The concept for frog’s SXSW interactive opening party involved a number of classic video games made physical to a greater or lesser extent. My personal favorite was their take on the Tron light cycle duel, which I got a chance to play today at Austin Dorkbot’s SXSW Create event. (For purists, I should note that their implementation of the game allows for smoothly-radiused turns, instead of just sharp 90-degree cornering, so it’s more like the version of the game we saw in the 2010 Tron: Legacy remake.)
frog personnel Matt, Pat, and Jared worked together to create a “physical” version of the game, starting with two stationary exercise bikes. Each was retrofit with an Arduino, a tachometer, a mechanical hand brake, and a set of steerable handlebars. In play, two contestants direct their “Light Trikes” by steering with the handlebars and peddling faster or slower to control speed. Each contestant sits before a large monitor with a third-person view of his or her trike, in the digital arena, while an overhead “God’s eye” view is projected on a screen between them for onlookers.
The basic rules, of course, haven’t changed: Run these guys into your jet walls.