reckless glitch design – benjamin kiesewetter
For the new experimenta Science Center in Heilbronn Germany, TRIAD filled 800 square meters with about 40 interactive exhibits.
I worked on quite a few of their basic concepts, designs and scientific background and about three of them became mainly my babies from concept over graphics to programming.
Two of them have some basic similarities, Luftparcours, the paraglider simulator and Smartphone Zombie, a simulation of a walk through a city while using a smartphone. Both use a similar comic style and are programmed with the Unity 3d gaming editor. While working for TRIAD I prepared the graphical assets to be used by an at that time unknown programmer, since the programming was to be done by Kurt Huettinger, a company for planing and manufacturing exhibitions and interactive exhibits. Some months later I happened to become that programmer and got my own work back on the table.
To fly a paraglider you need to use your whole body and accept that you are midair with only a bag, and a piece of silk on some strings.
My early concepts let the player climb into the seat from a high glass platform to amplify the feeling of vertigo and a mechanism to drop the player out again, when failing in the game. For accessibility reasons we dropped these ideas. Now the player sits in a paraglider seat hanging from the ceiling, which can easily be removed in case of a player in a wheel chair. The steering works by using two handles on ropes like a real paraglider.
Back at university I had made a project of a game based on puppeteering. Ever since I wanted to make games that look not realistic but deliver atmosphere by using a certain kind of physicality. I was thinking of cardboard, stop motion animation or drawings. I thought paraglider to be a chance to do so. Thus, eagerly I took over the production of the in game graphics and the preparation of the unity models and shaders. Unfortunately the style was already very fixed by a design style guide agreed on by the customer and TRIAD. The result is not totally what I had in mind but I tried to at least get close to a drawn comic look.