Ti­maru­vians top big-city gamers

The Press - - Mainland Live - JOEL INESON

Christchurch gamers went big as they bat­tled to see who could con­quer the city’s neme­sis – road cones.

Ar­cade game en­thu­si­asts faced off tour­na­ment-style for a golden road cone tro­phy at Gap Filler’s Su­per Street Ar­cade on Saturday.

It was the first com­pe­ti­tion of its kind in the four months since the so­cial en­ter­prise’s gi­ant street­side game, At­tack of the Cones, went up on Tuam St.

‘‘It’s been four months but all along we’ve kind of had in mind that ‘Oh we’ve got to do a tour­na­ment, close down the street and do a bat­tle’,’’ Gap Filler codi­rec­tor Ryan Reynolds said.

The game it­self is a ar­cade game-style snap­shot of the city, with killer road cones tak­ing the place of alien in­vaders and try­ing to kill you from their space­craft.

‘‘You’re ac­tu­ally rid­ing along Tuam St, dodg­ing road works and road cones and pot holes and stuff like that,’’ Reynolds said.

‘‘You can see the [Christ Church] Cathe­dral and kind of icons of Christchurch go­ing on in the back­ground.’’

For that rea­son, you might be for­given for ex­pect­ing one of the city’s na­tives to have the up­per hand in the game. But you might be wrong.

‘‘There [was] a cou­ple of late 20s, early 30s guys (from Ti­maru) who [were] play­ing an aw­ful lot. They’ve got nine of the 10 high scores on the top score­board,’’ Reynolds said.

At first an enigma, the Ti­maru team, named TMZ – for ‘‘Ti­maz Hard­core’’ – even­tu­ally turned up to take the high­est score ever of 4062 and win the fi­nal, Gap Filler project de­vel­oper Damian Doyle said.

‘‘It’s great that we’ve kind of flushed them out and found them in real life,’’ Doyle said.

‘‘They were kind of this myth­i­cal player that came in and set [records].

‘‘Be­fore we re­set the score­board they held all but one of the top 30 high scores.’’

Reynolds said more than 64,000 games had been played in the time At­tack of the Cones had been in its Tuam St spot.

‘‘I can go in there and look at days and times and how many times the game’s get­ting used.

‘‘Ev­ery day it gets used un­til about 10 [pm] ... and then there’s a real drop off. Then there’s a spike at 2am, 3am, where there’s about 70 or 80 games get played in the wee hours of the morning.’’

But, de­spite its pop­u­lar­ity, At­tack of the Cones would be soon to re­tire, Reynolds said.

‘‘We’re work­ing on de­vel­op­ing a new New Zealand-themed space game.

‘‘So prob­a­bly a few weeks from now we’ll have a new game go­ing, then prob­a­bly we’ll do a spa­cies tour­na­ment at some point.’’

"Prob­a­bly a few weeks from now we'll have a new game go­ing, then prob­a­bly we'll do a spa­cies tour­na­ment at some point." Ryan Reynolds Gap Filler co-di­rec­tor

PHOTO: DAVID WALKER/FAIR­FAX NZ

Gap Filler held the At­tack of the Cones tour­na­ment in cen­tral Christchurch on Saturday be­fore the game is re­tired for some­thing new.

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