The Brief: Combine digital and physical spaces to create spontaneous cooperation and connection.
My Role: Audio design, web design, physical setup design
Create an interactive nature simulation, experience where players can affect nature, keeping it in balance, that’s accessible to anyone. The core constraints were:
- Leverage smart phones as controllers
- Create drop in/drop out, scaleable gameplay
- Immerse participants by a shared, physical space
Simplifying game play: In our initial concept, we wanted the main purpose of the experience to be environmental simulation, in which participants adapt to changes in the environment by countering with their own forces. This proved to add significant complexity. We decided to simplify the gameplay model: Instead participants gather energy from the environment, picking it up with “collectors” and must protect their collectors from enemies.
Simplifying the physical setup: The original concept for physical setup of the game was a tall, slender pyramid structure, which allowed participants to see around the world. This large structure 8 feet tall, and a few feet wide proved to be very difficult to design, and also meant internal projection would prove extremely difficult to set up and maintain. Instead we decided to simplify the physical setup, moving to a rectangular prism shape, external projection, and using 3d spatial audio.
Participants connect their phones by browser, enabling them to use them like a video game controller.
Participants sign in, and their name appears as a cursor on the cube-screen in front of them.
Participants manipulate gravitational fields by warping and pinching: warping acts as a push, and pinching acts as a pull.
Participants collaborate to gather energy from environment, and fill a collector.
Physical and digital space are connected, the experience takes place on a four sided cube-screen. Participants can play, and move across all sides, and even create portals, transporting from one side of the cube screen to another.
Flux was launched at Carleton University Senior Project Fair in April 2013. In the summer of 2014, we were invited as part of Nuit Blanche Ottawa, to bring the experience to a larger audience.