Projection and Tracking Test

This is the first attempt at building an example of the project’s core elements working together. A borrowed projector (3000 lumens) was total overkill for the project, and actually produced a very high amount of infrared light, interfering slightly with my tracking of the pucks. I am now using acrylic that is frosted on one side, which serves two purposes:

1) To act accept the visible light coming from the projector in order to create a display.

2) To diffuse the infrared light being reflected back into the camera off the empty spaces on the playfield.

I have also found acrylic half-spheres at Canal Plastics to hold some interesting properties that apply to this project.

1) They refract light that hits the bottom into a solid ring that is then reflected into the camera.

2) They transmit and magnify visible light from the projector, producing a volumetric color display.

I am going to need to find a non-greasy lubricant to apply to the acrylic to get a nice slide out of the game pieces, as right now, sliding the pieces around feels very static.

Illuminator Kit Build

Got my illuminator kit in the mail from Ramsey Electronics. The device throws out a great amount of infrared light in a focussed beam. Time to build took about an hour, and the kit cost me $35 or something. Good alternative to security illuminators costing hundreds.

As you can see above, the IR reflects off of the acrylic sheet I’m using as a playfield and creates a giant flare in the camera image (see the laptop screen). An issue to solve with this will be to have the IR light travel through the playfield, but reflect (without a giant flare) off the pieces. In addition to these considerations, I’ll still have to project onto the thing.

Coin Counting

After taking an interest in quarter football, I considered the idea of using coins, something everyone has in their pockets, as game pieces. This could also provide a built-in incentive system for players if certain gameplay events result in opponents taking your money!

Unfortunately, the technical tests resulted in less-than-successful results. The coins were unable to reliably reflect light from an infrared LED into an IR camera over a sufficient area to allow for an engaging gameplay experience.

Puck Game – Fire & Ice

click to enlarge

Fire and Ice is the gameplay mechanic I hope to explore with the Physically Augmented Computer Game. Its a simple shuffleboard-style game using physical pucks that are slid into the center of the board. After crossing the blue or orange lines, your puck either catches fire or freezes (virtually). If a fire piece knocks an ice piece, they cancel each other out. The goal of the game would be to finish 10 turns with the most fire or ice pieces left in the playfield.

Feedback: Fire and Ice motif should be kicked up more. A subtle narrative could be employed to create a sense of urgency. For example, its Earth you’re trying to heat up or cool down.

The idea of that also gives a clear visual indicator of what the object of the game is (hit the earth)…. while strategy will come in later. With the original idea, its kind of unclear as to what you want to do on the first turn.

serial for dinner

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