Exploring

TECHNOLOGY - GAME DESIGN

@ Hyper Island

MY ROLE: EXPLORER/ DESIGNER

TIME: 5 weeks | TOOLS/ TECHNIQUES: Arduino, Bitsy, Generative design, machine learning, laser cutting | TEAM: Three Design leads (including me), three Digital Media creatives

ABOUT THE MODULE

‘Exploring Technology’ was a five-week module during my Design Lead program at Hyper Island. I experimented with a fusion of play, story-telling, and technology through tools and techniques such as laser cutting, machine learning, and Arduino. In order to accelerate learning, I participated in non-linear game prototyping, a three- day Bitsy game design sprint and a Hyper Arcade experience design project.

Exploring Arduino, Bitsy interface, laser cutting and machine learning

BITSY CHALLENGE

As a crash course in game design and Bitsy, a game creation tool, we explored the rules of play to create a Bitsy game with at least one Arduino interface. The game had to include music and sound and had to be showcased within three days.

IDEATION

STORY AND CONCEPT

STORY AND CONCEPT

 

Paper wings - fly home!

'Paper wings' is a Bitsy game that includes a motion sensor, a button, and a Bitsy interface. The mission is to make the paper plane reach home (end) while flying through different obstacles. The plane must cross dense clouds and mountain peaks, a burning forest, fireworks, acid rain, etc. By moving your hand over the motion sensor, you can navigate the plane in the upward or downward direction and the button clicks help you make it move forward. Bon voyage! 

HYPER ARCADE

ARCADE GAME CHALLENGE

We humans don't just solve problems out of necessity. We do it for fun. Leave a human alone with a knotted rope and they will unravel it. Leave a human alone with blocks, and they will build something. Games are part of what makes us human. 

Using the newly learned skills of game design, Arduino, machine learning etc. we were challenged to create a meaningful play experience through interaction and story-telling. An unconventional art experience to re-think what a game is and to immerse participants into our world.

IDEATION

STORY AND CONCEPT

 

'Circle of sound' - Imagine the sound of water dripping, or the movement of water in streams, or water as a solitaire raindrop or the sound of an entire ocean. We created an experience where one can create music only by the gentle touch of your hand on water.

CHALLENGES

 

- To understand the music synthesizing program ‘Chuck’, link it to the Arduino, and make it function as we want

- To ensure safety when using electrical equipment with water

- To perfect the sound - the pitch, the tone, the echo

- To create an ambiance to enhance the experience

THE EXHIBIT

FEEDBACK AND REFLECTIONS

Approximately 200 people visited the Hyper Island arcade exhibition. We received positive feedback from all participants, especially children who enjoyed creating music through a playful experience. Many participants were also curious about the technology behind the experience. 

Reflecting upon the overall experience during this module, I learned many new skills, some of which I would love to explore further. I have always enjoyed planning and setting up for an event and it was the same this time. Apart from some of the hard skills I learned, I also explored some soft skills relating to team dynamics and communication. This module will remain special for me for all of the above reasons.