GDC Next and ADC 2013 was definitely far from being the biggest event of the year but it did host some hidden treasure. One of which I found incredibly amusing and that was Crooked Tree Studios' Throw Trucks with Your Mind, which is the most non-misleading title I've ever seen because it's quite literal. When you think video games and throwing things, what i typically envision is clicking the 'A' button twice but in this particular game, you actually threw things with your mind like a Jedi. Yup, it's happening and it's not too good to be true.
In order to do what the game advertises, players must equip themselves with a mind-reading headset device which detects brain waves. I was told it also utilizes the same technology found in the children's toy, Mindflex, where you control the motion and elevation of a ball with your mental ability. The concept in Throw Trucks with your Mind is quite similar in that the more focused or calm you are, the more powerful your abilities become. Seems easy, or mind-boggling, but this game requires some serious thought... ha... being able to strengthen yourself in the game requires your own sort of individual mental techniques because it feels random -- but maybe I'm just real bad at focusing. For some, it takes complete focus and some others need a mental visualization. It just depends on how you think I suppose.
The game (or demonstration) seemed to be a modified version of Unreal Tournament. In the game, players used their "Focus" and "Calm" to give their abilities more or less strength and the more you think, the more the "focus" meter (red) would go up and I suppose the more calm you are the more your "calm" bar went up (blue). The closer those meters are to full, the more powerful your abilities will be which were Throw, Pull, Negate, and Super Jump (quite possibly more but I didn't get to cycle through all of them properly). In numerous occassions I would have the meter all the way up and actually switch to "Pull" which immediately sent me to my un-timely suicidal death by car so your strength grows exponentially the more you think.
The demo had a multiplayer feature where both players attempt to use their surroundings to kill each other. All you have to worry about is moving and aiming then you use your mind to throw or pull objects around. It can be quite tricky getting the focus in during engagement but all in all, it was quite a fun experience. I mean, crushing your victims with cars? It's pretty much every boy's fantasy.
Personally, I think it's a great concept and if it's done right, can attach itself to a niche' market... I mean, Augmented reality glasses are getting popular, so I don't see why this can't. Of course, what was at the event was just a technical demonstration on the features but the game, Throw Trucks with your Mind, itself looks a lot cooler and more cartoony.
If you're interested in this, check out Crooked Tree Studios' Kickstarter video below: