A game built as an arcade cabinet for the retro game fair in Sweden, Gothenburg 2018. Two players battle it out, each controlling a snake-like finger picking boogers, all built into a physical, interactive nose.

CAD for cab?

Tidsvåg is closing in with only a couple of weeks left. I’ve had my hands full with projects at work and life stuff, but I’d really like to iterate a little on the projects I’m going to exhibit there. First off, it would be really cool if I could make a new cabinet for PickaBoog.

Some time back I got in touch with a department at my job which uses industrial robots to 3D print furniture. The idea is that I contact them and see if they can throw together a cabinet for me, given that it’s a bit to big for the printers in my workshop. So I finally found some time to cad on a nose for that eventual print.

Tidsvåg – a game party

I forgot to post about this but something really fun came up towards the end of last year. Elisabeth Tegner, pioneer in creating game education and legend, have moved back to town after many years of adding to the game scene in other places. She is going to arrange a multi culture game party at the annual science festival in town and I was recommended as a participant somewhere along the way.

Now we’ve been in touch quite a lot and the plan is for me to showcase the old Enbarr and PickaBoog once again at the event. I think it’s going to be great! : )

A ha…ve something to say

Three days at the AHA festival, much less preparation than I planned for, high risk things wouldn’t work as intended and lots of fixing on site. While the cardboard arcades worked pretty well throughout the event, Enbarr went from not working at all to working almost 100% throughout the days.

The day before the first day, the prep day, we discovered that one of the main sensors didn’t work, rendering all the chairs useless. I got an idea, brought soldering equipment and spent the noon of the first day fixing them on site. It worked, so then I had two chairs running, enough to allow racing. A third chair didn’t work, but on the second day I had the printed materials for the final chair and this one worked, so then we had three chair. We never got the fourth one working, but I had a look at it during the third day and I’m pretty sure of what caused that, so it will be an easy fix for next time. All the software just worked as intended, which is a miracle and not to be expected when it’s barely been tested.

Regarding the cardboard cabinets, while they worked fine they were a hassle to pick up and down. Reason being; they had all their circuits and such just hanging from temporary cables under them. On the second day we hot glued everything in place and figured out ways to jam things in place using the natural cavities of banana boxes. Some great iterations were made on the standard cabinet, I think there will be a future video explaining all the things I’ve learned on how to make them. : )

Only thing remaining now is to figure out what to do with the boxes (pick them apart or save them for a little while) and to edit the video material I recorded into a new Enbarr and Pickaboog video. : )

Festive(?) setup

Today we spent the morning building and preparing in the workshop, moved everything by car over lunch and then spent the rest of the day setting everything up at the venue.

Among things we did in the morning were four brand new cardboard cabinets, I really have a hang of making them now.
We also glued the old PickaBoog back together. It’s alive again! Though, the game is not filling out the screen, resulting in it not looking very good. Anyway, it’s good enough.

The prints from yesterday were done as well, one came out good (the accidentally too high detail, and thereby ridiculously long print time, one messed up, of course) and it looked above expectation so we had time to print another one before we left for the venue. It’s a shame they will be hidden in duct tape beneath a chair. : )

Some of the materials that we were promised we could use to build our installations seemed to have been stolen for other activities and installations, so I eventually stole them back after having spent some time looking for options. In the end, I think our presentation was good. Erik Fagerberg whom I originally built Enbarr with also came by and user/wear secured all the chairs with plastic straps. He also discovered that they don’t react to back pumping (the interaction to move forward), yikes. I got an idea of what the problem was and brought them to the workshop. In theory, I have them working again now. Guess we will see tomorrow, at the first day of the exhibit. I’ll just have to bring soldering equipment to the venue.

Prepping for AHA

It’s been a busy day… Tomorrow we’re moving our things over to the venue, so I wanted as much of the hardware to be prepared as possible. Luckily Gabriella was helping out, so we got some things done at least. I realized the PickaBoog nose was a bit more picked apart than I remembered so it took a while to get the functional parts running again.

To summarize, today we have:

  • Managed to reconnect the PickaBoog fans to the Unity game, we still don’t have all the pieces in place though
  • Started the prints of the boxes for the Enbarr chips.
  • Soldered all the Enbarr chips so that they are reconnected with new cables and look alike.
  • Soldered all the Enbarr chair back sensor cards so that they have audio jacks.
  • Felt a bit anxious about working late into the night and feeling that time is running out.

Oh well, there is still a fair chance that it will work sufficiently well.

Visiting the venue

Today, me and a colleague who is also showcasing something at the festival visited the venue; a large, indoor atrium at Chalmers, the university where I studied. We had a look at what types of materials we had to work with, got key cards with access to related spaces and talked about various other things with the planners and project leaders.

Most of the day went into scooping out the space, and there isn’t much time left. But it’s still doable. : )

Better with Bubbles

Got word that these beauties were available at a local cheap brand store from a partner in crime of some of my projects. I instantly felt they would make for the perfect upgrade of the sneezing effect and bought one per nostril. :)