Polymechanon Science Park

Conceptual design & development of a number of gesture-based interactive exhibits for children incorporating science education simulations. 2008-2009.

makebelieve design & consulting designed and developed digital exhibits for the POLYMECHANON, a unique interactive educational gaming centre in Athens, Greece, stemming from the Educational Technology Lab of the School of Philosophy at the University of Athens. The POLYMECHANON opened to the public in September 2009.

The Wobble Board

The ‘Wobble board’ game involves the interaction between the composite weight on a 5x5 meter floor and a virtual board balancing on its centre (Figure 2). Changes in the measure and the location of the composite weight results in displacements of the virtual wobble board. Up to twelve players need to collaboratively move on the floor board so as to move the virtual board accordingly; the goal is to displace a number of balls so that they drop into a number of fixed holes on the virtual floor. The players need to gain control of how the virtual board moves so that they can try and get the balls rolling on it in the holes. In order to do that they need to negotiate how they will move themselves on the board. The ideas of forces, balance, weight, location and direction are embedded in the game which has various parameters such as simulated friction of the balls on the virtual floor, depth of holes, collision rules, etc.

Full-body games

Four full body games (Sorter, Duck and Jump, Color Shooter, Meteorites) designed and developed by feedtank, in consultation with makebelieve.

The 'Sorter' game embeds the idea of a field where objects appear at the top of the screen and move at constant speed towards the bottom. The user can influence the objects by 'pushing', hitting or even holding them steady on the screen. There are three fixed rectangular 'bases' spread along the bottom. Each one represents a category of object. If a moving object drops on the base representing the category it belongs to, a point is scored. If not, it is ignored.

The players have to quickly decide for each object which base it belongs to and move it so that it drops on that base. A key design point is that there are too many objects for one player to be able to make decisions and act on them.


The Shuffle Puck

The Shuffle Puck resembles a game of floor hockey. The Shuffle Puck was coordinated by makebelieve and designed, developed and installed by GestureTek.

Visit the Polymechanon website.

Credits

Production Coordinator
Dr. Maria Roussou, makebelieve

Technical Production Coordinator
Dimitris Nastos, makebelieve

Tags: Interaction Design, UX Design, Museums & Culture, Interactive Installation, Game