April 1, 2013


The Brief: Combine digital and physical spaces to create spontaneous cooperation and connection.

My Role: Audio design, web design, phys­i­cal set­up design

Initial concept

Cre­ate an inter­ac­tive nature sim­u­la­tion, expe­ri­ence where play­ers can affect nature, keep­ing it in bal­ance, that’s acces­si­ble to any­one. The core con­straints were:

  1. Lever­age smart phones as controllers
  2. Cre­ate drop in/drop out, scaleable gameplay
  3. Immerse par­tic­i­pants by a shared, phys­i­cal space
Var­i­ous envi­ron­men­tal con­cepts by Kyle Thomp­son and Sta­cie Ha 


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.

Sim­pli­fied phys­i­cal set­up design: A four sided cube-screen, with exter­nal pro­jec­tion, and 3d audio pro­ject­ing from beneath each projector. 

Game Overview:

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.