Interactive Magic

Main role: Software programmer

A game made during the final round of the Building Virtual Worlds class at the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). This was one of the 17 worlds which made it to the BVW Festival, a by-invite-only event open for industry people, ETC alumni, and guests of the students.

Interactive Magic Video demo


The Design


Interactive Magic is an music experience for one to four guests, which incoporates the Pittsburgh night view. Guests control the music, lights and visual by stepping on buttons on a custom built floor mat, and touching custom made hanging orbs. The lights and visual effects are all affected by the beat of the music.

The design prompt for this game was to create an interactive, immersive and re-playable experience for the BVW Festival, with as high a throughput as possible. That wasn't much of a criteria, so we looked at our team composition – we had a kickass artist who could also VJ, a sound designer who composed really well, and a programmer interested in hardware. From there, everybody agreed we wanted to do a location based music game, which led to the birth of Interactive Magic.


The Tech


HARDWARE

The touch sensitive orbs were aluminum foil wrapped styrofoam balls with metal tape on non-conducting black tape. The aluminum was connected to one end of the circuit, and the metal tape to the other, so touching an orb completed the circuit. The steppable mat we had the same structure as the one in King of Smoothie.

A Makey-Makey was used for both the orbs and mat, modified to send bit strings instead of key presses. This ensured that the computer could receive inputs from all 8 buttons on the mat and 4 orbs at the same time, without worrying about a key press limit. The LED lights were controlled via an arduino.

SOFTWARE

Unity3D was used to interface with all the different components, triggering the music and lights. It also signalled a specialized VJ software, Resolume Arena, to handle the visuals. The code can be found here.


The Team


Sarabeth

Sarabeth

Producer

Sarah

Sarah

Programmer (software)
Prop designer

KJ

KJ

Programmer (hardware)

Emily

Emily

Sound designer

Yen

Yen

Artist


Download the soundtracks


We have 2 tracks available for download: Garbage Mountain, and Genius Mountain. Both tracks were composed by our sound designer, Emily, and yes, we know they have *interesting* titles.