A game not for a rainy day
SUNTRIAL was featured at the 2011 Come Out and Play Festival on Governor’s Island.
SunTrial is a fast-paced strategy game based around light collection. The game is played on a field with 5 checkpoints and uses custom solar-powered game pieces (Sun Disks). The Sun Disks allow teams to collect sunlight and easily track their scores. Two teams compete by exposing their side of the Sun Disk to collect light. Players must be careful, however! Too much sun exposure causes the dial on the disk to reset, costing the teams valuable points.
Rules of the Game
Objective: Two teams of light collectors, Orange and Blue, fight to get the most points across 5 sun disks by exposing them to sunlight.
5 checkpoints on a field arranged in an x, with a disk at each checkpoint.
There are 8 players, 4 on each team.
Each game round is timed.
Time is kept by a referee.
Each disk has an Orange and Blue side.
Each side has a solar panel and a score-keeping dial.
The sun-facing side collects light, which causes the dial to advance.
To change your score, expose your side of the disk to the sun.
The dial ticks up to 6, then goes back down, so watch out!
Check on all your disks by running around the playing field.
There is a tagging zone around each checkpoint.
You can tag a player on the opposite team while they are in the tagging zone in order to stop them from interfering with the disk.
When you tag an opposing player, you both have to leave the tagging zone!
You can’t guard the disks.
You can’t visit the same checkpoint twice in a row.
At the end of gameplay, the number on your dial is your point value for the disk.
Add up the total on all the disks for your final score.
putting the game pieces together:
Sundisk is a competitive team-based game about capturing light.
Game pieces: solar-powered disks spread on the ground.
Each disk has two functional sides, with counters (powered with motors that receive their power from sunlight) dynamically displaying the teams’ scores. The goal is to get your counter to move from 1-5, but not past 5. If it moves past 5, it resets to 1.
Side A powers Team 1′s counter, Side B powers Team 2′s counter.
Capturing enough light triggers the motor to turn a bit and increment the team’s counter.
Players need to run around and flip disks over to catch light advantageously for their team.
The team with the most points after a period of play will win the game!
Strategy enters into the game because each disk will have a solar panel on each side. Team counts can go up to a point before they start going down again. Players will have to determine what will be more beneficial for their team: flip the disk so that their team is gathering light (and hopefully gaining points) or flip the disk so that their opponents are gathering light (and hopefully losing points after passing the threshold).
Metrics for success:
Becky and I have fairly simple metrics for success:
* Do our disks function? The circuitry is just a simple miller engine, so we want to build something that won’t break when roughly flipped. If our disks don’t function accurately and reliably, then we don’t have a successful game!
* Are our disks durable? Since we anticipate reckless flipping of our disks we need to carefully consider scratching and durability. Excessive scratching on the surface could affect how much light reaches the solar cells, so it is especially important that we choose durable, scratch resistant materials.
* Are the disks aesthetically appealing? Since the circuitry is fairly simple we think the look and feel of the disks should be exceptional!
* Is the game simple enough for pickup games? Games with a lot of rules have a higher level on entry for casual players. We need to strike a balance between simplicity and clear, challenging, compelling rules.
* Is the game fun? Perhaps most importantly, we want this game to be fun! If it’s not fun, then we will have completely missed the mark.
We are as of yet unsure what materials we will specifically use for the construction of the disks, but we know we are going to make a Miller Engine as outlined by Solarbotics. Ideally we’d like to use a dual-shaft motors inside each disk (so we can display team points on both sides of the disk), something like this motor.
Here is a list of possible parts for the miller engine:
* 3904 NPN Transistor
* TC54 Voltage Detector
* 4700 uF Capacitor and 4.7 uF Capacitor
* Dual Shaft Motor
* Solar Cell
* Shottky Diode
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Categories: Big Games, Physical Computing, Sustainable Energy, Uncategorized
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