Soot Sprite Run
To celebrate the Studio Ghibli showcase at the Row House Cinema, we decided to do a large interactive game inspired by “Spirited Away” in the parking lot next to the theater. The installation was done the night of the 13th of December.
We began setup at around 6 pm. The game was up and running by 9 pm, which is the time we advertised. We had created little flyers that introduced the running time and location of our game. We printed the flyers, left them inside the theater on the concession stand for movie seers to pick up, and also personally handed out flyers to nearby passer-bys.
How it works
We have front-end controller made of Makey Makey that the user can use to move the character leftward or rightward. On the back-end, the game developed in Unity will be projected on the wall.
It takes two participants to complete the game. Each player holds a black cylinder (mimicking the coal that the soot spirit carries) with one hand and taps a silver or gold star button (mimicking the star candy that the soot spirit eats) with the other hand to control the game character, the soot spirit, to move left or right.
The goal is to avoid getting hit by the spotlights and get the soot spirit to the far right of the game stage. Participants need to coordinate with each other in order to win the game because if two people press the star buttons at the same time, the soot spirit will not move anywhere.
We have a Unity made game that is run on a laptop. The laptop is connected to a projector, which projects the game onto a wall. Instead of playing the game through a keyboard, we used MakeyMakey to allow external control of the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard. MakeyMakey requires the use of two hands to connect to ground and the electrical input of the circuit.
We used graphite powder to cover the cylinder, and golden/silver leaf to cover the star button to ensure conductivity. The player is able to grab the black cylinder with one hand for circuit’s ground connection and tap the start button to give electrical signals to the left or right input of MakeyMakey. The entire setup is powered by a gasoline powered generator.