The game, Puzzling, uses fiduciary markers attached to the participants to project virtual puzzle pieces at a designated distance. The players must, through any sort of bodily contortions possible, fit the projected images together to form a unified whole. No cheating!
The Gist of It
Puzzling is a creation born from a simple idea – Why do most augmented reality projections have to live so close to their associated markers? What happens when you toy with the spatial relationship between the two? How real can these virtual entities feel, and can they bring people closer together, physically or otherwise?
The game uses fiduciary markers attached to the participants to project virtual puzzle pieces at a designated distance. The players must, through any sort of bodily contortions possible, fit the projected images together to form a unified whole. No cheating!
There was an unusually grueling process of ideation involved in selecting a concept for this assignment. I knew I wanted to do something with AR and Open Frameworks… but what? After tossing around ideas ranging from digital masks to a sort of lilly pad-based frog game, I settled on the current puzzle design.
Testing proved to be an enjoyable sort of chore, constantly adjusting variables until something resembling an interesting puzzle emerged. Due in part to time restrictions and in part to the maddening experience of learning a new library, programming environment and language all at the same time, a few features didn’t make it into the final version…
• Detection of when the pieces actually align
• Puzzles with more than 1 piece per person
• Puzzles for 3+ players
• Puzzles that encourage specific physical arrangements, like standing on shoulders or side-hugging.
• Mirroring and High-Res support
The final version of the game is relatively simple, but thoroughly entertaining. Despite the technically frustrating lighting conditions of the final presentation space, visitors stuck with the game for quite some time, a few even managing to successfully match the pieces!