players also have to fight against monsters and other human players. The developer team said that Nintendo’s Zelda series was a source of inspiration for the game visuals. An active community has formed around the game since its launch, and the app has been downloaded thousands of times. The game is based on a thesis at the University of Applied Arts and was developed by Mirko Fina and Toni Eisner. An iOS version is currently in development.
“Augmented reality games that combine real places with virtual playing fields are very interesting, and are something that we examine at UAS Technikum Wien,” said Alexander Hofmann from UAS Technikum Wien, the sponsor of the futurezone Game Award 2013. Hofmann is the director of the Game Engineering and Simulation program and teaches game developers. The master’s program, which was launched in 2008, covers every game platform from mobile devices to computers, and experiments with new technologies like Oculus Rift at an early stage. Over the past years, its graduates – who work at many companies in Austria and Germany – have helped fuel the boom in the Austrian industry. “The University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien supports the futurezone Award to provide a platform for these outstanding achievements in Austria,” Hofmann said.
Second place in this year’s Game Award went to the iPad game Paper Climb by Emoak. It is an infinite climbing game with paper graphics, in which the player has to climb as high as possible while avoiding hazards like falling rocks, birds, wind, and fire.
Third place went to the puzzle game Flip Stones by Simplease from Graz. Pieces must be turned according to a specific pattern, and all pieces must be turned so that the golden side faces up.