Would anyone be interested in mocking up/building a few games?

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Dave Ingram

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Aug 30, 2011, 8:02:59 AM8/30/11
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Background: I was at the incredibly awesome Shrewsbury Folk Festival last weekend, drank some tasty real cider, danced a lot, listened to lots of great music, and got a mention from two headline acts and a song request from one.

But, while very cool, that's tangential to my point.

While there, some friends and I got talking, and we decided that the world requires a couple of new games: Folk Hero (instruments to include accordion, violin, tin whistle, hurdy gurdy, concertina, whatever) and Morris Morris Revolution.

Would anyone be interested in mocking up and/or building either of these? Folk Hero would probably just require plastic moulding and bastardised controllers, whereas Morris Morris Revolution might work best as a Kinect hack. I have zero experience with either of these things (other than hacking a PS1 controller to use a foot pedal for Time Crisis), so any/all advice or help would be appreciated.

I imagine that these would probably extend Frets on Fire and (v1, non-Kinect) Stepmania.


D

tom

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Aug 30, 2011, 9:13:08 AM8/30/11
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i started work on "accordion hero" a long time ago, had a working
accordion controller at one point too. Its been binned now tho :/

On Aug 30, 1:02 pm, Dave Ingram <d...@dmi.me.uk> wrote:
> Background: I was at the incredibly awesome Shrewsbury Folk Festival
> <http://www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk/> last weekend, drank some
> tasty real cider
> <http://www.ukcider.co.uk/wiki/index.php/Janet%27s_Jungle_Juice>, danced
> a lot, listened to lots <http://www.blackbeardsteaparty.com/> of
> <http://www.glorystrokes.com/> great <http://bellowhead.co.uk/> music
> <http://www.oysterband.co.uk/>, and got a mention from two headline acts

Nicholas FitzRoy-Dale

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Aug 30, 2011, 9:59:51 AM8/30/11
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It would be pretty straightforward to customise StepMania for this:

http://www.stepmania.com/

There are two super-simple routes to make controllers:

1) Get a PS/2 keyboard. The controller circuit on this forms a grid with (about) 8 rows and 11 columns, though not all can be activated at once. Hook appropriate row / col combinations to switches of whatever form you like.

2) Get a USB game controller. The circuit boards on these are easy to solder wires to, to replace the contacts made by existing switches.

Nicholas

Yuan

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Aug 30, 2011, 12:57:17 PM8/30/11
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> 1) Get a PS/2 keyboard. The controller circuit on this forms a grid with (about) 8 rows and 11 columns, though not all can be activated at once. Hook appropriate row / col combinations to switches of whatever form you like.
>

The Forebrain Dev board (http://www.universalair.co.uk/forebrain) can
do USB Keyboard, I'm working on cleaning up the code to do that as I
type this, you can hook up your external buttons/etc. to the pins and
stuff and have your completely custom USB keyboard/controller without
having to hack around with keyboard controller circuits. We're still
giving away Forebrain dev boards to London Hackspacers who are
interested in using Forebrain for projects (limited number), and in
this case I'd definitely be interested in working on the software/
electronics side of things.

Yuan

Dave Ingram

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Aug 30, 2011, 2:18:47 PM8/30/11
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Cool :-) Well I certainly wouldn't object to donated hardware for
playing with, but I wouldn't want to deprive anyone more deserving!

Maybe collaborating with someone else would ensure one of my many
project ideas finally gets finished.

Maybe.


D

Dave Ingram

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Aug 30, 2011, 2:28:56 PM8/30/11
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On 30/08/11 17:57, Yuan wrote:
In fact, which of the two projects would you be interested in? I presume
Morris Morris Revolution, but...

Yuan

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Aug 30, 2011, 3:30:29 PM8/30/11
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Well, they all sound absurdly wonderful/wonderfully absurd. I do have
an accordion myself, but I've never properly learned to play (I am a
pianist though, so I can play half an accordion reasonably well).
You'll have to tell me a little more about what you had in mind.

I should mention that I'm (or We, Universal Air Ltd. are) not
officially part of London Hackspace, I mostly lurk on your mailing
list and occasionally pop up now and again to offer free stuff and
demos (nobody has objected thus far, so I hope I can continue), we're
based in Oxfordshire and there's no Hackspace for miles around.

Given the distance, I don't think I'd be much help with collaboration
since I won't be able to be in the Hackspace very much at all, but
what I can do is send you a Forebrain unit, and write code that will
send certain keyboard keystrokes based on some inputs (digital or
analogue), and I can build up and send over some electrical circuits
if necessary, but I probably won't be able to help with the hacking of
the actual controllers and similar stuff. I'll be over in the
Hackspace next around the 24th of Sept for the UAV workshop.

Billy

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Aug 30, 2011, 4:19:37 PM8/30/11
to London Hackspace

I know a few Morris-men and women who'd be interested in this project.
They're all people from Cecil Sharp House, and the EFDSS.

I'll shout them and check their availability.

Dave Ingram

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Aug 30, 2011, 5:20:18 PM8/30/11
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On 30/08/11 21:19, Billy wrote:
> I know a few Morris-men and women who'd be interested in this project.
> They're all people from Cecil Sharp House, and the EFDSS.
>
> I'll shout them and check their availability.
Hang on, hang on -- which project? And availability? And ... wait, what
have I started? :-/

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if maybe an HTML canvas
prototype would be a fun way to start Folk Hero, and to grab attention.
That would work with regular keyboards or specially-made controllers.
Half the fun would be in actually building the physical control systems,
and the rest in coding it up.

When it comes to Morris Morris Revolution, I'd probably have to discuss
it with many people in order to decide the best way of simulating Morris
dancing, whether it would be Kinect or whether a DDR-like mat, perhaps
with a Wiimote (or similar) would work best.

I already have some potential tunes in mind, and speeds/difficulties
could go from "Neophyte" through "Morris" and "Ceilidh" up to, say,
"Bellowhead". One thing that does occur to me, however, is that I have
zero experience in making games of any kind.

Also, tangentially related: my fianc�e (graduating to "wife" this
Saturday) and I regularly attend the Knees Up Cecil Sharp ceilidhs at
CSH, so if any Hackspacers go or are interested, we'd love to see you :-)

That also reminds me: once the hackspace has a proper oven and related
equipment, she has suggested she might come and make cake, biscuits, etc
while I do geeky things. If nobody objects, of course.

I'm deviating from the subject, but it's been a busy week and I'm tired.
That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.


D

Billy

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Aug 30, 2011, 5:26:41 PM8/30/11
to London Hackspace

I used to play there regularly for the children's dance classes.

One of the morris men i'd talk to is Jeremy, the box player, that
plays for those classes.

If you're down there, say hi from me.

Also, Jane, the caller from the same dance class, would be able to
help. She knows a wide range of dances, and has a lot of experience of
tuning a set of dances according to the audience's level of
experience, which would sort out the levelling problem.




On Aug 30, 10:20 pm, Dave Ingram <d...@dmi.me.uk> wrote:
> On 30/08/11 21:19, Billy wrote:> I know a few Morris-men and women who'd be interested in this project.
> > They're all people from Cecil Sharp House, and the EFDSS.
>
> > I'll shout them  and check their availability.
>
> Hang on, hang on -- which project? And availability? And ... wait, what
> have I started? :-/
>
> The more I think about it, the more I wonder if maybe an HTML canvas
> prototype would be a fun way to start Folk Hero, and to grab attention.
> That would work with regular keyboards or specially-made controllers.
> Half the fun would be in actually building the physical control systems,
> and the rest in coding it up.
>
> When it comes to Morris Morris Revolution, I'd probably have to discuss
> it with many people in order to decide the best way of simulating Morris
> dancing, whether it would be Kinect or whether a DDR-like mat, perhaps
> with a Wiimote (or similar) would work best.
>
> I already have some potential tunes in mind, and speeds/difficulties
> could go from "Neophyte" through "Morris" and "Ceilidh" up to, say,
> "Bellowhead". One thing that does occur to me, however, is that I have
> zero experience in making games of any kind.
>
> Also, tangentially related: my fianc�e (graduating to "wife" this

Dave Ingram

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Aug 30, 2011, 5:27:28 PM8/30/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On 30/08/11 20:30, Yuan wrote:
> Well, they all sound absurdly wonderful/wonderfully absurd. I do have
> an accordion myself, but I've never properly learned to play (I am a
> pianist though, so I can play half an accordion reasonably well).
Same situation -- my 60-bass was a Christmas present, and I plan to have
it properly tuned as soon as I have the spare cash to do so. I keep
planning to learn tunes, take it to festivals, and join in with
sessions... but I never seem to have enough tuits.

> You'll have to tell me a little more about what you had in mind.

The original idea (for Folk Hero, which I can imagine better) involve
hacking together things in order to build a Folk Hero system, complete
with music. If it could be somehow augmented with instruments from other
similar games (e.g. electric guitar, bass, drums, whatever) then so much
the better. Morris Morris Revolution is just a funny idea, and I have no
idea how it would work. Yet. It might purely be a test of endurance,
stamina, ability to keep to time, and not get hit by virtual sticks ;-)

> I should mention that I'm (or We, Universal Air Ltd. are) not
> officially part of London Hackspace, I mostly lurk on your mailing
> list and occasionally pop up now and again to offer free stuff and
> demos (nobody has objected thus far, so I hope I can continue), we're
> based in Oxfordshire and there's no Hackspace for miles around.
>
> Given the distance, I don't think I'd be much help with collaboration
> since I won't be able to be in the Hackspace very much at all, but
> what I can do is send you a Forebrain unit, and write code that will
> send certain keyboard keystrokes based on some inputs (digital or
> analogue), and I can build up and send over some electrical circuits
> if necessary, but I probably won't be able to help with the hacking of
> the actual controllers and similar stuff.

I'm wondering what the best way of organising it would be. Perhaps the
instruments would connect to the Forebrain rather than having one each,
and then only the one would be required? Perhaps having the instruments
wireless? Are there any protocol limits on simultaneous keystrokes, or
is it just a hardware limitation from the keyboard manufacturers? How
complicated should the instruments be?

There are many questions to be answered.

> I'll be over in the
> Hackspace next around the 24th of Sept for the UAV workshop.

I doubt I'll be there then, as it's my other half's birthday. I doubt
she'd appreciate me being missing :-) It would be fun to meet up and
chat though!


D

Dave Ingram

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Aug 30, 2011, 5:30:44 PM8/30/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On 30/08/11 22:26, Billy wrote:
> I used to play there regularly for the children's dance classes.
>
> One of the morris men i'd talk to is Jeremy, the box player, that
> plays for those classes.
>
> If you're down there, say hi from me.
>
> Also, Jane, the caller from the same dance class, would be able to
> help. She knows a wide range of dances, and has a lot of experience of
> tuning a set of dances according to the audience's level of
> experience, which would sort out the levelling problem.
Reminds me of another project that emerged from last weekend: a random
ceilidh dance generator. Inputs include song type (random, reel, waltz,
jig, slip jig, hornpipe) and section length (random/8/16/32 bars), set
type (random, longways 4/5/infinite, square, various circles) and some
complexity settings (such as whether there is any progression or partner
swapping or whatever). Given all of that, it would randomly combine
moves and present a (possibly) brand new dance. It might even be able to
compare it to ones already known, to see if it has come up with
something that definitely already exists.


D


>
>
>
>
> On Aug 30, 10:20 pm, Dave Ingram <d...@dmi.me.uk> wrote:
>> On 30/08/11 21:19, Billy wrote:> I know a few Morris-men and women who'd be interested in this project.
>>> They're all people from Cecil Sharp House, and the EFDSS.
>>> I'll shout them and check their availability.
>> Hang on, hang on -- which project? And availability? And ... wait, what
>> have I started? :-/
>>
>> The more I think about it, the more I wonder if maybe an HTML canvas
>> prototype would be a fun way to start Folk Hero, and to grab attention.
>> That would work with regular keyboards or specially-made controllers.
>> Half the fun would be in actually building the physical control systems,
>> and the rest in coding it up.
>>
>> When it comes to Morris Morris Revolution, I'd probably have to discuss
>> it with many people in order to decide the best way of simulating Morris
>> dancing, whether it would be Kinect or whether a DDR-like mat, perhaps
>> with a Wiimote (or similar) would work best.
>>
>> I already have some potential tunes in mind, and speeds/difficulties
>> could go from "Neophyte" through "Morris" and "Ceilidh" up to, say,
>> "Bellowhead". One thing that does occur to me, however, is that I have
>> zero experience in making games of any kind.
>>

>> Also, tangentially related: my fianc�e (graduating to "wife" this

Nigel Worsley

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Aug 30, 2011, 5:46:06 PM8/30/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
> I should mention that I'm (or We, Universal Air Ltd. are) not
> officially part of London Hackspace, I mostly lurk on your mailing
> list and occasionally pop up now and again to offer free stuff and
> demos (nobody has objected thus far, so I hope I can continue)

All the time you give far more than you take I don't think that will be a problem!

> we're based in Oxfordshire and there's no Hackspace for miles around.

There isn't much of ANYTHING for miles around, I work up the road from you in Watlington and can't wait to get
back to civilisation (well, west London) at the end of the day.

> Given the distance, I don't think I'd be much help with collaboration since I won't be able to be in the Hackspace very much at
> all

It's only 50 miles away!

Then again, I live 10 miles away and still don't get there very often. The 40 miles from work to home takes 45 minutes, the last 10
miles
takes over an hour :-(

Nigle

Yuan

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Aug 30, 2011, 7:31:56 PM8/30/11
to London Hackspace
> The original idea (for Folk Hero, which I can imagine better) involve
> hacking together things in order to build a Folk Hero system, complete
> with music. If it could be somehow augmented with instruments from other
> similar games (e.g. electric guitar, bass, drums, whatever) then so much
> the better. Morris Morris Revolution is just a funny idea, and I have no
> idea how it would work. Yet. It might purely be a test of endurance,
> stamina, ability to keep to time, and not get hit by virtual sticks ;-)

That sounds pretty amusing, definitely a worthwhile project.

> I'm wondering what the best way of organising it would be. Perhaps the
> instruments would connect to the Forebrain rather than having one each,
> and then only the one would be required? Perhaps having the instruments
> wireless? Are there any protocol limits on simultaneous keystrokes, or
> is it just a hardware limitation from the keyboard manufacturers? How
> complicated should the instruments be?

Hmm...there is a hardware limit on the simultaneous keystrokes for
keyboards since the keys are multiplexed, but I'm not sure about the
protocol. I'll have a mess around with the code I have currently and
see what happens, it's currently coded for 6 keys simultaneously, I'm
sure it'll do more.

What software will you be using for the game itself? If you have
access to the source, perhaps you could have it connect to the
instruments via generic USB HID instead of USB keyboard (which would
be better for Forebrain since Forebrain has raw USB HID functions on
ROM, making coding really really easy), that way you could treat each
instrument as a separate USB device instead of mapping keys to a
keyboard.

As for wireless, you're in luck! We've got an XBee version of
Forebrain (contains an XBee Series 2 module built onto the board)
currently prototyped. The dev board measures 10cm*2.5cm, which would
be a perfect fit for most instruments, especially for sticks. If
you're definitely going ahead with this project, I can probably bring
the prototypes for testing, but I'd have to take them away with me
again because we need them to test our quadcopters!

I have an idea for Morris Morris revolution - accelerometers, they're
very cheap, and would be ideal for detecting motion, you could clip
one to each ankle and/or wrist and have the controller generate a
signal when the user makes certain moves.

Yuan

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Aug 30, 2011, 8:51:32 PM8/30/11
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Just had a look at the keyboard protocol, looks like the USB keyboard
protocol uses 6 bytes for the key information. It might make sense to
use MIDI instead by the way.

Adrian Godwin

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Aug 31, 2011, 5:38:36 AM8/31/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com


On Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 10:46 PM, Nigel Worsley <nig...@googlemail.com> wrote:

Then again, I live 10 miles away and still don't get there very often. The 40 miles from work to home takes 45 minutes, the last 10 miles
takes over an hour :-(


That's civilization (well, west london) for you :-)

-adrian

Billy

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Aug 31, 2011, 10:01:45 AM8/31/11
to London Hackspace


On Aug 30, 10:30 pm, Dave Ingram <d...@dmi.me.uk> wrote:

>
> Reminds me of another project that emerged from last weekend: a random
> ceilidh dance generator. Inputs include song type (random, reel, waltz,
> jig, slip jig, hornpipe) and section length (random/8/16/32 bars), set
> type (random, longways 4/5/infinite, square, various circles) and some
> complexity settings (such as whether there is any progression or partner
> swapping or whatever). Given all of that, it would randomly combine
> moves and present a (possibly) brand new dance. It might even be able to
> compare it to ones already known, to see if it has come up with
> something that definitely already exists.
>
> D
>

That's pretty much what a lot of the callers do. There are a large
number of standard sets of moves, that are specific named dances. How
ever there are a lot of dances where there's a basic pattern, that has
lot's of local variations, for regional dances, and patterns called by
the caller on the fly.

In the same way, sets of tunes for any of these dances, can be
anything with a compatible rhythm, that all of the current band
members know.

One dance group i play with occasionally is the Playford Dancers.
http://www.srcf.ucam.org/round/playford The manual would be a good
place to start for one set of period dances. There are similar
manuals for scottish and irish dances.

There's a semi-serious joke that says "There are 100 tunes in London."
Go to any london trad session, and around half to two-thirds of the
tunes wil be part of the London 100, along with that session's
favourite tunes. Which of the 100 will be played varies. Which tunes
are currently in the top 100, also varies according to time, as tunes
move in and out of fashion.



Dave Ingram

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Aug 31, 2011, 12:08:14 PM8/31/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On 31/08/11 15:01, Billy wrote:
>> Reminds me of another project that emerged from last weekend: a random
>> ceilidh dance generator. Inputs include song type (random, reel, waltz,
>> jig, slip jig, hornpipe) and section length (random/8/16/32 bars), set
>> type (random, longways 4/5/infinite, square, various circles) and some
>> complexity settings (such as whether there is any progression or partner
>> swapping or whatever). Given all of that, it would randomly combine
>> moves and present a (possibly) brand new dance. It might even be able to
>> compare it to ones already known, to see if it has come up with
>> something that definitely already exists.
>>
>> D
>>
> That's pretty much what a lot of the callers do. There are a large
> number of standard sets of moves, that are specific named dances. How
> ever there are a lot of dances where there's a basic pattern, that has
> lot's of local variations, for regional dances, and patterns called by
> the caller on the fly.
That's true. Thinking about it, they don't often say a name unless it's
a well-known one (like Drops of Brandy, say).

> In the same way, sets of tunes for any of these dances, can be
> anything with a compatible rhythm, that all of the current band
> members know.

Yup.

> One dance group i play with occasionally is the Playford Dancers.
> http://www.srcf.ucam.org/round/playford The manual would be a good
> place to start for one set of period dances. There are similar
> manuals for scottish and irish dances.

Neat. What instrument is it that you play? I'm an accordionist in what
little spare time I have.

> There's a semi-serious joke that says "There are 100 tunes in London."
> Go to any london trad session, and around half to two-thirds of the
> tunes wil be part of the London 100, along with that session's
> favourite tunes. Which of the 100 will be played varies. Which tunes
> are currently in the top 100, also varies according to time, as tunes
> move in and out of fashion.

Huh, interesting. Not as bad as I'd thought, especially as most of them
are only 8-16 bars' worth of memorisation plus lots of repetition.

I don't suppose you know of any lists of common/popular tunes? I'm not
expecting to be able to join in on everything, but knowing a few likely
candidates would help! The only tunebook I'm really aware of is
http://www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk/tunebook/index.shtml (other than
the ones I've bought, that is).


D

Yuan

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Sep 16, 2011, 10:59:01 AM9/16/11
to London Hackspace
Hey Dave,

Don't know if you're still interested in this, but just to let you
know, I've been working a bit more on Forebrain's USB stack, and can
now enumerate as USB gamepad/joystick, which should make things easier
since you can plug two of them in and they would be completely
separate inputs and would not interfere with each other like plugging
two keyboards in would do.

Also, I also have prototypes built of the Wifi and Xbee versions of
our board. These are to be released next month, but I might be able
to donate the prototypes to the project after we're done testing with
them (there are only minor differences between these prototypes and
the production units). Here is a sneak peak of them:
http://www.universalair.co.uk/sites/default/files/blog/news/2011-10-01/2011-09-13-02.56.16.jpg
We haven't officially announced these at all to the world yet. So you
guys get a sneak peek! Dimensions for the longer Xbee and WiFi boards
are something like 11cm * 2.5cm

Y
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