Final Project: Completed!!

Alright, so we finished the game!

(I assure you, me winning those games was a total fluke, Jackie thoroughly kicked my butt 9/10 times)

Overall, this was a pretty difficult project. Based on our shared experiences coding little games in Processing, the final project wasn’t too difficult to complete. It was the journey getting there that was difficult. The most difficult thing was trying to come up with¬†something that felt like it was enough. Did it seem… final project-ey?

If we had significantly more time and access to a computer with Bluetooth (that didn’t get incredibly grumpy when being moved, like my laptop does), I would have loved to try to get a Wiimote working with a computer and used that as a controller for something. Our main issue with the Wiimote was that even if we did get it working, we had no idea what we would do with it, and the ideas we were coming up with weren’t within the parameters of the assignment. And we were still running into a wall in getting the Wiimote and Bluetooth to work properly, with only a week left until the due date, so we had to come up with a different plan. We were thinking of using my idea for the anti-anxiety teddy bear, but ran into some issues, one being there was little passion for the project at that point, and the idea also seemed too… practical doesn’t seem like the proper word for what I’m thinking, but I can’t think of a better word right now.

I am really proud of the work we did and the project we came up with though. The serendipitous discovery of being able to use your forehead as a controller with the pulse sensor, and the subsequent bucket of laughs we had late at night in the computer lab while we waggled our eyebrows at each other trying to test the game was worth it. Even if the final project may have seemed underwhelming to some, the process of making it, the sheer absurdity of the controls, and the amount of fun we got out of playing the game made it feel like an apt way to end the semester. And the simple graphics are NOT “placeholders”. Jackie and I both really favor a simple, minimalist design. Admittedly, the character sprites began as placeholders, but we fell in love with them and decided that they fit well with the aesthetic we were working with. We actively decided not to replace the sprites upon completion.

Final Project: We Are Done?

So, we have our code all done and working now (I forgot to take a picture or video again, sorry).

All we have to do is the write-up including all of the diagrams and such now!

And clean up the code. We desperately need to clean and comment it. It’s… a mess.

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Final Project: Nothing But Wall

Progress is not happening. Connecting the Wiimote to my computer (via bluetooth) leaves me with a Wiimote that does absolutely nothing!

And as I found on the very unhelpful internet is that I should be able to use it as a controller, which also does nothing! (Undertale is the simplest control scheme game I have).

And finally, the serial monitor is printing garbage when trying to figure out the bluetooth and I don’t know why. All I know is I’m mad and tired now.

I am officially calling it a night before I do something awful to something I like (as in possibly punch my computer).

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Final Project: Uuuuugh.

Ok, so Bluetooth is harder than anticipated. I don’t know why we thought it would be easy to just plug the Bluetooth module thingy into the appropriate places on the Arduino and BAM! It would work. That is not the case. Jackie and I spent about an hour just basically banging our heads into a wall (we were actually trying to get libraries for an older version of Arduino and were making absolutely zero progress, so may as well have just been braining ourselves on a wall) before we could go get help from Phil. Who told us that there is just some stupidly complicated thing we have to do that takes about 10 minutes. So we have no progress yet and we still don’t know 100% what we are going to do with the Wiimote once we can connect the damn thing. This is going to turn into a problematic project, I just know it.

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Final Project: Planning

Alright, so Jackie and I are teaming up on this one.

Idea 1: The Wiimote
So the initial idea was to take apart a Wiimote and put the components on a glove to enhance the gesture control nature of the Nintendo Wii. However, this is merely a technical exercise, and as Dana articulated where I couldn’t, we would basically be changing the casing of the Wiimote. It isn’t enough.

Dana informed me that you can indeed use a Wiimote with the computer, and there are many instances of people interacting with Processing using a Wiimote. I don’t know why I thought this, but I didn’t think you could actually do that. From some cursory research, this may involve making a DIY infrared sensor bar, which may be problematic in that we don’t have a lot of time to ship parts. I am going to try very hard to find a way to use a Wii sensor bar or find a relatively inexpensive one that connects to a USB port. I’m still not entirely sure how to get them to talk, and there are a few Processing libraries that seem to work, but the posts I’ve been finding are for Processing 2 and earlier. I am concerned that there may be no contemporary libraries that are functional. Truth be told, I am skeptical that this idea will work (and remain at a reasonable price).

Idea 2: Anti-Anxiety Plush (+ other things)
My other idea is to make an anti-anxiety or anxiety helper plush. To do this I would use a pulse sensor, a speaker and possibly an LED. My idea is to track when the pulse sensor sends a signal, and use that to create a steady pulse rhythm that is slower than the user’s own heartbeat. The key here is that I want to have that steady rate rather than merely delaying the signal from the pulse sensor, as we saw they can be rather finicky, and having just a steady beat would be more soothing. As a side note, I mentioned this idea to my sister and she has a plush that plays a slow, steady heartbeat sound already! She said it really helps her, so I guess I have my case study! But I want my heartbeat sound to be responsive to the user’s own heart rate so it could help slowly bring down their heart rate.

Dana also suggested to me that I look into other delivery methods for this – like having a plush to cuddle isn’t necessarily the best idea for say, a working professional. So I can think about other forms of delivery for the sound and light, as well as ways to apply the pulse sensor (my mind immediately jumps to just like.. a cute block of wood for the sound. This may be because of my love of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium being a movie that never fails to calm me down and cheer me up).¬†Eventually, having like a fashionable bracelet or something wireless would be nice, and for the delivery for something discreet, maybe a necklace that just vibrates gently with the pulse beat? But that would definitely be an “eventually” sort of thing. At least I have somewhere to go with this one!