City Fireflies

MediaLab-Prado Media-Facade Game that uses light sources as a controller

CityFireflies is an urban game originally made for the Medialab Prado media-facade in Madrid which uses a light source as a mean of interaction. The game consist on a series of levels where enemies try to invade the square where the players are. The players must use any bright light source tracked by the camera to defeat the invaders.

We suggest to use the light emitted by the phone screen (which most of us carry), so rapidly the player can enjoy the game in this huge 15x10 meters Media Facade.

Before starting to create the game, we had something very clear in mind, we wanted to focus in the user experience for digital urban games. We discarded using active devices that sends information to the screen since it is an over-complicated setup process and by the time the game was created phone internet connections were not as ubiquitous as they are nowadays.

The other solution we thought about was tracking the user with cameras but most of the times the result is not good enough, specially when lots of users are playing in a reduced space and light condition varies. For these reasons we came out with the idea of using light sources as a controller, so turning on the phone screen works perfectly even with a huge number of players!

For the third version of the game we created an online platform where people could create their own "invaders".

The game has been running for several years in Medialab-Prado and showed in the Piksel Festival 2011 in Bergen, Norway. One day indoor due to the rain, one day outdoor.

First version of Cityfireflies

Click here to watch the video using HTML5
  • 28/01/2011 - 30/01/2011
  • gameurbanbig screenmedia-facadeOpenframeworksMedia Facade
  • Context

    started in Global Gamejam 2011, Medialab Prado. Madrid.

  • My task Game design, Programming
  • Developed with

    Sergio Galan Nieto

  • Credits to

    Ricardo Merino