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‘Survival’ is the name of the game
Children learn about surviving for a day as a frog, a mouse or a fox when visiting the Lee Valley Visitors Centre in Walthamstow. ‘Survival’ is an inter-active game controlled by the ‘Puppeteer’ from Xor Systems, in a large interactive centre included in the building, called "The Waterworks".
Designed to fit within the centre’s objective of focusing on the nature and wildlife found around the former Water Treatment site, the game gives the players a chance to ‘survive’ as a local creature in a world full of hungry predators.
It offers random selection of creatures – one player will be a worm, the next (maybe!) a fox, and provides an instructive, educational element, while appealing directly to children. The whole game is brought to life through the creative use of sound and light.
The complex game concept and detailed illustrated graphics were designed and installed by Bremner & Orr. The Puppeteer software controller was chosen because it provides the logic behind the game, along with the means to control the buttons and lights, and the sound effects.
Mick Orr, Museum and Exhibition Designer says, “Deadlines were tight on this project and I knew from previous experience that the Puppeteer team would be able to meet those deadlines, without cutting corners, and whilst maintaining the necessary level of creativity. In this case they even gave me a ‘2 for the price of 1’ solution, as the technology within the Puppeteer was capable of driving two games at the same time”.
An important element of the project was the ability to build the game and test it away from the Visitor Centre and fit it once all the components work reliably. With the game under test in the workshop, the game's creators could refine the logic of the game and experiment with sound effects.
Xor System’s ‘Puppeteer’ is ideal for this kind of work. It is a simple computer designed to respond to signals from the real world – pressure, touch, light, movement etc.. It adds interest, life and drama to games, through the judicious use of sound and other sensory stimulants such as light, smell and smoke. Puppeteer has the added advantage of being easily reprogrammed (from a distance) to change the effects on a daily basis if needed!
‘Puppeteer’ is programmed in Java and is capable of storing complex affects as standard WAV files – as used on a Windows PC.
The combination of the exhibition design skills of Bremner and Orr and the computing and electronic skills of Xor Systems resulted in an unusually effective game.
Xor Systems Ltd 01285 582998
Bremner & Orr 01453 840199 http://www.bremnerandorr.com