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Prototyping the Sand Table - Sand Table - Part 1

 ·   ·  ☕ 2 min read

I’ve recently moved into a new space and could use some furniture to help fill the space. I’d like to create some interesting objects that can help do that and this is the start of a test project to see what we can build.

The main idea I’m working with here is a game embedded into a coffee tables surface. We’re going to be prototyping a game concept in Unity first before investing into building out the physical game. This has a few handy advantages: 1. Software is free excluding my time where hardware has a cost. 2. It’s a lot easier to iterate on software then physical objects you are manufacturing. Once we’re able to design something that will fit well into the table we can put together a physical design that will let us translate the virtual project into a real one.

The game itself is intended to combine some Fourier transforms with some basic obstacle avoidance. You’ll manipulate two spinning arms with one attached to the other. The goal is to navigate the ball at the end of the arms through a series of gates to allow you to continue the game. Because the arms are different lengths and spinning at different velocities you can create unique spiral patterns while playing the game and it introduces a bit more complexity rather than just simply moving in and out to avoid obstacles.

This is the first part so we’re still working to figure things out.

I should also mention, I’m figuring this out as I go. I don’t know what will work and what won’t. We’ll be poking at most of the Unity stack for the first part and learning electronics as we go (they’re not something I’m that familiar with). Debuggers, random tangents and project redesigns await.

Check out Line Wobbler by Robin Baumgarten, a 1-D dungeon crawler made with an LED strip.

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Sam Wronski
Sam Wronski
Maker of things and professional software engineer. Lets make something awesome together!