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HapticGames

Game modifications for using haptic instead of visual senses

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Most games work with visual clues, which results in an decreased fun for visual impaired people. As a sidetrack of the Personal Photonics project (https://hci.rwth-aachen.de/pp), funded by the german ministry of education and science for developing an haptic toolkit, these game modifications happens due to inspirations of the community. They are still mostly first steps at the moment, just to check if these ideas are feasible and make fun.

So far we tried out 4 different types of game to modify: A haptic memory game with included RFID tags to find pairs of braille and black letters, a scorecard for an (german) Yatzee game, translation of building game cards into haptic senseable 3D-sculpturs and reliefs and using a haptivision belt (https://hackaday.io/project/27112-haptivision, Sean Bensons https://hackaday.io/project/1962-3d-haptic-vest-for-visually-impaired-and-gamers would of course also work) as haptic dispaly for computer games. Of course, thats not HD resolution, so we go back to the computer stone age and tried out pong on it.

  • BrailleMemory

    JanThar06/07/2019 at 11:31 0 comments


    The idea here was finding the right pairs of Braille and Black Letters for learning Braille. Of course, since the Black letters are not readable for people who need Braille letters, for them an adapted version of Braille-Braille pairs would be better. To support learning we added an RFID tag in each card, such that the letter can be also read out loud. This allows also additional game features, like bets if thats the right pair from every player be using a dedicated bet card in future versions. For reading out we used first an arduino, progranmm by Rene Niewianda, with an Text-To-Speech-synthesizer, sounding like old school computer voices (a.k.a. horrible). Later we switched therefore to an MP3 player shield, again connected to the arduino with the RFID reader on top, code is still work in progress. For reducing movement of the cards by scanning the game field we added a grid structure. Of course there is still room for improvement: Our first idea with addtional hints on the grit is unnecessary overkill. Furthermore, the round edges of the card allow still a rotation of the cards within the grid. Then, just a 4*4 grid is complicate enough and should be also mounted on a base plate for handing the game field around. Main issue is of course that memory is mostly fun for the younger children. There is also an ongoing discussion if enlarged Braille letters as in this game are actually useful: People who can read braille are actually confused when the letter is bigger than the fingertip, where their normal reading approach didn't work.
    Preliminary design files and code can be found here.

  • HapticPong

    JanThar06/07/2019 at 10:05 0 comments

    Using the HaptiVision Belt as base we tried out if we can use it also as Display for playing games on it. Of course, with 16*8 pixel that's not high resolution, but we thought that at least games like Pong might work. Adaption was rather easy: Using an Arduino as controller, we added an 16*8 WS2812 LED matrix at pin6 as a display and two linear variable resistors as controllers at pin A0 and A1. The haptic matrix was then connected with the I2C port. So writing the code was for us the biggest issue (not for me, since Moritz Messerschmidt did the work), since we had such a belt already at hand. The Code can be now also found at the belts github page.

  • Construction Game

    JanThar06/07/2019 at 09:50 0 comments

    Another idea was transalting gamecards for a construction game into sculptures and reliefs - translating the image what to build into an haptic senseable object. Construction was of course rather easy, but both versions didn't work well in real life: The sculptures broke easily, and the reliefs were hard to read, since details where to small. Of course, by printing them bigger you can circumvent these issues, but then you need a very big box for the cards. Design files for OpenScad can be found here.

  • Yahtzee score cards

    JanThar06/06/2019 at 19:51 0 comments

    For the scorecard we tried first a complete 3D-printed version. For counting numbers we used an abacus system on the right side (seperasted into upper and lower part score because of bonus points) and then haotic check boxes on the left for each type of score. In between is the text field for score line description, which can switched between Braille and Black letter usign a different font.
    Since the 3D-printed check stones slide eiter to easy or even break apart we adapted it by using round magnets with glued in washers.
    The haptic feeling was good regarding the magnets, but some issues remain at the moment: The 3D printed Braille is not fingertip-friendly, here might be a blank card and using common embossed Braille sticker better. Furthermore, the magnets tend to flip to easy to the neighbouring magnet, and for the abacus the washer didn't gave optimal locks at one number. For this issues deeper holes will work in the next version.
    Design files for OpenScad can be found here.

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