[Week 12] Final project proposal – Ngoc and Maaz

Game concept

In our previous post, Maaz and I mentioned that we would be using Processing and Arduino together to make a game for our final project which would be similar to Tetris. However, both of us were not very satisfied with how we were using the sensors in our game. We thought we could find some ways to better utilize the Arduino components. Additionally, after the discussion session on Monday, we were pretty sure that we had to make tweaks to the game play.

We now have a new version of our game. This version is very different from Tetris but it uses most of the sensors in the same way as the previous version did. The distance sensor continues to be the most important resistor, while we have added a few new features. This version is an NYUAD-themed game, in which the player playing the game sees certain objects falling down the screen. These objects will be of two categories: objects which the player should catch and objects which the player should avoid. The player controls the game using the breadboard which has the distance sensor mounted on it (the entire things acts as a “remote control”). Towards the right and left of the remote control will be a frame (made of cardboard for instance). The two sides of this frame represent the endpoints of the game screen, and they help us determine how far the distance sensor (and hence the remote control) is from one end of the screen. Using this “remote control”, the player’s position can also be displayed on the screen for the player to figure out how close/far away they are from objects that are to be caught/avoided.

The ground rules of the game are as the following:

  • Just like in the previous version of our game, this version will have multiple levels of varying difficulty. We plan to have four levels corresponding to four academic years, with each succeeding level harder than the previous one.
  • The player has to maintain two metrics of performances: academic performance and well-being. There are certain objects that are beneficial and objects that are harmful to a performance. You need to catch the good objects (which will increase your performance) and avoid the bad ones (which will decrease your performance).
  • Initially, both performances start at 50% and you need to take them both to 100% to finish the year and advance to the next academic year. If either of the performances reaches to 0, you fail the year.
  • If you fail, you are presented with 3 options:
    • You can either restart college (restarting the entire game)
    • Or you can restart the academic year (restarting that particular level)
    • Or you can drop out (exiting the game)
  • If you finishing all four academic years, you win the game (congrats on graduating)
    • You will be given a diploma and introduced to “other games” (Career, Graduate schools, might be coming soon (no they aren’t, we are not doing those for real))

Arduino – Processing communication

  • Distance sensor is implemented as a remote control:
    • The Arduino program calculates how far the remote control is from a vertical surface
    • The distance is sent to Processing which will map the distance into the player’s horizontal coordinate
    • An icon representing the player’s position on the Processing screen is updated accordingly
  • Processing will check for collision with items. If there is a collision, a signal is sent to Arduino to play a sound on the buzzer
  • When the player is presented with a screen that has options (for example, the starting screen can have Instructions, Start game, the ending screen can have Restart college, Restart the year, Drop out), the player can use the potentiometer on the Arduino to traverse the options and press a button when the desired option is selected to proceed.
  • Processing receives the signal from the potentiometer and maps it to a range to decide which option is currently selected by the player and communicates this back to the player by highlighting the option.
  • Two tricolor LEDs on the Arduino are used to communicate the player’s current performances, one to represent academic performance and the other to represent well-being. If the player’s performance in either is fulfilled (reaches 100), the LED(s) turns green; if performance is adequate, the LED(s) turns blue/yellow (?); and if performance is low (approaching 0), the LED(s) turns red.

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