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  • mikesusol 10:46 pm on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    WagerBall Thesis Draft 

    Thesis Sentence draft 01: This project will be a mashup of a traditional mechanical tabletop game that explores the boundaries of wagering and transactional socialization by utilizing real-time digital feedback.

    Thesis Sentence draft 02: Wagerball is a tabletop soccer penalty kick game (in the tradition of foosball) that uses various digital sensors to track, log and report gameplay status and scores.

    Thesis Paragraph draft 01: This project will use a Soccer penalty kick scenario to invite player interactions. Allowing players to “commit” to a “bet” via a third party application and using digital feedback directly related to the outcomes will create an opportunity to observe the social patterns of wagering with digital funds vs. real world cash. Will players feel compelled to bet more money at a higher frequency once they have the ability to complete a transaction online using digital currency, coins or other rewards or will they choose to use discretion as if they were playing with real money? This is a question I hope to answer after watching players interact with my project.

    List 3 “big findings” that came out of the evolution of your prototypes: 1) The mechanical elements need to be scaled properly to ensure fairness in the play experience, specifically for the goal keeper. 2) Asking the defender to change the arm positions of the goal keeper prior to the penalty kick adds an element of chance. 3) Adding a “shot clock” increases the pressure on the shooter and simulates the stress of a real penalty kick situation.

    List 3 differences between your work and that of prior art: 1) My project combines mechanical gameplay with digital sensing whereas most tabletop games encourage purely physical play. 2) My project connects chance, skill and digital wagering. 3) My project can be configured and presented as a DIY project.


    5 Questions I would Ask the Perfect Guest Critic:

    1. How could I improve the form factor of my project?

    2. Do you think I should allow the defender to move the goalies arms up and down in real time?

    3. Do you know anything about wagering and gambling laws and regulations in the United States and abroad?

    4. How could you see this being played? By what age group and in what environment?

    5. Do you like the simple retro sounds and gameplay mechanics or should I strive for more realism (e.g. chanting crowds, music)

    I would love to get feedback on the playability of my game and my exploration of wagering dynamics.

  • mikesusol 8:50 pm on April 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Bag Toss Prototype 

    These are my initial prototype sketches for a digital scoring and wagering system that can be used with the popular bag toss yard game “cornhole”. I need to do more research re: RFID signal strength and range limitations. I might need to find an alternative.

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  • mikesusol 8:37 pm on April 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Domain Mapping 

    1. RFID score keeping / bag toss yard game

    2. RFID score keeping w. proximity based wagering

    2. Classroom noise level monitor/display (with consequences!)

    3. (waterproof) digital shower memo taker/karaoke that pushes voice notes to computer

    4. Movable objects that track user sentiments in a physical/architectural space

    5. Empathy vs. sympathy display or physical object (explore the relationship of emotion and compassion to inanimate objects)

    6. Extra Steps. A set of stairs placed somewhat arbitrarily in a public space that challenge/encourage users to exercise. Device at top allows for donations, stat tracking, story telling or data collection.

    7. BQE pollution tracker (based on weather patterns and location)

    8. Some way to track and visualize foodstuffs (ingredients) in house (via barcode?)

    • Mike 10:16 pm on April 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The easiest part of this exercise was thinking of all my interests and the most difficult part was organizing and editing them. The Venn diagram is deceptive in that it forces you to consolidate your thoughts. My two favorite concepts are the gaming/wagering project and the classroom noise monitor. My two least favorites (currently) are the pollution monitor and the extra steps installation.

  • mikesusol 8:11 pm on April 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Open Heart Robot combines the openHeart LED with a 5V pulse sensor to facilitate a special kind of communication. The boundary between human and robot is blurred as the user sees their own heartbeat represented digitally on the robot’s chest. The anthropomorphized features of the robot, combined with the illusion of controlling the beating heart, invites users to connect and respond to an inanimate object in a very human way.

    Further development is required to connect the robot’s speech mechanism to a corresponding range of heartbeats. A BPM result that is outside the normal human range (>65 or <140 BPM) for a sustained period of time will prompt the robot to declare “You are one of us”. If the robot detects a human-like heartbeat (66-139 BPM) it will say “You are not a robot”.

  • mikesusol 12:27 am on March 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Robot prototype 

    I finally received my Speakjet from Sparkfun so I spent some time carefully soldering that together so I can get my bot speaking. Not as simple as I had hoped. I’m still building and testing the components to make sure they will all fit and work inside the robot. I prototyped a few different sets of eyes based on the input of my classmates. One option is to mount the LEDs externally in plastic caps and another is to enclose the LEDs in little fabric “dumplings” to stitch inside the head. Both options create a different effect so I’ll keep testing. Ultimately, I think I’ll commit to mounting the LED heart inside the robot – it gives off a nice glow behind the printed black fabric. The pulse sensor is still giving me a little trouble so I need to work on the mounting situation in the robot arm. After that… code, code, code…and more code.

    • Yury Gitman 4:13 pm on March 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Mike, if you are getting to much light “bleeding” from the eyes you can: 1) put a higher resistor on the LED so it’s more dim OR 2) make the dumpling smaller or 3) explore a way to stop light bleeding from the edges like a different dumpling material….?

      • mikesusol 4:23 pm on March 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Yury. Hope you are feeling better. After testing about 15 different eye configurations, I finally committed to using the clear caps on the outside with a higher transistor rating to dim the LEDs a bit. Using the LED dumplings inside the head produced a cool effect but after some user testing people preffered the look of the externally mounted eyes. I’m now trying to make a similar decision about internally or externally mounting the heart LEDs. I’ll bring my prototypes to class on Monday.

  • mikesusol 10:28 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Mike Susol’s Midterm Journal Entry 1 

    While developing my mid-term project (name TBD) I was met with a few challenges. The first challenge was to come up with an idea that fit within my coding skill-set and budget. Since this pause of the project is exploratory, there was a certain leap of faith on my part so I could order my electronics from Sparkfun and source materials from other vendors. My goal is to design a stuffed robot “toy” that uses feedback from an embedded pulse sensor to control embedded LEDs in the shape of a heart. The concept is that the “robot” (through a series of pulse control tests) wants to be convinced that you are human. It was difficult to configure the size of the robot without all of the parts in my possession. Working from the dimensions provided online I could reverse engineer the first prototype. Once I get all of the actual parts, I’m sure that I’ll be making modifications as needed. The choice to order my fabric from Spoonflower early was a huge help and the quality of the printed fabric was a pleasant surprise.

  • mikesusol 5:38 pm on February 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Push Buttons (x2) 

  • mikesusol 12:58 am on January 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    BFA in Graphic Design. Multidisciplinary designer (print, motion graphics, 3d modeling, animation, architectural branding, experiential).

    My favorite childhood toy: Legos (and fire)

  • mikesusol 12:47 am on January 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Mike Susol 

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