The maze is an interactive game for two players; it teaches how the correspondence of two sets of basic commands can unite to form an intricate path. The goal of the game is to lead a ball from beginning to end of a course by tilting the main board of the game, situated on two axes. Each axis is controlled by the players who are not opponents, but a team working together to bring the ball all the way to the end without dropping it in to holes along the path This game requires and empowers fluent communication and compatibility between the players.
When we created this game our main objective was to bring people together by creating a common goal that can be reached only when two participants work together in perfect synchronicity and rhythm
The Maze was made by my partner Or Shoval and I, as our final project for a Fab Academy course in 2015. Since this was an individual project we each made it in a different way, Or used light sensors for his controllers and I used an accelerometer. To make the game more intuitive I thought of a direct action-reaction controller, I wanted to create something that a person would know how to use without being given any directions or explanations. I also wanted to make the game fun, one that would make the player want to play it over and over again. I placed my sensors on the bottom part of a box with a curved bottom. The sensor was connected to an Arduino Single Board MicroController and gave it input information about the angle of the board, the Arduino was also connected to a Servomotor that would turn its handle according to the angle in the eccelerometer, moving the board game and allowing the ball to move.
To create the game we used CNC-cut plywood, Plexiglass we cut in a laser cutter, 3D parts we modeled using Rhino software then printed, and a mini Arduino shield designed with Eagle software fabricated on a Madela CNC.
Since I'm a beginner coder (and might stay one) I like to use codes I can understand and relate to. This is one of the reasons I used the Eccelerometer-Servo controller. They are connected in a linear way and the simplicity of it appeals to me on more than one level, something I hope the users will feel as well. The code was very simple since the operation was very clear, all I had to do was copy the movements the player made while standing on her/his controller and transfer them onto the board. To do so I used Map function that would convert the input from the sensor to the output of the motor.
We've had the opportunity of presenting The Maze in a few venues like the Mini Maker Fair that took place at the science museum in Jerusalem, a DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival presenting interactive innovations related to smart objects and interactions and other tech related exhibits. We've had excellent response from goers of all ages, and had some interesting collaboration offers and even a few potential buyers. Since our goal wasn't commercial we decided not to pursue this path.
We understood that even though The Maze was made and working well there is always something to be improved; Characterization of a suitably challenging path, an efficient way to collect and return falling balls and a smoother, a working code that would be in perfect sync with the controller. My extended plan is to develop this project as an educational tool for kids and teens, promoting team work and empowerment.