A screenshot from "Rock Paper Scissors Fight Club."
Paritosh Gupta, a pre-junior College of Computing & Informatics student, designed exactly that type of game. Officially titled “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Fight Club,” the game requires Oculus Rift and a Leap Motion controller to let players virtually duke it out. Gupta designed it during his co-op as a labs technology intern at A&G Labs, the innovation unit of local ad agency Allen & Gerritsen.
Gupta’s project took first place in Leap Motion’s Hands On VR Challenge, a competition designed to push the limits for virtual reality limits. Gupta was awarded a VR Developer Bundle for his prize.
“People at A&G were really happy about it. Generally, interns don't get a firm any publicity. I got multiple shout-outs from co-workers in the following weeks, and the project was written about by Popular Science and Technically Philly,” Gupta said.
Gupta hadn’t worked on virtual reality before his co-op, but he's since created a basketball throw game using Oculus Rift and Leap Motion technology and developed a laser portrait sketcher, among other projects.
Gupta created “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Fight Club” to see how shared experiences feel in virtual reality and what design and user-interface creates the best experience. “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Fight Club” detects hand configurations of the players, rejecting any that don’t mimic an accepted rock, paper, or scissor formation.
Already working on the program when his supervisor discovered the Leap Motion competition, Gupta finished it in just six days.
“I had to work on the weekends, which wasn’t really a problem since it was a fun little project,” he said. “It was certainly not a standard amount of time for me since it was my first time implementing multiplayer. Also, most projects go through multiple iterations of design before they get completed so they take two or three weeks, or more.”
But why “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Fight Club?” The game had to contain a Brad Pitt reference, a tradition in several A&G Labs projects (the laser portrait sketcher he designed, for example, was tested to recreate a portrait of Brad Pitt’s face). In the game, the two users can face off in the comforts of a simulated dingy basement, similar to the setting for the scene in which Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden utters the famous line, “The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.” A bar of pink soap etched with the words “Fight Club” is prominently displayed in homage to the soap-making scheme undertaken by characters in the movie.
Gupta has since improved the game’s interface to make the game more functional. While the game is available for download to the public, it was just made as a prototype and is not meant for consumer use.
Although he’s considered an expert in Rock-Paper-Scissor virtual reality games, Gupta doesn’t have any strategies or tips for the game, which he became all too familiar with during the design process.
“I think I’ve played enough Rock-Paper-Scissors for a lifetime while testing the game!” he said.