Get ready to experience a whole new type of online gaming as you use your face - yes, your face - to control the onscreen action. We spoke to Stefan Becker from Buzzin Monkey about how Red Bull Formula Face works…
What makes the game such an innovative title?
‘Red Bull Formula Face is a brand-new interpretation of Red Bull motorsports - namely, a racing series where blinking can make you a champion or a loser.’
How does the facial expression gameplay mechanic work?
‘You steer with the left or right tilting of your head. Get an extra turbo boost when blinking. Activate your collected specials by smiling - you can shoot other racers with scissors, place glue on the track to tears off their tyres, activate monster-tyres to drive over them etc. And last but not least, earn photo bonuses when you copy a certain grimace that is shown to you during the race. These photos are collected in your account and can be shared on Facebook.’
How did the idea come about?
‘We are very much into augmented reality and webcam-tracking. When it came up middle of 2010 that it would soon be possible to track your mimic, we started thinking about a way to use this technology. At that time, it was only possible in closed kiosk systems with some buggy test versions, so making it available to use online was a huge step. As for the idea, well to be honest, the idea came up during a late brainstorming session with a few beers. We loved the idea of how stupid people look while playing.’
Is this a way of making the motion-controlled likes of Xbox 360 Kinect, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation Move available to a wider audience… and for free?
‘Somehow, yes. You can directly interact and play a game with your body. That was only possible with expensive hardware until now. Though the possiblities are limited if you compare it with the consoles, the fun is the same - and it´s for free for a wide audience. Plus, it´s a social game with no closed console-community that you can share on Facebook etc.’
Do you think Red Bull Formula Face will be the first in a wave of games with a similar facial recognition control mechanic?
‘Yes, I think a lot will try to copy something like this. As far as we know, this is the first game of this kind ever.’
Is it an easy game to get the hang of?
‘We really tried to make it big fun for everybody, so it’s really aimed at casual gamers. Though if you want to improve or beat your friends score, you have to show how ‘good’ your face is. Driving one round is possible and easy for everybody but getting a good score is a challenge.’
What are your top tips for successful racing?
‘Focus on collecting. And the photo-bonus. You get 500 points, which is a lot. And, of course, get first place!’
As an added bonus to the game, you can also print out your car after the race and tinker your own Red Bull Formula Face set up. Do you have one sitting on your desk right now?
‘We spent many nightshifts getting the paper foldables done, so of course we have some paper friends around us.’
- More Flash gaming on RedBull.com
- Check out the Red Bull gaming blog
- More Creativity on redbull.com
- To find out more about the game, keep visitng the official Red Bull Formula Face site
- Take a look at Buzzin Monkey’s official site