Biofeedback Thriller Game Nevermind Adds Support for Apple Watch, Affectiva’s Emotion Sensing Technology, and Tobii EyeX Controller
Flying Mollusk, the game studio that uses emerging technology to create entertaining and impactful games, announced today that it has added support for Affectiva’s Affdex emotion-sensing technology, Tobii’s EyeX eye-tracking controller, and (coming soon) Apple Watch to its biofeedback thriller game, Nevermind. Available by downloading the latest free update for Mac and Windows 8.1 or by purchasing the game at a limited time sale price, the new sensory inputs make the game’s most unique features accessible to more gamers while deepening the player experience in innovative and meaningful ways.
Nevermind is a psychological thriller that uses biofeedback to make the game more surreal and punishing when players feel scared or nervous. For example, if players cannot manage their stress or fear, rooms might flood, spikes might jut out from the floor, or the screen might fill with increasingly dense static. However, once the biofeedback algorithms determine that the player has calmed down, the game becomes easier and more forgiving. This indirectly teaches the player real, applied techniques that they can use to help manage feelings of stress and anxiety in their everyday lives.
Apple Watch monitors the player’s pulse and sends a signal to the game if potential feelings of fear or stress cause the player’s heart rate to spike. Affectiva’s emotion-sensing software uses virtually any basic laptop or desktop webcam to watch the player’s facial expressions for signs of emotional distress. The Tobii EyeX Controller analyzes the player’s eye movement to unlock new features in parts of the game, such as shining a flashlight in the direction a player is looking or helping the player calm themselves when they close their eyes.
Each of the new technologies announced today affect the gameplay in unique ways. Even though any of these devices can be used on their own, for the ideal gaming experience Flying Mollusk recommends using a combination of heart rate sensor, emotion-recognition, and eye-tracking. Existing supported heart rate sensors include Intel® RealSense™ camera technology, Wild Divine IomPE, Mio LINK, Garmin Heart Rate Chest Strap, and others.
“Our goal is to continue pushing the envelope within this new genre of biofeedback games and to keep finding inventive ways to integrate sensory inputs into interactive experiences,” said Erin Reynolds, CEO and Creative Director of Flying Mollusk. “When played with both Affectiva’s Affdex emotion-sensing technology and a wearable heart rate sensor, Nevermind can use both emotional and physiological data for the most responsive biofeedback experience possible. For instance, when a heart rate sensor picks up on a change in the player’s psychological arousal, Affdex can validate whether it is an increase in negative arousal such as fear or stress or positive arousal such as excitement or joy and, as a result, react in the most appropriate manner.”
“Flying Mollusk are true pioneers in emotion-aware gaming. Using our emotion recognition technology as a game controller, the Nevermind game adapts to the player’s facial expressions in real time, making emotions integral to the game experience,” said Rana el Kaliouby, Co-founder and Chief Strategy and Science Officer of Affectiva. “Nevermind has now demonstrated that emotion-aware games can be easily accessible to all, by using Affectiva’s emotion-sensing software that works with any web cam. This is the next generation of gaming.”
“We were very excited to see all the unique ways Flying Mollusk has carefully worked our eye-tracking technology into Nevermind,” said Oscar Werner, president of Tobii Tech. “This game is yet another example of how the combination of developer creativity and our groundbreaking technology can create entirely new, exciting and immersive experiences in games.”
For a limited time, Nevermind can be downloaded for $15.99 – 20% off the retail price – from http://store.steampowered.com/app/34226.
Apple Watch support is coming soon for all Mac and iPhone users.
Tobii EyeX Controllers are supported for Windows 8.1+ and can be purchased at http://www.tobii.com/xperience/