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Popmorphic claims music video/game first

test 19 May 2009

UK: The new creation is the result of a collaboration with electronic musician and producer Unicorn Kid (pictured), writes David Davies. Entitled The Lost Hat, the video/game was developed using Popmorphic’s patented polymorphic technology, which puts users in control of the viewing process by allowing them to adjust equaliser-style sliders.

The Popmorphic software is based on H.264 and Silverlight video codecs, and has already been used to produce a series of pop promos. The new ‘Morphic Media’ is said to strike a major blow against film and video piracy because it cannot be copied.

Now, in a significant development for the eponymous Scottish company, the technology has been applied to a game that allows viewers to follow Unicorn Kid (aka Oli Sabin) on a quest to find his stolen ‘Lion Hat’. There are more than 300 routes Oli can take to find the errant headwear, but only one is correct. Players must move through three levels and fight in a final battle by moving the game control slider as indicated by the clues in the footage. At the final battle stage, there is a 50/50 chance of winning the game and entering the competition.

The winner – who will receive a cash prize of _1000 and the chance to take part in the making of the next Unicorn Kid morphic video game – will be selected through a prize draw on June 9 during Unicorn Kid’s headline show at King Tuts in Glasgow. Entrants must be UK-resident and over 16 to be eligible to win this competition.

"Popmorphic has been in the public domain since September 2008 and we saw this as the perfect opportunity to experiment with what this technology can do and collaborate with an artist who is doing something innovative too," Popmorphic’s director of development, Lori Duncan, tells PSN-e. "We filmed Unicorn Kid against green screen at our studio in Glasgow and, during the post-production process, we thought it would really interesting to turn this into a game. As we had the technology and the facility to do that, we pushed the envelope that bit further and created something that had never been done before."

Licensing the technology is a possibility for the future, but for now the company is preoccupied with its own in-house projects, including the first polymorphic feature film that is due to begin principal photography in the next few months.

"We’re really only just starting to scratch the surface of what we can do with this technology," concludes Popmorphic chairman Das Abram. "It just keeps getting deeper!"

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