Friday, March 19, 2010

Cheap way of hooking up treadmill with game

Great video!

Lecture 3: 18Mar2010 Madness

Today you have learned how to do an elevator pitch: present your idea in 1 minute.
You got feedback from the entire class of very smart games people, so make use of it when refining your game!

Next week, Gerard is going to visit, from, and he is a very smart young individual who is both, artistic and technical, so perfect for your needs, and he will give you more ideas how to develop hardware for your game easily and cheaply. Also, second years will come help and support him.

Thanks today for the engaging presentations, I hope you all learned from them.
Next week, there are no presentations, so a break.

Thanks for participating in the Madness session, I hope you got plenty of useful feedback.

My general feedback for all of you would be that you tend to make too much: you are trying to create a game for the hardcore gamer that needs to entertain for 20+ hours. Exertion Games do not need such a design approach, they can be much simpler; because the body is involved, people use their development for bodily skills to make it harder themselves. You need to think more like your 6-year old sister: she does not need much, a simple idea is enough. Ask: why would she play it? You do not need to design a 20-level game, not even a full level, but 1/10th of a level. Keep it simple, try it out, as mentioned last week, the art is to design something where you can add, but can't take anything out.

I have just been to a Fulbright reception, and I met the owner of and, they do work with football clubs and the Australian Institute of Sports, and they have rowing machines and cross country skiing simulators, and they are interested in adding gameplay to them to make it more exciting; if you want to work with them for your project, please let me know and I'll get you in contact with him, I am sure he is happy to show you what they've got, and we could ask for a loan for the duration of the project.
Homework for next week:

  • Prepare work to do while Gerard is helping other teams!
  • Comment on blog
  • Report progress on your website
PS: I just had another idea: did you notice how super slow the elevator is? We could make a game that entices people to exercise while waiting for it: if you jog on the spot, the elevator will get there more quickly! How it works: we put another display on top of the 'what level the elevator is on' display, which reads the number via OCR and a camera. Then we always add 1 or 2 to the new display (so if you are on level 2, and the elevator is on 4, the display will say it is on 6), but when you jog, we speed up the numbers, so it appears as if your jogging makes the elevator arrive quicker!

PPS: Come to think about your projects madness again: I really would like to encourage all of you to use your artistic ability to come up with something crazy! Remember, you want to get in the paper/TV, and what they want is not the best game, but a crazy idea that is east to understand (and describe) in 1 minute. And I would also like to encourage to think more about the essence what you want to achieve. Lastly, target groups: it's ok to create a game that is only playable by your little brother, or only for people over 2m, or ...

For example: if you want to create a long-distance jogging game, think about the essence of why you like it. Do you achieve it in the costume game?
If you are after something else (quick turns, sprints), make it 'crazy' by attaching the tails to police officers.
Lastly, if you want to do the hanging-on-bar over animated river with wooden logs passing by game, you can just say that every player must be smaller than 1.7m so you don't have to adjust the bar.
Hope that helps,
keep up the good work,