fysisk design kegler

Physical Design: Designing a game

Andreas Hammer Uncategorized Leave a Comment

This course served as an introduction to designing via prototypes and iterating through your concepts to come up with a great product. Furthermore, concepts such as wicked problem solving were introduced and used as an approach to fulfill the given assignment.

The assignment given was to design a family game. There were some initial constraints, and the course strongly hinted towards involving physical exercise.

We used a bunch of techniques to define our challenges and design goals, such as brainstorming by following IDEO’s 7 secrets for the perfect brainstorm.

  1. Sharpen the focus
  2. Playful rules
  3. Number your ideas
  4. Build and jump
  5. The space remembers
  6. Stretch your mental muscles
  7. Get physical

I won’t go into detail here describing these points, but if you happen to use brainstorming once in a while, it’s definitely recommendable to read up on The Perfect Brainstorm.

We came up with an idea that builds on the popular danish kids game called Kick the can. We called our product the LumiCones

Two identical cone-shaped objects equipped with lights that change between green, yellow and red with a static interval. Furthermore, a vertical line of diodes that gradually shrink towards the bottom of the cone when the cone is lying down.

One of many games that you can play with this is a variation of aforementioned Kick the can. This game works best outside.

Two cones are positioned with an appropriate distance from eachother, and one person is assigned as “it”. The cones are switched on so that one cone lights up red while the other one is green. The players can then go hide, and try to kick the can. However, only the LumiCone glowing green is eligible to free the player. This adds some dynamics to the gameplay and forces “it” as well as the players to move around more, so as to avoid the person who is chosen as “it” to camp around the can.

A gameplay video can be viewed here.

Note that this video is recorded early in the process, so it’s using our functional models. The way we came up with our game was to first make some low fidelity prototypes to test our concept and whether the game was even fun at all. We built some rapid prototypes using an arduino, some diodes and an empty soda bottle. After playing the game we decided it was worth to move forward with (in the real world we probably should have tested with the target audience, but that was beyond the resources of this course).

We started brainstorming on the design of the thing, and carved some suggestions using model foam. Here’s what we came up with



The functional model


Foam model









Combining the two, we end up with the product shown in the first couple of videos.

The course has served as a fun introduction to working with physical models and design iterations. Honestly, this isn’t reflected in our final prototype, but the process of working through design iterations and using physical models to evaluate concepts and ideas has been a great experience.