Killing Spree
by Zach Gage and Ramsey Nasser

Killing Spree is a game about shooting people in videogames.
It was commissioned for the Terraforms show at Babycastles, NYC on January 20th, 2011

Gallery visitors enter the space and have their photo taken by a camera situated by the doorway. Their face is then placed into a custom built first person shooter (FPS) based around graphic and sound assets from Wolfenstein 3D, arguably the game that popularized the violent FPS genre. The game also takes sound assets, as well as its name, from Unreal Tournament, the first online multiplayer FPS that I ever got deeply invested in.

The game itself is very different than Wolfenstein 3D or Unreal Tournament however. It is played in the rear of the gallery space with a Super Nintendo Controller, while a projection of the gameplay is shown in the front of the gallery space.

Unlike traditional FPS games, the enemies are all unique, each having the face of someone who has entered or remains in the gallery.

Also of note, the enemies do not shoot at the player. They simply walk up and block the player's moment, staring deep into the their eyes. Optionally, the player can shoot them, and they will die in a bloody headshot, their corpse falling to the ground and remaining there for the duration of the play session.

There are no goals and no places to explore as the entire experience exists in a single room with four doors through which enemies spawn, and five columns to obstruct the view.

Players receive 1 point for each kill.

Kill-Streak awards and narrated by an announcer at powers of two, encouraging the player to attain higher and higher scores.

As the corpses pile up, the game's frame-rate slows down, making the experience less fun and even more excruciating to continue.

Players can lose only by choosing to stop killing, at which point the onscreen gun is lowered, and the screen fades to black.

High-Score is recorded on the main screen, although no name is ever attributed to the score.

Because the game is shown on a large projection at the front of the gallery space, near the stage, visitors who are not actively engaged in playing are passively engaged by watching themselves, their friends, or strangers in the space get killed by whomever is playing in the back.

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Interestingly, while I expected the game to be met with some distaste by gallery goers, but visitors took naturally to the bloodshed, enthusiastically killing their friends and taking extra photos of themselves so they could be killed over and over again by whomever was playing the game. Some visitors played the game in excess of twenty minutes, forcing the frame-rate to a crawl, and yet continuing to play.

Almost nobody stopped shooting before the game forced them to by slowing its frame rate.

made with openframeworks + Unity