Multi-touch Fleet Commander Star Wars Game Redefines Social Gaming

Have you ever wanted to command Rebel or Imperial fleets with the touch of your finger?  How about on a 20-ft screen with a room full of people also participating in the space battle?  Well, with Arthur Nishimoto’s  Star Wars based Fleet Commander title you will one day be able to achieve the above gaming scenario.  Nishimoto created Fleet Commander as a grad student at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory.  Initially he created this multi-touch RTS game to, as he puts it, “explore how a complicated application like a real-time strategy game … could be played in a large, multi-touch environment.”  You see, this game isn’t played on a wimpy little iPhone/Android based smartphone, nor is it meant for the larger touchscreen enabled tablets.  This project is meant for a whole new medium that features 20-ft screens, and as many gamers that can fit around said screen.

Fleet Commander is one of the first games to utilize multi-touch on a scale that requires more than a few gamers to play it.  As you will see in the video below it takes more than two to tango with Nishimoto’s fledgling Star Wars RTS game.  Luckily for him the evil forces of Lucasarts are actually supporting his project, which one day will hopefully be released to gamers around the world.  Hell, from the looks of the game I’d take it on my measly iPad 2 screen considering I don’t see myself in the market for a 20-ft touchscreen wall in my man cave….yet.

Who Needs a New Kitchen When You Could Install This Instead?

Regardless, it’s a very interesting concept that could change the way gamers interact with each other.  Games like Fleet Commander could possibly reunite gamers face to face, which is a rare occurrence these days with the invention of broadband and consoles with Ethernet connections.  Imagine waging an epic space battle between you and 10 of your friends on a monster a*s touchscreen!  I don’t know about you, but I’d be using some pretty low down tricks to ensure that my Imperial Forces eliminate my opponent’s Rebel Fleet.  You know, maybe an unexpected ball punch to the gamer standing next to me, or even a strategically placed sneeze on my adversary’s section of the touchscreen?

Is it Me, or Does Arthur Look Like He’s 10?

As I mentioned earlier Fleet Commander has the full blessing of Lucasarts, so maybe one day this game could be a reality for everyone.  For now you’ll just have to watch it in action below.  It really is an interesting new way to game with friends, and what geek wouldn’t love to command a squadron of X-Wing fighters with his/her fingers?  You’ve been given a new project for your man cave…

Fleet Commander Running on a 20-ft Touchscreen


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Tags : cool techRTSStar Wars
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.