Scanner Sombre: An Eerie First-Person Lidar Exploration Game

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It was only a matter of time before video games stopped using point clouds as background and started using them as the main attraction.

Scanner Sombre, the new game from the creators of Prison Architect puts you in a midnight-dark cave with nothing but a laser scanner and a headset. Using the technology, you explore the cave to discover its mysteries. All signs point to this one being pretty creepy.

And that’s probably by design. In an interview with TechCrunch, Introversion Software’s creative director Chris Delay explained that the game’s aesthetic was inspired by Radiohead’s famous (and equally creepy) video for “House of Cards.”

That interview also produced this tidbit that should be funny to anyone who works with scan data for a living: the creators had a hard time handling the number of points needed to make the aesthetic work. “It was probably the biggest technical challenge of the project to support such a huge number of points — it can easily be millions by the end of the game,” Delay said. Funny, and not unexpected.

Watch the trailer below, or even buy the game on Steam if you want to imagine a future where you can just point and scan.

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About Author

SPAR 3D Editor Sean Higgins produces SPAR 3D's weekly newsletters for 3D-scanning professionals, and spar3d.com. Sean has previously worked as a technical writer, a researcher, a freelance technology writer, and an editor for various arts publications. He has degrees from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he studied the history of sound-recording technologies. Sean is a native of Maine and lives in Portland.

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