First-person shooters are great stress releases for a world fraught with nagging bosses, horrible traffic, and dry cleaners that screw up your pants, but there's a problem -- the people you're shooting are just collections of polygons on an electronic display. The solution, of course, is to combine the world's love of the FPS genre with real friends and loved ones, and that's exactly where Gunman for iPhone comes into play. Using the phone as your gun and the camera as your scope, you can seek out up to three other opponents in local multiplayer matches or take the hunt global using Foursquare -- when you score a kill, you can post a shot of your unsuspecting victim straight to Twitter. If nothing else, this seems like it'd be a fantastic workout and a cheaper substitute for a full laser tag rig, making it perhaps the best use of augmented reality to date. Score it now in the App Store for $2.99 -- follow the break for the full press release.
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Gunman Released for iPhone – First of its Kind Augmented Reality First Person Shooter Brings Multiplayer Wargames into the Real World
San Francisco, CA – Dec 16, 2009 – Stage Two Labs, the R&D division of marketing and product development agency Stage Two, today announced the launch of Shadowforce, LLC, and its first product, the world's first multiplayer augmented reality first person shooter game for the iPhone – aptly titled "Gunman". Gunman combines all the fun of real-world games like paintball and lasertag, without requiring people to carry around any special equipment other than their iPhone.
The result is a laser-tag style game that takes the fast-paced multiplayer action of popular online and console titles and brings the war into the real world by allowing players to target their friends and see who *really* has the most skills. Once a target is hit, players can save or Tweet "scoped" pictures of their favorite hits to the world - making the target's shame eternal and proving their dominance as a Gunman. In addition to the local multiplayer version, players can "go Pro" in a solo mode by collecting bounties on celebrities appearing on the Gunman "Hit List", and even track their prey via location-based service Foursquare (Ashton Kutcher, MC Hammer, Shaq, and 50 Cent should watch their backs). Of course, this is only the beginning, Gunman will receive regular updates such as team-based tactical missions (like capture the flag mode), an arsenal of new weapons, an international leaderboard, and more.
The game uses a variety of high technology services to create a fun and engaging experience for the players. Some key components include:
* Gameplay involves "augmented reality" by adding layered services on the iPhone's camera
* Detecting "hits" is done through a proprietary new color detection system.
* Local multiplayer gaming includes automatic peer discovery of other players.
* Sharing one's accomplished shots incorporates the popular Twitter and Twitpic services
* Finding targets on the leaderboard is integrated with Foursquare for location lookup
"We've been big fans of games like paintball since our college days, but it's so hard to find the time to go gear up and play. We realized that the iPhone has all the basic elements to make the same kind of gameplay possible without any extra equipment," said Jeremy Toeman, CEO and founder of Stage Two. "Gunman lets us have the same kind of fun, but play it in the office, at home, or virtually anywhere you want, all you need is an iPhone - and probably an extra charging cable."
Gunman is not for the feint of heart. It requires the strength of a soldier combined with the stealth of a spy. Here's the run down:
Multi-Player, One on One, and "Pro" Modes:
  • Gunman allows players to connect with up to 4 friends via WiFi for hardcore war games or with one friend for intense one-on-one shootouts.
  • Each time a player hits an opponent, their opponent's phone will buzz and they are rewarded with a scoped screenshot of their target.
  • Players can play for rank on the Playgunman website, track all of their favorite hits, and tweet out their favorite shots
Realistic Experience:
  • Pinpoint aiming with Gunman's on-screen "pinch to zoom" scope
  • Realistic gun audio and accelerometer enabled shake to reload
  • Both hits and misses are tracked for any game, so players can see who won each round
  • Mission briefings at the end of each round let players know hits, misses by each person in the game
Big Updates Coming:
  • Team-based games such as capture the flag and domination
  • Tons of new weapons including sniper rifles, shotguns, knives, and grenades
  • Location based tracking of targets with Foursquare integrated directly into the Gunman iPhone app
  • Badges, medals, and experience points for completing challenges
  • And many more t
How to Play:

  • Pull up Gunman on your iPhone and select from either One on One, Multi Player (Wi-Fi), or Pro Mode
  • In One on One mode, select the color of your opponent's shirt, in Multi Player, select the color of your shirt (Gunman uses color detection to record hits and misses)
  • Select a time limit for your match, or go unlimited for non-stop shooting
  • In Pro Mode, just point and shoot, all of your hits will be recorded in your iPhone's camera roll
  • Once a round is finished - either save your favorite shots to your phone or hit "Tweet" to send to your picture to your Twitter account
Important links:
Gunman website: www.playgunman.com

Engadget HD Podcast 167 - 12.16.2009