Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lecture 5: 8Apr2010 Jogging over a Distance

Today you learned about Arduinos, phidgets, and the Wiimote as tools for creating Exertion Games.
 I have also shown you Jogging over a Distance as an example of a game without a screen.

Next week, we will all play your games, it will be a lot of fun, as you chose this course because you like playing!

After the lecture, I had some great idea generation discussions how to realize your ideas, a few comments for everyone to benefit from:

If you are more creative than technical, you should have no problem with this assignment: use your creativity to make the game fun! Technical people tend to make games technically impressive, but often boring to play! (Think of FPS that have the best rendering engine, but are boring!)

Just because technology is involved, does not mean that you can be ONLY creative with technology: for example, make people dress up when they play your game, that adds a 'fantasy' element to your game, without any technical expertise required.

So think about the things you learned: How can you add the '4 reasons why people play games'?
- Fantasy: dress up, or introduce a virtual ghost world, or ...
- Social: introduce multiplayer, ....
- Easy fun: give people something to explore, ...

Remember the 'Magic Circle'? Does your game become more fun by blurring the circle, for example play it in public? ...

Look at the other team's blogs to get ideas!
I have mentioned GlovePie and OSCulator as great tools to take Wiimote and BalanceBoard inputs as simple keystrokes that you can read with Flash.
Also, if you can simulate your game by using your mouse, you can automate it with AutoIt.

This is your chance to be creative.

Cynthia, you left early, if you still need some help let me know; send me your blog's URL so I can put it up and comment on it.
Luke, here is the Bar Game code if you are interested (but you probably want to do it in Flash).

Dean (?) about the push-ups: do some, and think what you like the best about them: then add 'fantasy', 'easy fun', ... Also about swimming=free floating: maybe someone can hold you up like floating while you are peddling with your feet (attached is a wiimote)?
Remember, it's not a tech competition, it's a game fest!

PS: Nick, you wanted some sig from me?
Luke, so if I attach your pen to my head, I can measure how high I jump just by looking at the screen how high the pencil brush goes? With AutoIt, I can then look for these pixels, and start different iTunes songs, so the higher you jump, the better the song gets!

UPDATE: I have updated the schedule and contributions page and hopefully made it more precise: Your first game will be demo'ed Week 6, 15 April. There will be only demos this week, no presentations. Depending on you team letter, you will demo in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd hour. (Feel free to demo longer, this is just to give you a chance to try out other games as well, not just demoing your own.) Your goal is to convince everyone that your game is the most fun, so use your creativity!
3 hours is quite quick for 15 games to play, but should be heaps of fast action fun!
Your second game will be presented at the end of the semester, there we will split it up across 3 nights.
I also forgot to mention that everyone is welcome, so please bring your family, siblings and friends, fellow students, everyone who wants to play your game! Bring your cameras!

Homework for next week:

* Comment on blog
* Report progress on your website
* Let the others play your game! (Be early enough to set up!)


  1. While jogging has never been a personal passtime of mine, it was really cool to hear about Floyd's design for jogging over a distance. The internet and mobile technology really have changed the way people can interact with one another.

    Great presentations by the two groups once again tonight. My personal highlight was Luke's IR graphics pen. I do own a graphics tablet but for those of you that don't it's a sweet little thing to look into. All of you however spoke really well and were very engaging, so congratulations.

    One other thing I'd like to mention was the head tracking technology with the Wiimote. Seeing the faux 3D was a real eye opener, and it really gets you thinking about video games delving into the 3rd dimension, creating all new ways to immerse the player. Who knows? Maybe in another 5 to 10 years, it'll feel like watching Avatar while gunning down aliens as testosterone fuelled Space Mariens.

  2. Very nice presentations this week. Would someone be able to post the sources for the wiimote presentation? I'm rather inspired to create some awesome wiimote novelty motion trackers now...

  3. Seeing the demonstrations and videos for the various technologies during today's lecture was a real eye opener. After researching Arduino and phidget it doesn't seem too far fetched that even I could make something awesome and gadgety. The stuff about the Wii, especially the infra red pen has me eyeing off my housemate's Wii mote.
    Thanks to Steph for her great cake even though she couldn't be there.
    Thanks to Floyd for his reminder about time management. For me it's an unpleasant but timely reminder with all these assignments raining down around me.

  4. The presentations were great today, very engaging. I loved the videos that showed how technology can be incorporated in so many ways of our life, as well as adding an extra element to exertion games.
    Soon our lives will be completely run by a touch of a button, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

  5. Great to see that we don't have to focus so much on the tech aspects of our game yet.

    Throughout today's class I felt completely lost as I'm not much of a tech person. No fault of the presenters though - I can see they were very well prepared and did lots of research - I'm just slow on the uptake.

    I'm just wondering whether a digital artist has to be extremely well-versed in the technical aspects of a game. I'm pretty much interested only in the creative process and the gameplay, and not too concerned about implementation.

    I understand we will be working alongside programmers and techies, but will I be able to survive in the industry with just basic knowledge of all these gadgets and things?

  6. Nice presentation.. i really like the idea about make display tablet with wiimote n the infrared..
    Thats cheap way to get a tablet for people who don't have it..
    Want to make "fun" game.. but sometime we dont know how to put some "tech" in that game..

  7. Most important thing from this lecture for me, thanks to Floyd for putting in perspective our time at uni. I know we should view it as time for our career but it can be hard to remind ourselves (me at least lol) so it was definately helpful.
    I was impressed heaps by the presentations by the two groups tonight, the amount of videos was useful and appreciated because they're so good for explaining things which are a bit more complex, by showing us. Also, the demonstrations of the infrared pen and the uses of Phidgets & Audrinos were particularly great because once again it shows eveyone how it works and how you can do those things, instead of just saying. When I grow up I want to know as much as you guys :P So yeh, definately appreciate it in terms of inspiration and getting some games.

  8. Steph,
    You raise an important point: Do artists need to know about technology?

    I believe, if you are an artist for _computer_ games, a firm YES. Most traditional artists in game companies already face having to be creative to come up with new pervasive games, such as on the iPhone and iPad. By the time you graduate, it will be even more. There is enough people out there who can use Photoshop, but if you can also say that you know what an accelerometer does, and hence know how you can use them to come up with more creative ideas, do you think you are a stronger candidate in an interview?
    You won't say: "I can design and program better than all your designers and programmers", BUT you CAN say: "I am no programmer, but I know how sensors work, and can hence talk to your techies, who can then help me realize my creative ideas. In addition, I know what the magic circle is, and can blur it because I know what tech can and cannot do, so I am able to articulate to your tech people what I want to create efficiently and effectively."
    Another candidate might say: "I am the best photoshop person, but I can't understand your technical staff."
    Who do you think they will hire?

    PS: I am by no means a technical person, I just realized that without me knowing about tech, I can't realize any of my ideas. When I asked my prof at MIT who can teach me microprocessors, he said (rightfully now, but initially I was bedazzled): "But there are books for that".

  9. Christian Dirk:

    todays lecture was a good come back from and easter break of partying. It was impressive seeing Luke and Nicks work, for them to set up such advanced tech was beyond me. However the group presentations wermt as emteratining. The presentations kind of came off as a sales pitch and it took far to long to even work out what people were talking about, that said last weekend was a blitzer and i may be to scattered to work out simple stuff.

    Peace Cdirk

  10. i found the presentation on Arduinos and phidgets very useful, this is purely because i didnt realise that technology like this existed in such a small device, i found it handy how that came if different sensors (how you have the knob, the button, the mixer etc.) im not sure if i could incorporate this in our game but this will definitely be useful for the future.

    i found the presentation entertaining through all of the videos, this was productive and also fun.

    i was amazed from how easy Floyd created that exertion game, i mean over one weekend when he has nothing better to do, he makes a game that we are given months to create. it just goes to show how much knowledge he has to recognise what must go where.

    looking forward for all of the presentations next week

  11. PS: I want you to learn what phidgets etc. can do for you. I truly believe you can learn that in 1 week. So if you invest 50 hours into phidgets, you'll have a big advantage in the job market and your future, and all that for 1 week!

  12. @ StephYeong- I feel the same way, I get sort of deterred somehow with how much technology we're learning about. But at the same time it's good to have some general knowledge of this kind of stuff, so at least when you get to the stage of working for a games company and such you at least would have heard most of the things before and are familiar with the more *popular* ways of implentation : )

    I thought todays lecture was great, I love hearing about different ways of implentation- even though a lot of it flies over my head I'm always impressed at what people can come up with using really cheap technology. Luke, your infra red pen was just awesome. Had me wondering just how many other things we could make ourselves rather then forking out hundreds of dollars. It also MAKES me want to learn more about phidgets and such, so kudos for going to the effort.
    The two presentations were really good, it's great to learn things from your cohorts- especially when they know what they're talking about.
    Steph your cake was delicious, I hope you're feeling much better :)

    Floyd, sending you an email now. Thanks!

  13. @ Cynthia S:

    I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who felt discouraged. But seeing someone else with a more optimistic outlook made me more determined to go read up about this stuff, so thanks for your direct response. :)

    @ Floyd:

    I understand. I'll try my best to catch on to the ins and outs of all these gadgets. I really do want to do well in the future and I agree 100% that this is the best time to build up on our knowledge and experience.

    *am now motivated to improve* ^__^

  14. Although I'm very tech savy with circuit board thingys and arduino and phidgets were like whoosh over my head it ended up being rather interesting to hear about the possibilities they offer...seem pretty good.

    Excellent presentations by both groups, handled the technology exceptionally well and I was absolutely amazed and must thoroughly congratulate Luke on his wii-mote drawing invention. Quite astounding. Certainly opened up my mind in terms of what a wii-mote is capable of in the right hands and hopefully people will utilise its potential.

    Finally, Floyd can we bring multiple game ideas to the games fest or not?

  15. Although I'm NOT very tech savy*

  16. Alex, one game is enough, remember everyone wants to play it, that's almost 80 people!

  17. Very interesting lecture. both presentations were really good. When I arrived home I started playing around with my wii-mote.

    Though, I'm really confused with one thing, as I was looking at our timeline for our class just now. It said for the 15th of April we do our game project demonstration yet the next week it's back to group presentations. Does this mean we all present on that day or only teams A, B, C, D, E and the rest don't present in the next lecture? Also I came across that on the 13th of May are the Game projects presentations and it runs for three lectures. I'm sorry to ask, but I'm just really confused, are we all presenting next week? do we have to have everything finish by next week?

  18. I'm also a bit confused. What's the difference between next week's presentation and the final presentation?

    Also, if our game is to be played in a big area and we have to document it in a video, won't everyone find it less fun watching a video (however interesting it may be) than actually getting to play it firsthand? I'm a little bit concerned as our grades are based on votes and I guess people are likely to vote on the best experience they had on that day.

  19. Hey Floyd, top lecture tonight yet again...
    The 2 groups that presented did it well as they made them quite entertaining and interesting...
    Arduinos and Phidgets seem pretty sweet to work with but I was most amazed today by the various contraptions made with the Wiimote as a tool such as the lawnmower. :P :)
    Anyway... my group H had a talk today; were meeting up and all to refine our concept and then will document it on sunday in a video :). However, as stated by others above; our game is also played on a large scale and just hope we can make the video as entertaining as actually playing the game. Agreeing with Steph; I'm also concerned about the marking system :S but suppose well do our best.
    And what exactly is the difference between next weeks presentation and the final presentation? What portion of our final mark is determined from next weeks results?

  20. UPDATE: I have updated the schedule and contributions page and hopefully made it more precise: Your first game will be demo'ed Week 6, 15 April. There will be only demos this week, no presentations. Depending on your team letter, you will demo in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd hour. (Feel free to demo longer, this is just to give you a chance to try out other games as well, not just demoing your own.) Your goal is to convince everyone that your game is the most fun, so use your creativity!

    3 hours is quite quick for 15 games to play, but should be heaps of fast action fun!

    Your second game will be presented at the end of the semester, there we will split it up across 3 nights.

    I also forgot to mention that everyone is welcome, so please bring your family, siblings and friends, fellow students, everyone who wants to play your game! Bring your cameras!

  21. PPS: If your game is played before demo day, and you will show a video of it, think of the advantages: yes, people can't try it out on the day, but you will have time to edit it, you can run it again if tech plays up on you, you can invite people from the press to take pictures of you playing, and can you add music to it. And you will have your webpage video ready to go! Both have advantages and disadvantages, look at all the great videos on the web (pacmanhattan etc.), don't they convince you that this is the best game ever?

  22. Thanks for the code floyd, much appreciated
    Lecture was very entertaining last night I really enjoyed the wiimote group. seeing the way it could be used in really practical situations like the vacuum and the lawn mower gave me many ideas. Like using the wiimote to control a remote control airplane?? or maybe even using a wiimote to control the limbs on robots... I also really loved the jogging over distance. having that extra pillar of motivation to really drive you on could really help some people who struggle to commit to exercise.
    But yeah excellent lecture
    Our team is catching up today to develop the bar game idea. Whilst floyd has touched the fringe of possibility, we are going to really try to bring the bar idea to new horizons. Just a thought... when did fps become boring?

  23. Luke, it's done in processing, but flash might be easier, you can use osculator with the balance board, but challenge will be getting a bar: can you buy an uneven bar second-hand from a gym? did you google gym equipment in the city? there are some that attach to doors...

  24. I think making a bar rig will be pretty do-able doesnt even need to be a bar, it could be made out of wood.

  25. just make sure it is sturdy enough, good luck!

  26. FYI: Just sent the invite to the 2nd years, some game companies, other lecturers and the Age.

  27. First and foremost I would like to applaud both groups for their presentations for they were not only enjoyable to watch, but really did open the door to the countless possibilities, out there, which can be achieved using the Wiimote, Phidgets and Arduinos. Seeing as I do not consider myself a ‘tech savvy’ person, I would also like to thank you guys for not excluding such people as myself and for expressing things in a way that was graspable and, in turn, enabled me to appreciate such phenomenal machinery. Though there were times where I hadn’t the foggiest idea what you were on about, the manner in which you incorporated the videos straight after each explanation clarified and turned- what once seemed like gibberish- into comprehensible English.

    Out of all that was introduced and discussed, I- quite frankly- found myself a little more engrossed in the finger tracking device more so than say… the vacuum. I know this may sound quite odd; on the other hand – inspite the guy’s attempts to make the design appear all astounding and everything- I, personally, found the actual invention impractical and no different to actual vacuuming; as it still required you to move in the same manner. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not denying the fact that such has succeeded in opening my eyes to another implementation technique, because it was good in that sense. However, with the finger tracking device, I saw it was being something that could – when programmed in a certain way- really benefit those who were disabled or bedridden by giving them back some of their independence. I don’t know what its like to have such control snatched away, yet as a result of my brother’s illness I have come to recognize the exasperation that accompanies being bedridden; along with the feelings of being a massive load/weight upon another’s shoulder. For that reason, by creating something along the lines of the finger tracking device and by connecting it to other such machinery, it will allow the individual to regain the control, which was lost as a result of the illness/accident; and do so without having to ring any pathetic bell or press any maddening buzzer. As mentioned before I know very little when it comes down to technology and implementing technology so yeah…I might just have blabbed on something that is either totally irrelevant or totally impossible, but nevertheless I can at least say that I blogged 

    Ps. I apologize if the above doesn’t make sense…just been a really LONG day

  28. I def had a great time with the two presentations. I never had an idea on how many different things the wii could do with some tweaking and this little boards!

    I really want nintendo to come up with a game that uses that 3D movement with the screen... EASY

    Imagine a metroid/FPS that uses that!

    And the pen that Luke got together was freaking beautiful. Imagine being able to do that with a huge projector screen with an ultra high resolution. The cursor should move constantly at any part of the screen (the led light should always be on when use with a on/off switch) and the pen should have two buttons (left and right for multifuntionality) when clicked then the pen can be then be used as the brush/tool

    For even more precise definition on where the cursor is pressed more wii motes could be pointing at the screen from different angles just in case anything is blocking the led light from the pen :)

    What makes me think now:
    Imagine a wii mote with this capacity!

    I think that this presentations were great in many different aspects, and I wished we looked at this kind of stuff way before to have better ideas on how to make our games... way sooner.
    -Paco (Francisco Jose Casares)

  29. @ Paco:

    I guess by Nintendo you mean the Wii, but anywhow I heard that they are planning to release the 3DS. If I'm not mistaken, it's the old DS with head-tracking capabilities to create that 3D effect. I so want one! :(

  30. i really like the presentation of Johonny Chung haha
    those video really help to get me into the presentation. i will take note on that. Lots of great ideas throwing out at this lecture. they expires me of how games can be!! the jogging idea actually bring game to long distance and i really like it LOL.

    ps. the maker is tricky!! good one

  31. Excellent lecture. I doubt I have been more wow-ed in a span of three hours in my life!

    Firstly, Luke's pen was......well..........gorgeous.

    The person sitting next to me actually stared in disbelief as I struggled to close my open jaw. Enough said.

    Second, I was also amazed at the enormous possibilities one could encounter with the likes of Arduino and Phidgets. Knowing that you can do as the group quoted 'just about anything', made me realise how these small bad boys can make all of our lives easier in the games industry =] The demos that were pulled off proved to me of their simplicity once one gets the hang of the basic understanding and concepts of such techy stuff.

    I myself am not an extremely techy person, and to respond to previous comments, I too can share that sense of fear when being forced to realise how much tech we're learning. But hey, as Floyd pointed out, if it's gonna help us a heap in our careers, I'm sure we can all spare a few hours to gaining the 'upper hand', via a few tutes and self-experimentation with such technology?

    Also, I wasn't fully aware of Wii mote's capabilities. I'm so desperate to lay my hands on my sister's now!

  32. Some crazy stuff going on there with the Arduino boards. I'm really impressed with the way people are using the Wii remote both in the videos and Luke's legendary demonstration. It's getting me thinking about how people are going to take things even further with Wii motion plus, Sony's weird Wiimote and Natal. Of course I really dont see people's home creations as being overly practical in most cases (vacuum cleaner guy, I'm looking at you) but there's no doubt they are going to be extremely important in empowering the average person to invent wild creations without all the red tape holding back large companies.

    All these guys making contraptions in their garages are able to think outside the square because there are no time restraints and essentially they aren't in it for the money - they are doing it in their own time because they love it. I think the combination of easy and widespread access to technology such as the Wii-mote and the ability to showcase the idea to millions on YouTube is going to mean we're going to keep seeing more and more of these homemade technologies actually being picked up and sold to larger companies.

    Power to the people yo

  33. Good lecture. "Jogging over a distance" went from "meh" to "hey, awesome" when the surround sound/heartbeat element came into it. Also, that tiny PC was pretty rad. Pull-up bar log-jumping thing was also pretty awesome, I would play it.
    Luke's infra-red pen was awesome, as is anything that Chung dude does. It's kind of annoying to me that he came up with that headtracking system years ago and nobody's made any games that use it. It would actually make the Wii an interesting platform for FPS. I guess developers don't see Wii owners as having a lot of interest in that particular genre, but that's probably a mistake, since a huge number of people bought the Wii initially on the assumption that people would do all kinds of interesting things with it, rather than just waggle waggle waggle. Interesting fact: Microsoft developed a motion control system for the 360 which was essentially a more advanced Wiimote. It was fully functional, but they decided against announcing or releasing it in favour of developing a different approach to motion control with Natal, partly to avoid giving the impression of simply ripping off Nintendo. Sony, meanwhile, is doing basically that.
    Arduinos are pretty rad, and you should all use them.
    "I'm just wondering whether a digital artist has to be extremely well-versed in the technical aspects of a game. I'm pretty much interested only in the creative process and the gameplay, and not too concerned about implementation."
    Pretty much yes. Ideas are cheap, and developers do not hire people just for those. Programmers and 3D artists are also capable of having ideas.

  34. exelent lecture this week ..

    mmmm... the pen was brilliant !!!

    honestly,jogging game that u showed us for me it just so boring ...(im wondering why people want to play that ?? oo come on, it just running zzz )

    hey floyd.. i got some recommendation to you ...can you next time show us about exertion games that really cheap and fun ?? because when u give us an example about that games you always show us something with laptop involved ...while u give us budged just 100 buckz/team...

    just imagine how if that in 1 team there is no one has a laptop, no one has a mobile phone, no one has a headset , no one has a wireless mouse ... what technology can they put in their game??

  35. The lecture was very impressive.
    It was surprising to know how Wii controller can be utilized.

    I have questions.
    How hi-tech should the game be?
    Are light bulbs and a simple switch enough?
    And how much should we rely on technology?
    Can we have a human judge in the game, instead of AI?

  36. Junki, Fandi,

    The budget was meant to help you, not restrict you: of course you can spend more money, or use borrowed/existing equipment from wherever you can from. Remember, the goal is to impress the others and get in the paper.
    I have a very cheap example of an Exertion Game:
    "The Mousegrip" on the website: I built it for <$15.
    I am sure you have some tech available, too, how else do you play your games? You will need to invest in your career at some point though, unfortunately there is no free lunch.

    You building an exertion game is to teach you about gaming for your career. You learn best by doing yourself. So if you build a game without technology, this might help you become a PE teacher, but not so much a game designer. Having said that, you also do not want to become a C++ programmer. I think it is important to know WHAT tech could do for your games. So you need to know what tech CAN do, and what it CANNOT. You don't need to know HOW an accelerometer works inside an iPhone, BUT you need to know WHAT it measures and what it does NOT, in order to be able to design a game for it.

    After all, you like COMPUTER games, not BOARD games, so this might also realize what the power of the computer is in this fun equation: You might think it is just pretty pictures, but board games also have pretty pictures, and by not allowing a screen, you are forced to think about these other things that make COMPUTER games so exciting.

    If you have more questions, I am here to help.

  37. PS: and don't forget, you can always get a subsidized laptop from the department, and we hve phidgets and arduino boards and sensors and wiimotes for you to borrow.

  38. OK, have done some more thinking:
    You can also always ask me if I can lend you some stuff: I have a bluetooth arduino, webcams, a long VGA cable, high-speed cameras, muscle stimulator, etc.
    You can also borrow a projector from AV services I heard.

    Luke gave me an idea for <$100: (Luke, please add here what you thought about it): Go to BigW and buy some of those small trampolines for indoor use, attach a Wiimote to the bottom, link it via Osculator and Midi to a sound program like Nick did (that's just a few clicks with osculator), and bang: the higher you jump, the louder/weirder/... the sound: heaps of fun for kids! Get 2 together, and create a song!
    Remember, the game can have a specific target group!

    Good luck,

  39. I really like jogging over a distance. How it would let you jog with others with out having to meet up first and jogging with someone on the other side of the world is awesome and would also be good for jogging with a friend even just a few suburbs away.
    I think it would be a successful product if it was developed so that it was less bulky and cheaper to make and maybe different modes having the standard keeping up the same speed (hart rate)then also maybe having ones like a race mode both players have (time 2,5,10.. ,min) to exert themselves the most.

    All the crazy stuff you can do with Phidgets, Arduino and Homebrew is cool playing around with them would be a lot of fun.

  40. Does anyone know where I can buy/borrow a pedometer at an affordable price? I'm not sure about the price range and where to get one. My group needs two so we are trying to keep it within the budget.

    I heard at sports shops and the Reject Shop. Is this true?

    Help would be very very much appreciated :)

  41. OK, On Friday night I went out to Rollerama (roller skating rink) because i'm cool like that, and was thinking that the jogging over a distance could probably work there too... its not as great a distance but when theres heaps of over people skating around you, sometimes it's hard to find your friends!

    I also had another game brainwave, while skating, which came about because one of my friends was wearing a huge blonde mullet wig, which we all set out to steal off him and then eachother. This was great fun but caused a lot of accidents because you were constantly looking behind you (if you had the wig) to make sure no one snuck up and stole it off you. The jogging over a distance software would have saved a lot of bruises because you would have heared if someone was getting closer... but it also would have been broken through people falling over (I didn't fall over... not importent but I was kinda impressed I didn't cause everyone else did). Maybe theres a way to protect the hardware better, or maybe using a simple electronic beeping with a game like that.

    It would be realy cool if you could use the jogging over a distance hardware in a game like hide and seek, but instead of measuring your heart rate it would probably just measure proximity... but you would wear a headset and microphone so that your breathing would be amplified if the person got within say a couple of metres... and the closer they got the more sensitive the mic!

    I'm glad people got excited about phidgets and arduino! I certainly got a lot more excited over the possibilities with wiimotes!! I know its been said above a lot but that pen that Luke made was AWESOME!

    I hope everyone's group assignments are going well =D

  42. Steph,

    Jaycar had some, and rebel sports. you can also strap a wiimote on and measure the acceleration with osculator

  43. Before Thursdays lecture I had actually already watched the video of Jogging over a Distance on Floyd’s website and I think it is an excellent idea. Being a fairly active person (or at least I was before starting this course lol) I understand how helpful it is to have someone to exercise with, whether it be at the gym, in the pool or going for a run I find I will always perform at a much higher level if I have someone there to motivate me. Having said this I fully agree with Floyd’s statement that we are much more likely to go for a run if there is someone knocking on our door on a Sunday morning.

    Both presentations this week were very entertaining and well thought out, I particularly enjoyed Luke’s pen demonstration however this would have come in handy a few weeks ago before I bought my own Wacom tablet lol. Not being a very “tech-savvy” person like some others I found the descriptions provided for both the arduino and phidget devices extremely useful and the range of additional devices that can be linked to arduino and phidget was simply mind blowing. Kane and myself were somewhat excited by the possibilities these devices provide and went to JB hi fi to look at some of the switches available that might be useful for our game.

    Over the past few weeks our team (Team D) has had trouble coming up with one solid idea for the game, however after Thursdays lecture and a much appreciated discussion with Floyd we have managed to decide on a game that I am confident will be a hit at next weeks exhibition. Without giving too much away, the game is basically a mix of our push-up idea and swimming but…there is no water involved.

    Here is an interesting video of an exertion type game that I know most of you will enjoy and funnily enough it is very similar to one of my teams discarded ideas….

    Cheers guys

  44. phidgets and arduino were awesome ...

    but the problem is we don't know how to use it and im not sure we have enough time now to learn bout those things...

    and until now i still haven't figured out how to make a FUN game that CHEAP ..moreover ,when we have to put technology on it ...

  45. Dean, the Headbang Hero should have been your idea! ;-) Awesome!

  46. Props to the arduino + phidgets group that was a really sweet presentation. Im not an overly tech savy guy but going through the endless web pages full of dif wiimote applications while researching for our presentation really got me excited.

    While looking for things to cannibalise for my Imaging avatar in an opshop i found a keyboard for $5 so i'll be googling dif ways people have used them as input devises other than conventionally, like gerrard mentioned and playing around with that.

    I'm also tempted to buy a wiimote when my laptop is fixed to try some of the applications for myself.

    heres something i thought related to exertion games.

    i also thought by combining the things we've learnt about arduino/phidgets and the wiimote we could make things like a teddy that moves in response to wiimote comands.

    Also with the wiimote i read something that i think eliminated the need for a computer in wiimote applications. Using a USB converted to receive bluetooth signals, i think there was a video tute on how to do it tho cant be sure because i cant watch youtube videos (curse ancient web browsers). I'll try and find a link.


  47. First and foremost a massive applause to the presenting groups, both of your speeches were very educational, clear and concise. I don’t think I’ve ever learnt so much about hardware so quickly, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever learnt about hardware before, but still extremely good job!

    Now onto talking about jogging over a distance, this system of competitive nature aspiring exercise is great, I think the idea has allot of potential to be implicated into a real professional sport. Imagine of you could get the readings so precise that when the Olympic games came around athletes could practice against their opponents who are in far of distance countries.

    This lecture really sparked also of new different ideas for our game, me and Dean took a long walk around the city brain storming “See a Need Fill a Need” looking for the types of people that would need to make something boring into a game, and also the types of people who do things they enjoy but have no way of making it into a game. Such as the Head banging idea and making picking up rubbish a game.

    I really think your right about Head bang hero Floyd but we thought most people wouldn’t enjoy that movement, I myself thought a game were you get to Mosh would be amazing as I enjoy getting nutty at gigs but have no reason to get nutty at home, and it does make you feel good, like playing air guitar while jumping on your bed to your latest favourite song.

    This weekend I have learnt a tone about the effects of music on people, I was trying to study the way crowds change at a show I went to on Friday Night, which was “House Vs Hurricane” an amazing Tech Core band. When the show began people were realising so much of their anger and frustration through dance, singing and mosh pits. Some people also have a love for hardcore pitting I personally don’t see the appeal in punching and kicking the guy next to you but some people like to do that to.

    After the gig I noticed that even the toughest of guys has a smile on their face as they walked down the street. Completely off topic, it was an amazing show and I found myself screaming the words of my favourite songs into the air.

    My second case study was on Saturday when I somehow ended up at a 15 year old girls Birthday party, let me tell you these girls go ape shit for Wii Dance and Sing Star. I think they could play for days on end and not get tired of it. I had a go at it myself and got my but whooped, I think they had a very good advantage on me being so young and quick to mimic the Dance moves of the character on the screen. It seems that this activity not only is keeping them happy and healthy, but also breaks down social barriers really quickly, I felt awkward around them until I had a go and then I felt like one of the pack “Of 15 year old girls” how embarrassing.

    I think it has something to do with the silliness that makes everyone so friendly it creates a very pleasant atmosphere and drains out almost all the seriousness from the room.

    This is most certainly a similarity I found with the Tech Core gig I was at, when the more fast paced Tech Beats came from the Keyboard and everyone began to dance stupidly all the tension drained out the room and it wouldn’t matter who you were you would be happy and friendly, until the breakdown and then offcourse angry dancing would return.

    I think happy exertion and angry exertion, through things like dance could be one of the most important implications in any games, to me I think it may just be one of the most enjoyable and mind easing thing’s after a hard week of uni, it most certainly reminds you the worlds not as serious as we make it.

    Hardcore gaming is going the wrong way in presenting themes of escape, it should be all happy run around make believe like a 15 year olds birthday party, or throwing a temper tantrum like a 5 year old who dropped his ice cream cone because really who wants to grow up?

    What do you think about all this Floyd? Got any ideas for a game that captures this idea of dance Exertion whether it is angry or happy

  48. Late reply, terribly sorry juggling multiple balls here.

    I'll keep this short and sweet, based on what the groups presented. I feel somewhat disappointed in what Nintendo decided to not do with the wiimote/motion sensing technology. They practically shot themselves when they ignored what the indie developers could do with their peripherals, now they have to face the same devs who are now backed by Microsoft.

  49. Kane, I think DDR has this nicely covered, there are so many clones, Idance just came to Australia through exergaming-australia...

  50. I've finally got around to reading this blog entry and all the comments, and all I have to say is... wow. I'm really glad you guys liked the pen! :)

    I must concur though, that it is pretty awesome. I've had plenty of fun playing around with it, and in addition to drawing directly to Photoshop from the monitor, I have been experimenting with the IR pen's use on simple Flash games, and doing some basic modelling in Zbrush. In all regards, it works like a charm. I highly recommend putting one together.

    As requested, here is the link to Johnny Chung Lee's website:

    There you will find videos explaining how the 'Wiimote Whiteboard' works, and how you can construct an IR pen of your own. A totally worthwhile endeavour, in my opinion.

    In regards to the untapped potential of Nintendo's hardware (I use homebrew apps to draw on my DS as well!), I wanted to mention something I had hoped our group would get to discuss in more detail during the presentation. That topic being the value of large companies embracing the homebrew scene, and actively legitimising and cultivating homebrew activities. I think of the success that Apple's app store has been for homebrew developers, and then think of how great it would be if Nintendo were to embrace the same philosophy.

    Now, to address the rest of the lecture: I was very intrigued by Floyd's jogging communication device. As someone who has recently moved to town, I am very thankful for communication technologies like Skype. While I never really jogged with anyone back in Sydney, I must say, I did like hanging out with my friends there. Consequently, I appreciate Skype more so than ever, because I can chat with my friends, but it's unlike being on the phone with them. I find that there is something unique about being able to sit back with a beer and chat with my friends over a conference call. There is just something about it that is not too far removed from actually being in the room with them. Sure, the real thing would be better, but when that's not an option for me, technology like Skype is really appreciated. While Floyd's 'Jogging over a Distance' may not be something I would find myself wanting, I can definitely appreciate the market for such a device.

    I was very interested in Group 5's presentation on Phidgets and Arduinos, and I'd really like to try my hand at using them at some point. I wish I had more to comment upon other than that, but the fact is, the presentation was so clear and concise that, well, all I have to say is, "Thanks for the cake!"

  51. @Floyd:

    Floyd said:
    "Luke gave me an idea for <$100: (Luke, please add here what you thought about it): Go to BigW and buy some of those small trampolines for indoor use, attach a Wiimote to the bottom, link it via Osculator and Midi to a sound program like Nick did (that's just a few clicks with osculator), and bang: the higher you jump, the louder/weirder/... the sound: heaps of fun for kids! Get 2 together, and create a song!
    Remember, the game can have a specific target group!"

    Thanks Floyd! I like this idea, and it's potentially something our group could use for our exertion game as well. There will hopefully be a fair bit of jumping around involved, and adding some funky sounds to the game would definitely heighten the experience for all involved. Both players and audience.

  52. Kane, Dean,
    have you thought about holding breath in swimming? That's exerting, especially when combined with push-ups!

  53. First, I'm very surprised that every week there are better presentations showing up. This time even machines came up to the stage!! argg just how much knowledge do i need for this course XD

    At any rate, though it will be tough challenge to learn about technological stuffs, as Floyd insisted, we need to have decent amount of knowledge about them to work in conjunction with other team members in the future. And i also deeply considered about the fact that the modern industry requires employees with mult-tasking skills. Hence, it's better to know more. Since i'm positive about this industrial demand, the two presentations contributed me to be informed about easily approachable machines that can be implemented in games. And i really enjoyed and was fascinated through the entire lecture! Especially, those phigets and arduinos were enormous. The presentation surely enlightened us as well as showed us another path to advance our abilities.
    Keep up the good work! Cheers :D

  54. no Floyd we haven't, were trying to avoid mix the Tech with the water but we could some how add that into our on land swimming game...

    btw if your interested I uploaded a video of a test I ran on our idea for a noshing game to my blog.. its super bad vid quality but its al-right.

  55. Sorry, late comment, but I was just totally blown away by last week's presentations. Whenever I see things and parts like the Arduino or Phidgets my mind just goes blank and I can't possibly imagine myself being able to use such things, but seeing as how the groups presenting have already been able to utilize them really made me think, maybe they aren't as difficult to use as I thought. Programming and coding has always been a fear of mine.

    Good job to the groups that presented!

  56. The presentations from the two groups where great. Even though I don't understand at the moment exactly how the arduino and phidgets work, and they aren't really currently implimentable in our game, its good to know that these cheap little devices exist, something to keep in mind for future games. If anything, I think it would have been more benificial to know about these earlier in our project, so that ideas that might have been pushed aside as being unimplimentable could have got a chance. But great job guys!

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