Video Puzzle is an interactive installation that combines physical and visual feedback to immerse the user in a puzzle game. The installation was designed to create a fluid connection between the stages of the Locarno Film Festival and its connected popup exhibition at ‘La Rotonda’. The combination of the physical interaction - standing on top of the light emitting pad - and the visual interaction - the video game projected onto the wall – engages the user on multiple levels, creating a fun user experience. The light source was specifically chosen to mimic a spotlight in order to build tension and excitement within the game experience. The final outcome of the installation is one that creates a fun, joyful experience, yet also leaves the user intrigued to find out more about the context-specific content.
Video Puzzle has two main elements to its interaction modality – the physical element and the visual element. The physical element involves four ‘light-emitting pads’ placed on the floor, each one associated with one part of the visual element – a video clip. The light-emitting pad is activated every time the user steps on it, and the corresponding video that is associated with the pad, is played on the screen. After viewing all four clips of the video, the user then has to the press the “play” button in the centre of the exhibition space in order to progress in the game. The user then has to step on to each pad in the correct order, in order to complete the visual puzzle.
The overall experience of this installation can be broadly classified into three main sections that are sequential and cyclical.
The overall structure of the cabin and the lighting of the pads are designed to evoke curiosity in the users. In this phase of the experience, the user are encouraged to explore the space by moving around and interacting with the various elements.
Once the users have understood how the space reacts to their actions, they enter the next phase of the installation which is the gameplay. This shift in the phase is communicated to the users via a change in the colours of the light pads, content on the screen and audio feedback. In this phase, users begin to collaborate with each other, enhancing the playful nature of the experience.
In this phase, the users have finished exploring the space and successfully solved the puzzle. This is a moment when information linking the installing at La Rotunda to the Locarno Film Festival can be shared with the users.
Video Puzzle uses 4 sensor pads containing a proximity sensors and LED rings attached to the inside that are connected to an Arduino controller. For the animation of the visual content on the screen, data received from the Arduino serial port is used as a trigger. Once triggered, the visual elements on the webpage are animated using the Gsap library.
The game mechanism works by randomizing the index positions of values in an array, with each value assigned to a clip. These clips are then triggered by sensor pads which correspond to each array index. The mechanism has to sections the exploration section, wherein the user can access any clip in any order and the game play section where the clips have to be arranged in sequentially.
Research and Development Context
The project was developed as a starting point for a potential interactive installation at the Locarno Film Festival and necessarily will be developed further to be fully realised. The project originally envisioned spotlights in the main physical interaction, which were substituted for light emitting sensor pads due to practical constraints. Additionally, the installation is capable of running with an array of media outputs other than film, something that would be intriguing to explore further. Video Puzzle has the potential to be crafted to fit a plethora of circumstances, allowing for a great range of final outputs.