Author Mark Strelow.

In “micro,” the player must click and drag to position a line, and release to cut through the core group of cells. If the drawn line passes between a cell and the center of the group, that cell will be separated. The severed cells will move away from the center perpendicular to the line drawn. The goal of the game is to keep at least one cell alive for as long as possible, by cutting off an appropriate number of cells to deal with approaching enemies.

Part of the challenge of the game is shooting in the correct direction, but allocating an ideal number of cells can also be difficult. Red enemies absorb 10 cells before exploding and absorbing any cells within this wider radius. Packs of blue enemies grow larger as they get closer, and fighting them always takes 5 seconds. If you have fewer cells than their group you will lose the fight, equal numbers will result in both groups being depleted, and having more will result in less casualties on your side. Thus, you want to allocate enough cells to win the fight with minimal losses, but (if you sent too many) you might not have enough in the core group for other tasks while they fight.

You lose the game eventually no matter what, so the goal is just to survive as long as possible. A time of 30 seconds is average, over 60 is good, and over 80 is very impressive. The enemies’ spawning time is a bit randomized, so it is possible to get lucky (or unlucky) in a particular round.

I can’t quite get the executables to work after download because something with the minim sound library isn’t working. In the meantime, here is the dropbox link to the code:

Source Code

Mark Strelow – Staring Contest Fighter – Final Proposal

I have had the idea of making a simple fighter using somewhere between 2 and 4 buttons. The basic idea is that, if a player is able to react quick enough to an opponent’s attack, they will have the opportunity to get off an attack of their own. When we started talking about face tracking, I thought it could be interesting to have the idea of a staring contest. My original idea seemed like it might encourage people to stay still, because if they failed an attack they would be left open for a counterattack. I think that including the idea of a staring contest would add a factor that forces the two players to eventually engage.

Planned Milestones:

November 11: Get the general layout for the fighter down.

November 18: Get the blink detection working.

November 25: Combine the two in a way that feels balanced.

December 1: Finish everything up.

Body Game (Mark Strelow)

A game where you have to perform certain basic tasks, and you are rated on the amount of symmetry you are able to maintain while performing the actions. For example, if you need to pick something up, you need to move both arms together to complete the task.

Voice Game (Mark Strelow)

A narrative game where a narrator reads the story, but certain key words are left left unspoken. As the player, you have to say these words, and depending on certain aspects of your speech, the progression of the plot is affected. I’m not sure what would be checked, but maybe the tone and speed of what you say will determine the changes.

Face Game (Mark Strelow)

A staring-contest fighter where if you blink, you are left vulnerable. Possibly the other controls are mapped to face movements as well, but not necessarily. You have to stay focused and react, while also making sure not to blink. The fighting would be simple, maybe just one button to attack and one button to defend.


A platformer entirely controlled by face movements, where you blink to jump. If the face recognition is good enough to do this, the environment would change very slightly every time you blink, so that you might not notice it at first, but over time the changes build up. Maybe different mouth movements control running speed, like smiling makes you run faster and frowning makes you stop.

Lonely Pizza (Mark Strelow and Luo Yi Tan)

This is the prototype for our analog game. It uses two slide potentiometers. One controls the character’s hand, and the other controls the temperature of the pizza. The hotter the pizza, the quicker you can eat, but the more likely you are to get burned. If you move your hand away too quickly, he will drop the pizza, so you need to be careful.

This game is about a man that never leaves his home, but has a crush on the woman who delivers his pizza. Seeing her increases his motivation, so you want to finish the pizza as fast as possible to be able to order another pizza and see her again. If you take too long, however, his motivation decreases. The goal is to increase his motivation so that he eventually talks to her.

In the current prototype, only the pizza-eating gameplay is shown. The story elements of the game would be implemented through small cutscenes, after each pizza is finished.

Link to the Processing and Arduino code:


One Button Ball Battle (Mark Strelow)

This is my prototype for a one button game (but it’s actually 2-player, so uses two buttons). The two important buttons are the ‘a’ key and the space bar.


Moving makes your ball bigger, staying still makes you smaller. If you are bigger than your opponent when you run into them, they will shrink and you will grow a bit. Additionally, being bigger gives you greater velocity, so you can hit harder, but have to be a little more careful.

If you become too small or fall off the platform, you lose. Try to stay moving and hit your opponent at the right times!


The application and source code is available here:


No Tech Game: Kraus Campo Checkers

by Mark Strelow, Luo Yi Tan, and Collin Burger

What you need to play:

  • up to 5 teams with 2 people on each
  • a beanbag (or other small, throwable item) for each team

(It is more convenient with more beanbags, but only 1 beanbag is necessary to play.)

Basic idea:

Each team designates one member to stand on the board (player A), while the other member traverses the orange tiles of the garden’s pathways (player B). Teams take turns, with player A from each team throwing their beanbag onto the board. Whatever number it lands on is the number of spaces player B must move. If a player B from one Team X lands on a space occupied by Team Y’s player B, Team Y is knocked out.

How it works:

  1. Each team designates a member to be player A, and the other is player B.
  2. Teams throw their beanbags onto the board, and the team that gets the highest number gets to go first.
  3. Player B from each team disperses to separate corners of the garden’s orange pathways, and chooses a starting space and a direction to start moving in.
    • The ‘spaces’ that player B moves on are dictated by the small grooves in the orange pathways.
    • For the start of the game, none of these players should be within 10 spaces of another, which should not be a problem if they are well spread out.
  4. Player A from the first team throws his or her beanbag onto the board.
    • The players from the other teams can attempt to block the throw, as long as they do not leave their spaces.
    • Player A moves to stand on the board tile that his or her beanbag lands on.
  5. Player B moves forward according to the number player A’s beanbag landed on.
    • Any 9 or 6 should be regarded as a 6.
    • A zero causes player B to turn around.
  6. If player B lands on a different team’s player B, the player that was landed on is knocked out.
  7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 for the next team, and so on. Continue until there is one player remaining.


This game is meant to make full use of the garden, and create a communication between the player on the board and the player on the pathways. From the board, it is difficult to see exactly where people on the pathways are, or how far away from each other they are. Thus, player A might need player B’s help determining what number to aim for. At the same time, the nature of what player A is doing makes it a game of skill to get the desired number. So the teams need to use skill, planning, and cooperation to try to win.


City of Play – Mark Strelow

Play Your City Challenge:

My experience with the City of Play was rather interesting. I began by doing the Play Your City challenge, which started off very interesting. We first got into groups, and then held a brainstorming session to come up with a way to make the city “playable.” There were some really interesting ideas generated from our brainstorm, however most would require much more time and resources than we had at our disposal. I felt like we settled with a “doable” idea because we wanted to get something done in the couple of hours that we had, rather than exploring the really cool ideas more thoroughly. We ended up putting posters in certain locations that encouraged people to take a picture and tag it with a certain hashtag on twitter. The idea was to get people involved with the city and with other people that might visit the same places, but there was no real incentive to taking a picture and I don’t think anyone actually did.

Other Games:

After this, I played a few other games, but the one I found most interesting was the “Witness Protection” game. In this game, cards were handed out to a large group of people, and each person was assigned a role depending on what card they received. There was one witness, which happened to be me when I played, as well as a group of people trying to protect the witness, and a group of townspeople. Hidden among the townspeople was a murderer. It was the job of the witness protection group to hide me and keep the murderer from finding me. If 1/3 of the townspeople found me and hid with me, the game would be won, but if the murderer found me we would lose.

It seemed like a similar game to “mafia” (which is, if you don’t know it, a spoken-word game played in a turn based manner, where the hidden mafia try to kill the townspeople without being killed themselves). However, because this Witness Protection game was not turned based and involved a physical space, it seemed to have the potential to be more exciting.

Unfortunately, the game was rather boring for me as the witness. I hid in the bushes for a while, joined by one member of the townspeople before the murderer eventually found us. I think the other players of the game were a bit reluctant in some ways, due to the rules of the game not being very well explained. I think, if the person in charge of running the game had known the rules very well, instead of being a bit confused like the players, the game might have been very fun and strategically interesting.

I think the small problems I noticed were not with the game necessarily, but with the planning. And I noticed this with the various other games I played as well. As a fun experiment I think the games were great and I had a lot of fun trying them out. On the other hand I think the organization could be improved to provide a more satisfying overall experience. One example is the Roaming Gnomes game, which I thought was a very cool social game, requiring people to interact and talk to each other to translate their directions. While the game was fun, the process of checking whether or not the players had succeeded was a bit slow and, at the end of one game, was entirely off. Apparently the answer key for this particular game had been lost or incorrectly printed. Playing through an entire round, only to be told that you “probably” did well was a bit unsatisfying.

Overall, it was cool to experience new games with strangers. Usually, when playing a game (especially one where social aspects such as talking or strategizing are the focus), I am at least a little familiar with the people that I am playing with. Being unfamiliar with the people as well as the games made for an interesting experience, and I enjoyed it.