A playable core mechanism

Insomnia was an international project of the Digital Media master's program at the University of Applied Sciences in Bremen. From march 2006 until april 2007, a project group of 8 students under the supervision of Barbara Grüter and Thorsten Teschke focused on the development and exploration of a mobile game called Insomnia. Players of Insomnia run, hide, and fight in a battle of supremacy between humans and vampires. Thus re-enacting the human-vampire experience within an augmented game world, the nocturnal city of Bremen.


The game is played in the city of Bremen that is divided by means of a small-sized grid into different light areas: dark, twilight and bright. These areas have different effects on the game play of each player and its role within the game. Players are organized into two groups:vampires and humans.The goal of the game for each group is to hold sway over the city by razing the opposing players: Vampires try to turn all humans into vampires whereas the humans try to eliminate all vampires.

The game territory of Insomnia is divided into zones with three different light intensities, so called bright, twilight and dark. The light areas are randomly generated at the beginning of the game and have influence on the visibility and the life energy of a vampire player. The positions of these areas are unkown for both teams and have to be experienced by movement. A vampire can freely move in a dark area. His position in this case is not visible for the human players. As soon as he enters a twilight area the region of his position will roughly be visible. If he enters a bright area his exact position is fully visible. According to the amount of time he stays in a twilight or bright area he loses life energy.

To beat the opposing team the players have to fight against each other. Each player is surrounded by a virtual aura of vulnerability calculated via Bluetooth. If one player tracks down an enemy and physically enters the hostile circle both attacker and defender can choose whether to fight or to flee.Being beaten in a fight causes damage to the life energy. Every player in a fight can be supported by the physical presence of another team member. If a player starts fighting against his opponent, a comrade of his team is able to join the fight. If a vampire loses his total life energy he is out of the game. If a human player loses he becomes a vampire.

Weblink to the Insomnia Project website