It seems to me that the key to creating a physical experience in a virtual space, with an emphasis on a ‘zero frustration’ policy, is to create flexible systems that have room for the forgiveness that exists in the physical world. Systems which take into consideration our range of motion and the necessary learning curves.
I’ve created a version of the original Skifree game from 91′, controlled by scattered black beans – a controller which is not binary, without buttons. The tactility of the beans and the monster that lurks around the corner creates a funny experience that ranges from a sense of control to complete release.
The first point where I realized I’m onto something was at Pcomp user testing session:
After a few weeks of failed solutions to combine Pcomp and ICM:
I just let go. It turned out to be the best choice for both and started working with the web camera, analyzing dark and bright areas in the picture and added a figure.
Back to the web camera for game mechanics and graphic:
Once I moved away from the web camera into the beans table + projection on top of the beans, it was way easier to understand the game mechanics needed, the necessary indication for a user to understand that the beans control the game:
The biggest challenge on that point was to limit the camera field, and understanding how to translate this limited field into the game axis (+ avoid dispersing beans on the entire floor).
– Roi for debugging
– David for the box
I’ll create better documentation on the winter show, here is a small one.
It was tremendous fun to invite people and watch them play in order to improve. I got to know a lot of people on the floor, and some friendships came out of this playdate.
Another nice moment was on the final presentation where 5 people played together – up to that point I saw only one person playing at a time.
On a personal note, on the first post in this class, I wrote: “I’m an Illustrator, I read a lot and have a nice sense of humor – my way of learning is by trying things I believe will trigger a positive reaction. Once I find the right ground to experiment and let go of all worries, no matter in which field – doors to different kinds of knowledge I didn’t even know exist reveal themselves and there is no greater pleasure.”
Little did I know.
Thanks a lot for teaching me what I know now.