In 2011 we ran a brief story about a “5D” multi-player theater called Alterface. They create interactive motion theaters and “dark rides” (usually interactive indoor roller coasters or rides). To try and summarize what 5D (or 4D/5D/6D/7D for that matter) is, there is no industry wide standard that defines what the D’s are – usually whatever features are considered major constitute a ‘D’. So 3D screen, wind effects for 4D, light-guns for 5D, etc. But Namco’s Dark Escape 4D has 3D screen, light-guns, wind effects and heart sensors and they call that 4D so at the end of the day, they stand for whatever the manufacturer wants them to.
Anyways back to the subject of Alterface. Their motion theater setup that they are primarily pushing for the amusement industy right now is the Gamebox 5Di. For their definition of the D’s, they describe it as “superb images in high definition 3D, incredible special effects in room (4D), dynamic seats with realistic movements (5D) without forgetting the main thing: interactivity!” I had an opportunity to play one at a trade show a couple of years ago that was setup for 9 players but they can design them to handle up to 42 players at a time. A good comparison for what the 5Di is like would be Namco’s Galaxian 3 – a huge multiplayer light-gun game. The 5Di would have the advantage of more special effects, modern graphics and more games of course. Here’s a promotional video made for operators to show how it works:
So while the 5Di itself isn’t news we’ve missed, we did receive an email showing a new game that was released for the unit this year called Vanguard. In a nutshell it looks like Starship Troopers the light-gun game, allowing for 1-42 players to get in on the action at the same time, depending upon the 5Di setup you visit.
They also mentioned a zombie shooting game in the promo sent to us called the Grip of the Undead. When I got a chance to play the 5Di in 2011 I was able to play a prototype version of this game and judging by the video what I played wasn’t too far off from the final product (great graphics, very fun experience to play a 9-player light-gun game with numbered reticules to know where you are pointing among all the other players).