Asteroids (2013)

The classic game of Asteroids, rendered by laser on a floor

Solo work. I wrote all the software and did all the sensor integration and fabrication.

A Microsoft Kinect also mounted overhead tracks the position of the player as they roll their chair around. The ship always appears on the ground directly between the player’s feet, as the asteroids drift all around. The player holds a mobile phone which they use to fire missiles.

Gameplay is frenetic, because the player can’t see the entire game at once. He’s constantly spinning and rolling around the play space to blast asteroids coming up behind him. This is also a great game for spectators as well, because everyone watching wants to let the player know when they’re in mortal danger.

Two upgrades I always wanted to make to this game was to put the player in a wheelchair instead of a rolling stool or office chair. Too easy! Of course, a wheelchair requires both hands to operate, so I’d also replace the missile-firing button (on the screen of the mobile phone) with a microphone. When the player makes peeew-peeew! sounds, the missiles should fire!

Admittedly, very few people ever got to play this game (which was a promotional attraction for our Los Angeles STEAM Carnival). However, we did film Nolan Bushnell (creator of Atari and the originator of the Asteroids game) playing.

project image