animation, graphics, games, and other projects

Archive for April, 2006

CMU’s Spring Carnival: Magic Kingdom Monorail Racer project details…

24th April 2006

Carnegie Mellon University’s Spring Carnival was this past weekend. I’m always impressed with the quality of the booths made by the student organizations in such a short amount of time. Highlights this year were the Star Wars Death Star from Sigma Phi Epsilon and Arabian Nights from Kappa Delta Rho:

SigEp's Star Wars booth exterior KDR's Arabian Nights booth exterior

The games inside displayed some impressive engineering efforts such as Sig Ep’s “Force Pong” game, where you waved your hand over a screen to hit the virtual ball back at your opponent. KDR had a magic carpet ride where you leaned left and right on an actual carpet to control a virtual carpet through a 3D world projected on the wall. You can tell these things were a collaboration between students from a bunch of different disciplines.

This reminded me of the game project I worked with a few others for Phi Kappa Theta’s Magical Kingdom booth at Carnival in 2004 (my final year at CMU):

Magical Kingdom booth exterior

The Magic Kingdom Monorail Racer challenged the player to race a monorail car around the interior of the booth without running out of fuel. It was unique in that it combined a typical joystick controlled videogame with objects in the physical world – in this case a real RC car. Custom hardware circuits were developed to interface the PC game with the real world to accelerate the car, toggle lights in the booth in response to game events, and sense when the car crossed the finish line. I have posted more technical details, screenshots, and movies on Monorail Racer’s project page.

Below is a video and some pictures of the game in action:

guest player Monorail Racer game

Monorail Racer lost fuel tank

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