Wearables

Here are some images of some recent wearable electronics projects.

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Bee detail holding a length of conductive rubber in place for stretch sensing
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A glove to detect certain hand movement and help prevent repetitive strain injuries for artists.
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Design concepts
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Coin pouches that strap onto a belt and wirelessly notify another person’s pouch when a coin is inserted, making use of their conductivity. Uses Nudgeables, a kit from the Social Body lab at OCAD
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Circuit layout of a glove that plays a part of a hide and seek type game. This game would be played in the dark and users would send coloured light signals to each other with the risk of giving away their location.
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A cuff that responds to sound with light. Crochet detail covers and protects a Lilypad circuit board. 

(The pattern for the crochet squares can be found here)

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A conceptual jewelry prototype for the future
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Wire detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking Quest

In this creative, social board game, players will journey around the land of Ooo and partake in absurd challenges on a quest to create the best dish from an array of wacky ingredients.

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When playing this game, each participant receives a quest card, which they will have to try to fulfil as much as possible with their final dish.  However, they can interpret the quest however they’d like.

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The game is played turn by turn. Each turn, a player rolls a die and can choose where they’d like to travel on the board. Then, if they wish to gain the ingredient on which they’ve landed, they must draw a Challenge card. If they complete the challenge described, they can take the ingredient tile and place it on their Player mat. The Player mat has words such as “sweet” and “spicy” that will affect the ingredient that is placed under it. For example, a fish tile placed under “spicy” will turn the fish into a “spicy fish”.

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There are also tiles that allow the player to chose an ingredient tile from three randomly chosen ingredient tiles.

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Some challenges require a player to compete with another player. If the player whose turn it was loses, the other player can chose to take the ingredient for themselves.

 

After five rounds, each player must describe a dish that uses all of the ingredients that they’ve collected and explain why the dish fulfills their quest card. Everyone then ranks each other’s dishes and the player with the most points wins the game.

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The game is good as an icebreaker for parties and can get pretty silly. It’s based on the cartoon “Adventure Time”, but players don’t need to know anything about the show to have fun playing the game. We found that the absurdity of the show is a theme that pairs with the game dynamics well. Players don’t even have to know much about cooking to play the game, but they do need to have some willingness to participate with others and to sometimes be ridiculous.

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Development

Our initial worries about the game were largely related to judging. We wanted the game to allow a lot of player creativity, but we had to think of a judging system that wouldn’t be overly problematic. To judge something so open/free as a verbal description of a meal, you can’t really use code or systematic mechanics such as point systems without taking away creative incentive.

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Player judging is a solution, but it comes with the problem of bias. In “Apples to Apples” and “Cards Against Humanity”, there is player judging, but there’s also anonymity. In our game, we wanted players to be able to describe their dishes out loud, which made anonymity impossible. We learnt through play testing that bias wasn’t such a problem, as the weird challenges and the fact that each player had their own quest gave the gameplay a calmer and less competitive atmosphere.

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All three of us worked together on the mechanics and on the “Adventure Time” themed visuals of the game

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Future directions

We were pretty happy with the look and the playability of the game. It inspired me to want to make more party games with social and creative aspects, especially with simple, easy to learn aesthetics- it’s a good way to quickly get people involved and together, even if it’s their first time playing the game.

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A future version of the game could have more Challenge cards to increase replay value. If we wanted to add more fun elements, it could also include side quests. Expansion packs could include additional Quest cards and ingredient tiles. We could also give characters different abilities or attributes, so that there’s some strategy to the choice of characters.

The Team

This game was created by Anthony Rodi, Parth Soni and Sophia Niergarth.

Card Operas – Concept

I thought I should include some early concept art for Card Operas. initialconcept

For future versions, I’m considering making Character cards that draw inspiration (in terms of layout) from gossip tabloids, in addition to the current game version’s Art Nouveau theme.

Card Operas – Card Game

My first project in the Digital Futures fall Atelier is a game called Card Operas.

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The finished game

Card Operas is a card game where four or more players act as characters in a soap opera. In order to gain Reputation, players join to tell stories based on the cards they have, attempting to accuse and defend themselves of often ridiculous crimes.

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The prompt

In more detail…

The game consists of Character cards and smaller “experience” cards. Character cards are partly a platform on which players can build their own stories- they have small details about the character which players can incorporate into their accusations or defences. The other purpose of these cards is to keep track of Reputation, which is represented by dots on the side of a card.

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A character card

Players are dealt hands of 5 of the small cards, which include Accusation cards, Motivation cards and Evidence cards. Any of these can be used to make a story more believable, and the amount of cards used on either side of an Accusation case contribute to which side will win the case.

While there is only one Accuser and one Accused, other characters can add to the story using their own cards. By doing so, they will risk losing a smaller amount of Reputation, but can also gain Reputation depending on whether they supported the winning or losing character of an Accusation case.

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Every player gets a chance to add to a case as well as do their own Accusations. The first player to get nine Reputation points will win.

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Card Operas is a fairly social game and is intended for groups of friends or even strangers. While with friends, the game might spiral off into drollery, it also endeavours to create a friendly environment where people who might not necessarily know each other that well can bond through a shared imaginative and creative experience. No knowledge about soap operas is required. The narrative of the game is created according to the players’ own knowledge bases and imaginations.

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Play testing

During the week we had to work on the project, I conducted three play testing sessions to test the game at various stages of it’s development. The game evolved greatly, but what was common between the sessions was that it was really easy for players to come up with ridiculous stories and create an environment of joviality.

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The paper prototype

Development

A predicament in making this game was choosing the best rules. During development, the rules changed a lot, so it was difficult to figure out what exact kind of cards I needed to put the time into making. I wanted story telling to become the main element of the game- an actual part of gameplay where you needed to try to tell the best story you could with the cards that you had in order to win. This was a pretty big challenge because the only way (at least in this age) to really judge the convincingness of a story is to get other people’s opinions. However, the other players are biased judges, especially with the dynamic of accusations being such an offensive act. Therefore, the game morphed and was no longer about telling the best story, but about quick improvisation. If a player can quickly tie the subject matter of their cards into the story that is being created, they will have more influence over how the game plays out.

I worked in a team of one for this project and drew the cards using a Wacom tablet as well as ink and watercolour. My first play testers were Sabaa Bismil and Eva Plesnik. The game was also played by various fellow second year Digital Futures students/instructors during the Thursday play testing session.

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An accusation in play

Going further

Making the game, I’ve become excited about its possibilities. While considering many different versions of rules, I discovered interesting opportunities to add more strategy into the game, which is something worth exploring.

I’ve also become excited about the idea of games that use a combination of logical thinking and creativity. These types of games could bring new players into the world of tabletop gaming, and are socially engaging forms of entertainment for people who want to do things together.

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Trying to bring something as intangible as story telling into a game was a really difficult challenge, but something that I believe can make a game really unique and replay-able and something that I’d like to try to incorporate into future game projects.

Try the game

If anyone is interested, here are some files you can print to play the game.

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card rules pdf

Climate Change

For my final coding project of the semester, I wanted to write something that would address the issue of climate change but still be fun to use.

The final prototype is basically a program that enhances a physical hexagonal tile game. Players move around a future “earth”, investing in houses that they hope won’t get destroyed by natural disasters. The program takes information from a weather database on the internet and creates a very simplistic simulation of future weather conditions, which influences the game difficulty.

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Digital element

 

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Physical element