Leap Motion’s ‘3D Jam’ dev contest, presented by the independent games festival IndieCade, is now officially over and the results are in. Among the 20 semi-finalists, who were awarded over $75,000 in prizes by a jury composed of Leap Motion staff and members of the IndieCade community, only two teams have received a spot at this year’s IndieCade East festival taking place in New York City on February 13-15.
Drum roll please…
1st Place: Aboard the Lookinglass
In first place is Aboard the Lookinglass, chosen for its “sci-fi atmosphere, mind-expanding puzzles, and unique game mechanics.” Developer Henry Hoffman has nabbed $5,000 in cash and up to $2,500 applicable to travel costs so he can make his way to the IndieCade East event in New York City where he will be showing off his game.
Aboard the Lookinglass is a science fiction game that applies the hand-tracking capabilities of the Leap Motion Controller in a surprisingly novel way. Instead of requiring the pin-point accuracy needed for manipulating in-game objects, Hoffman’s demo turns your hands into a pair of semi-transparent portals: the left looks into the past, and the right looks into a disconcerting future—with you stuck somewhere in the middle with the abstract objective of transporting items through the two.
2nd Place: Weightless
In second place is Weightless, a zen-like experience based in the observation deck of an orbiting space station. The demo was created by Martin Schubert, who took home $3,000 (and up to $2,500 in travel costs to IndieCade East) getting him the silver medal for “its beautiful design aesthetic and overall experience.”
The piano stylings of Chris Zabriskie add to the serenity of the game, which puts you in the microgravity environment along with a scattered jumble of everyday items that float gently across the backdrop of planet Earth. You can lazily swat the lifelike cloud of bits and bobs around the cabin, and toggle different gravitational powers. The lack of traditional game objectives aside, Schubert’s Weightless is welcome repose following the bustle of daily life—or in our case—the hectic ongoings of CES 2015.
3rd Place: World of Comenius
Third place goes to World of Comenius, giving us a taste of what VR-assisted education may look like in the near future. Game developer Tomáš “Frooxius” Mariančík’s, also known for his game SightLine: The Chair, has netted himself a cool $2,000 with the game that translates complex concepts into visual and interactive experiences.
In an interview with Mariančík, he told us that World of Comenius “aims to utilize VR to show people things that weren’t possible before: play around with atoms and get intuitive ‘feel’ of their behavior on the quantum level, swim in the cell or meet with people from history and explore the environment they lived in, while having [the] feeling that they’re actually in there.”
Although not a requirement, all three winning entries have built their games to support Oculus Rift DK2—a testament to the transformative power of VR, and perhaps where Leap Motion sees their technology heading.
Each of the top 20 semi-finalists including three Honorable Mentions from the pool of 156 contestants will be receiving cash prizes.
The Top 20 Semi-Finalists (with download links)
- Aboard the Lookinglass
- World of Comenius
- ElementL: Ghost Story
- Soundscape VR
- Press Bird To Play
- How Does That Move?
- Paper Plane
- The Crow
- Let’s Make Fried Rice
- Corridor 17
Honorable Mentions: $500 Prize Tier
- Most Hilarious Narrator – Rhythm Red Alert
- Coolest (and Most Complex) Hardware Setup – Dualcyon
- Most Cathartic Godzilla Moment – Mega Creature Smash
All finalists will be included in Leap Motion App Store and will also receive a free Leap Motion Controller for each team member.