Unreal Bowling with mini games projected onto Bowling Lanes (looking for community feedback)


Hey there Unreal community. Just wanted to get any feedback on a new project we are doing with Unreal for the bowling industry.

We are using the Unreal Engine to create an immersive bowling experience at physical bowling alleys where we project down on to the lanes with projectors and track the bowling ball movement and give it effects like fire, turn it into a comet, make it interact with virtual objects projected onto the lane like water, stars, honeycomb style floor tiles, zombies, battle ships etc.

Our goals:

  1. Revitalize the bowling industry with something new that can bridge the analog and digital world. The last time the bowling industry had a significant change was cosmic bowling/black light bowling
  2. Create compelling digital mini games within an overall classic analog game that the new generation can really get behind
  3. Be able to package this and make it cost effective enough for new and existing bowling alleys and mini bowling alleys to implement and use as a revenue generator
  4. Hopefully be able to make this a plugin/platform through Unreal where outside developers can create their own effects and mini-games similar to how Faceware Live is working with Unreal.

Before we found the Unreal engine, we started doing prototypes for this a few years back in XNA for demo purposes but never for permanent install. 4 years ago, the technology cost for the projectors were too high for venues to be able to afford. Now with LED laser projectors and lower costs for lumens needed, it is actually more cost friendly to do this kind of project for many different bowling establishments.

Here is the progress of the installation so far with 4 lanes being covered and tracked (We still have a lot of work to do… really hoping we can get one of those Unreal Dev Grants Crosses finger):

Here is a quick video of seeing the project from the editor view:

This video shows our prototype in first stages of development 3-4 years ago.

More about what we do as a company:

Any feedback from the community is greatly appreciated! If I should start another thread for that, I completely understand. Thanks!


Wow awesome. I haven’t bowled in a long time but recently I went to one of those UV-bowling things.

I think if you can distribute/implement the technology effeciently you will have a massive global market, particularly China.

I would certainly suggest integrating ~scoring~ into the projections.

Because, right now, even with the new screens, you have to look up to see your score. Whereas if the graphics are projected down on to the lanes, you could also project scores, special “celebration” graphics for strikes, spares as well as “failure” graphics for gutter balls.

The minigame idea is clever, I’m sure you’ve thought of starting with let’s say a certain section of the lane which your ball cannot go to. (“Poisoned” area).

Again, to sum up, the China market is definitely a good opportunity, Asia is crazy for new trendy things and in general bowling is a wholesome/ safe/ family activity so this would certainly be very appealing to bowling lane and theme park operators.

I’m no business expert but if you hook up with the right angel investors you might want to spin off a subsidiary that focuses only on bowling solutions.

Thanks for the insight! Good suggestions… Definitely looking to integrate with the scoring system and also get the bowlers names and say “Hey Joe you’re up next” etc…

Interesting idea with spinning off the subsidiary and getting investment too…

We were hoping to also use it as a training tool to show where the previous ball throw went and show the path to compare… also to a style of “Horse” type game that people play with basketball where you have to mimic the person’s shot etc…