Midterm project: Save the eARTh !

Midterm project: in the making + final product 

I started by making a drawing of what I imagined my final project would look like. As you can see in the image below, at first, I wanted to make four arrows so that the bear in the game would move from right/left and up/down. However, when programming the game, I realized that it would be a better choice to only make it move from left to right (also more realistic since a bear doesn’t just float)

Afterwards, I started making a prototype of what the arrows would look like. I decided to make a “switch” inside every arrow. So each one of them, is made of two layers of cardboard. Each layer is covered in aluminum paper (the inside part of the arrow since both layers are placed one on top of the other). Between the two layers are placed small pieces of cardboard so that the two layers don’t touch each other. On top of the aluminum paper (of each layer) is taped a wire. One of the layers is then the movement (that is going to be triggered) and the other one is the ground. Therefore, because the cardboard is flexible enough, when the middle part of the arrow is pressed, the two layers of aluminum do touch each other, which triggers the wanted movement. After being pressed, the cardboard goes back to its initial place.

   

After making sure that my prototype works, I started designing the game on scratch. In my opinion, this was the hardest part!! It was already challenging learning to work with the makeymakeys and alligator clips so upgrading to designing  a game on my own was not easy. Fortunately, I was able to get help from Mia Gauthier-Gasse who had already worked with scratch and could therefore give me tips and help me making the game. I first started by choosing a background, character and then drew the green gas (looks like a green cloud). At the beginning I followed Scratch’s tutorial on how to design a “chase game” and it was very helpful. I followed the instructions carefully until the end but I thought it was enough and took it to the next step. I added a score and added 2 additional backgrounds (one for the title and the other one for the end of the game).

When the game was almost ready, I started making the final arrows product. I found some old cardboard boxes at my job and took them home to cut it into 4 arrows. I used aluminum that I had at home and was lucky enough to find wrapping paper in class! It was long to make because I had to make sure that the movement was really going to be triggered and I had to be sure of that before wrapping the arrows in the green wrapping paper. When working after class hours in our class, I encounter a problem regarding the wires. For some reason, when I plugged them on the back of the makeymakey board, it did not work. I tried finding a solution for a while until a classmate suggested that I put the wire where we usually put the alligator clips and it worked! From then on it went faster and was able to finish cutting the needs length of wire, stabilize them with tape and therefore wrapped the arrows. At the last minute, I decided to add a rectangle piece of green cardboard so that players know where exactly they have to press on the arrow to trigger the movement.

  1. Taping the wires on the inside part of the arrows

 

3. Adding the small pieces of cardboard to make sure both arrows don’t touch each other

4. Adding the rectangle pieces of green cardboard

5. Final version !! finished 

Unfortunately, I don’t have the video of the game working because we did not have time to exchange videos last class before this crazy situation started (I believe you have it on your cellphone).

I am very happy with the final result and am proud of myself. This is my very first interactive art project and my first time working with makeymakeys and scratch. I am a lot better than I was at the beginning but still thinks there’s a lot of  room for improvement. If I had to re do it, I think I would try to design my own background and character. I wanted to do it myself for this project but realized it would be too much since understanding how to use basic tools like makeymakey and scratch was already very challenging.

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