A billiards style, turn based game, FUSSR uses Diffused Surface Illumination (DSI) technology to make touch table interaction responsive, attractive and fun. Pairing a tongue in cheek objective- breaking down walls- with Cold War aesthetics, this self contained game and installation aims to encourage social interactions with its multiplayer gameplay and curious aesthetic. FUSSR was designed and created by Nien Lam and Jason Aston.
Having shown a mutual interest in the art and challenge of gaming, we knew that creating one would be familiar but very difficult, as much peripheral interaction needs to be developed concomitant with the game dynamics and main interaction. We were also cognizant of the purchasing, building, and calibrating elements of the project as they related to the time allotted for completion.
We opted to build a non-traditional, 9 degree tapered table with a concrete/rock like facade. Here are our preliminary drawings and the frame.
The acrylic layers lay in a frame atop the table. Small harnesses and wooden racks were also built for the wonderfully clear internal projector- a ViewSonic short throw PJ558D, and a hacked PS3 eye camera.
After the framing was finished, our original plan was to source some concrete board for the paneling and skirting. Concrete board turned out to be too heavy for our purposes, so we went about using thin plywood with the intention to slather it with concrete or concrete like finish. We chose a type of splatter, speckled paint that mimicked stone.
Environmental Lights and Peau Productions were instrumental in working out the technical aspects of FUSSR. As said before, we used the DSI method of rear projection- involving a strip of infrared lights affixed to a slab of Endlighten acrylic. This acrylic layer has microscopic mirrors that reflect this light internally. Above this layer is a projection layer. And above this layer is a protective mar resistant layer, since the other two are so damn expensive.
Nien developed his own simple physics engine to drive the game, which consists of a ball, a slingshot, and little, colored walls that the player must destroy. This is an image of the earliest iteration without “skins.”
All of this sits atop real Berlin Wall graffiti.