Thursday, February 26, 2009

Midterm Project Idea Precedents




School Play:

- There is the slow building of awkwardness as Jamie forgets his lines and starts feeling foolish but still has to stay on stage.

- A good interpretation of a grade school play, bad lighting, people talking in the crowd and everyone watching the kid on stage.

School Photo:

  • An index of photographs for school year books with pages for most popular etc.

- An art installation that takes the user's faces and alters them around creating a giant collage.

School Dance:

  • This gives an atmosphere of the dance, a gym with a bunch of people avoiding each other in the dark.

- School dance horror stories showing the separations in the opposite sex and how popularity effects it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pirates!: Network Toy Revised


“Pirates!” is an epic networked pirate ship game with collectible pieces. The pirate warship will use Bluetooth technology allowing it to act as the player's game controller. The ship combined with the ability to customize a murderous crew and wage war online will capture the imaginations of boys 7 to 10 years old.


In “Pirates!” the first thing that needs to be worked out is the logistics of the ship. It would have to be modular allowing four stages of customization with the base piece always staying the same. The Bluetooth receiver is housed inside of the bottom of the ship and connects to a USB dongle attached to the computer. The base must also be linked via USB ports to the change-able areas of the ship to allow plug and play. The four pieces being the mast, cannons, rear of the ship and front bow. Each of these add-ons would affect the appearance of the ship in the game along with it's real life counterpart.

The game itself is a stand alone client that is installed onto the computer. The player then has the option of facing computer controlled opponents, people from the Internet or friends that bring over their own ships. The online matches would be ranked with a win/loss system keeping the experienced players away from the newbies. While in an online match the player would be able to communicate by means of a chat system with preprogrammed commands. “Pirates!” will be controlled primarily by the player moving the ship through the air and having it translate to ship movement on the screen. If the player fires the cannons in the real world his computerized ship will fire them online. The battles are effected by the types of parts the player has equipped on his physical ship as well as what crew options he makes in the game. If the player picks an engineer oriented crew over a sailing oriented crew he can use them to repair damage easily but if he needs an extra burst of speed they will not be able to do it.

The game will build a solid community by integrating a series commonly used components. The first of these is the ability for the player to maintain a friends list. Once the player has friended another player he has the option to board his ship while in port and see what sort of customizations have been done to the exterior, interior and what sort of crew the player houses. The player can then have the option of bringing friends in to arrange a team again against fresh opponents. This will bring a solid sense of community that will form through the use of customization.

User Scenario:

Timmy has just obtained “Pirates!”. He's installed the software and plugged in the dongle and while the game loads he's tearing open packages of accessories and customizing his ship. He choses heavy cannon, a large bow and a bright blue sail. As soon as his new ship turns on it appears on the screen and he's given the option to play against an live player or the computer. Timmy picks the live player and is immediately flailing around the room with his ship. Flaming ballista rounds scrape across his hull taking a heavy toll on his crew. All seemed lost until Timmy's vessel swung about using his speed advantage to broadside the enemy, his ship's cannons ringing out in a hellish chorus. The enemy is defeated and Timmy's crew sail off to port to spend their ill-gotten gains. Timmy has now entered the world of “Pirates!”.


  • This is as far as using mats for play has come.

- This is a collectible strategy game where the player constructs his own ships. It lacks a board and just puts forth a set of game pieces and let's the player decide all locations.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Helidrop: Line Wait Solution


Heliball Drop is a pachinko-style game where players pilot helicopters inside a plastic case. The player will be able to drop balls into various slots that will trigger animation and light displays. This game will keep the customers happy and free of the boredom normally associated with long lines.


Heliball Drop will work with large clear plastic panels that will house all of the equipment except for the outside controls. The player can use the joystick to move the helicopter either left or right while pressing a button to drop it's cargo of metal balls. The balls will fall onto a series of pegs that will act as a randomizer before they plummet into a variety of slots. The better the lighting effect or animation the harder it will be to land a ball in it.

The interaction is simple and the players cannot be knocked out of the game. If they run out of balls at any point and have not moved on they can refill by moving to specific points. The player can then do such things as make the entire line light up by doing combining a series of actions with another player. They would also be able to trigger single player options such as animations on LCD screens or physical puppets that will perform. Lastly there would be common goals that all of the players work towards that would not go off on the first pass in line but over time would be achieved. Even the people who are not playing have the opportunity to be entertained by the lights and animations going on all around them.

User Scenario:

Little Timmy is bored waiting in line for the Vomit Coaster. He's been waiting for what seems like hours and the only entertainment he has is looking at his feet. He sees that the next line over is filled with flashing lights, sound and action and runs over to it immediately. He's greeted with a joystick and 2 buttons. He finds out by touching it that he's the yellow helicopter and by using the buttons he can drop balls onto the targets. Timmy continues moving up and swapping controls until he manages to hit the front of the line without even realizing it.


  • Pachinko in action. It's as if you cross bred pinball and a slot machine.

- From the Price is Right. People win prizes by navigating a circle to the bottom of a series of peg

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pirate Ship Design Proposal


Most boys have a very aggressive play style, they like to slam action figures together while running around screaming. Yugi-oh and Pokemon have proven that combining this with collectibles is a winning strategy. What this project will do is use networking to create a tactile feedback device that interacts with other players over the Internet. The kit would come with a pirate ship and a mat that attaches to the computer via usb port. The child can then manipulate the ship around the map and fire the guns which would transfer the actions on screen. The ship could then be customized in both the game and real life by accessories sold separately.


The first thing that would have to be worked out is the logistics of the pirate ship. There would need to be a sensor at the bottom that would be able to show the ships position on the mat while The other tricky thing would be to transfer data from each of the ships interchangeable accessories. There would be 4 main pieces to the ship that would effect the game-play. The cannons, the rear of the ship, the front of the ship and the mast. The cannons would be firepower, the different rears would effect steering, the front of the ship the armor and the mast would be speed. Every visual change made to the ship in real life would change the ship in the game.

The game itself would have to be a stand alone program that would be installed into the computer. The player would have an option of facing computer controlled opponents or people from the Internet. If the player decides to play over the Internet they're matched via a win/loss ranking system. This would keep experienced players away from newbies. The player would then be able to communicate by means of a limited chat system. The player would then be able to maintain a friends list where he could visit their ships in port and start new games with them. Friends can also bring ships over and play on the same mat. This method should bring a sense of community to the game and make blowing up other pirates fun.

User Scenario:

Timmy has just obtained the pirate game. He's installed the software and plugged in the mat and while the game loads he's tearing open packages of accessories and customizing his ship. He choses heavy ballista over cannon and a bright blue sail. As soon as his new ship touches the mat it appears on the screen and he's given the option to play against an live player or the computer. Timmy picks the live player and is immediately matched up in a game with another newbie. Battle is waged and Timmy gains victory, his rank rises and now he's just entered the big leagues.


  • This is as far as using mats for play has come.

- This is a collectible strategy game where the player constructs his own ships. It lacks a board and just puts forth a set of game pieces and let's the player decide all locations.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Brightest Flame Burns Quickest


The point of this project is to use gathered obituary data to show who has left the greatest mark. The list of data will be populated by and compared against result data from Google. Every person will be represented as a flame that can grow or burn out. The more flames grow the more they can absorb weaker flames to become a large fire. The effect will allow people to see who burns brightest.


The first data part will be handled immediately by This will give us an index of deaths to work off of and then Google will be able to give us our hits. The easiest way to put this application out to the public would be using action script 3.0 and Flash. Each full name will be assigned a point value of one and a space value of one. These values will be immediately brought up by one for every 100 results in a Google search. When the space value of the object gets to two it can now hold another flame inside of it that is one to two points below it. The flame however can only store smaller flames inside of it if there is a percentage of overlap in the search results. This will produce large fires containing people of similar interests or occupations. The user will then be able to mouse over the larger fires revealing the person with his keywords. The user can then click on the larger flame to access the smaller flames inside. For a more direction result name search functionality would be added. This should not only produce a visually interesting piece but show a varied set of relationships.

User Scenario:

Young Timmy Fiddlewinks always thought of his grandpa as the most famous man in the world. He just discovered the website for my devious invention and proceeds to enter his grandpa's name in the search. He not only finds out his grandpa is grouped in the same flame as Adolf Hitler but a lot of other leading Nazis. Timmy is obviously distraught by the whole situation and his body is later discovered in the river. Timmy is later grouped in Sid Vicious' flame. This is a rather depressing user scenario in retrospect.


Flowing data


Burst Labs

Monday, February 2, 2009