IndieCade announced the top 20 semi-finalists of the Leap Motion ‘3D Jam’ yesterday. The lucky 20 entrants will go on to compete for the first prize of $5,000 cash and $2,500 in travel costs to send them to IndieCade East 2015 conference in New York City, where the team will present their game with Leap Motion.
All 156 entrants, hailing from 40+ nations around the globe, were initially given a raw score calculated from community votes which determined their pre-semi-final rankings. The IndieCade judges calculated theses scores and weighed in on a final judgement last night, rewarding the top 20 for their hard work and dedication with a featured spot in a Leap Motion marketing campaign as well as a free Leap Motion Controller for each team member.
We take a look at some crowd favorites that have made it through to the semi-finals, with titles like Aboard the Lookinglass, Hauhet, Magicraft, Soundscape VR, and Weightless among the group of 20 semi-finalists.
Notable Semi-Finalists (spoiler alert: complete playthroughs ahead)
The concept behind Aboard the Lookinglass by Henry Hoffman is simple: looking through your left hand shows you the past, and looking through the right shows you a horrible future you never wish to visit, allowing you to manipulate objects from the past and transport them to the future, but not really because then the object wouldn’t exist in the first place and… ok. Not so simple. Hoffman shows his keen understanding of Leap Motion’s current limitations (i.e. spot-on dexterity) by turning the hands into a new set of tools that don’t necessarily rely on pin point accuracy to do their job—moving the game forward.
VRARlab’s Hauhet, the demo’s namesake deriving from the Egyptian goddess of infinity, could at least have you playing this Portal-esque game until our Sun turns into a red giant (surely not for infinity). It’s oozing with style, and the team’s choice to go with the puzzling game mechanic, which requires the user to refract a laser beam around the abstract geometric hall until it reaches a pyramid, is clever and promises some exponentially complex gameplay to come.
Leave your battle axes and heavy armor at home, because you’re about to enter the world of arcane magic with StormBringer Studios’ Magicraft. Ranking third on the list of most popular demo last week, Magicraft turns your hands into mystic weapons of fire and ice that you use to remove obstacles and solve puzzles. We would stop and worry about what we’ve become, usurping the dark arts in a way our master never taught us to, but we’re way too busy blasting crap.
Sander Sneek’s Soundscape VR attained the highest score among the community last week, and for good reason too. Soundscape lets you DJ your own tracks in a seemingly tron-inspired landscape, but more importantly, the game utilizes the Leap Motion Controller (LMC) in a way that makes it immediately apparent what you’re supposed to do—no readme files needed—making Sneek’s experience a shoe-in to the top 20.
Lazily drifting through space, messing around with bits and bobs in zero-G; it’s a pretty common childhood dream, and Martin Schubert has brought it to life in his demo Weightless. The futuristic space observatory doesn’t offer much in the way of game objectives, but who needs aliens popping out of your chest and hunting you down when you can sit back and relax a little for once in your space-faring career.
All demos entered into IndieCade’s Leap Motion ‘3D Jam’ are downloadable for both PC and Mac, so don’t forget to check out all 20 semi-finalists at IndieCade’s website for downloadable copies and promo videos.
Contest winners are scheduled to be announced on January 10th, 2015, we’ll report back with the results.