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Designing the First Native Sport for Outer Space

Interactive Art Direction class with David Mikula was a very intriguing and fun course. In the brief we received, we were asked to design the first native sport for outer space-playable within our lifetime.

The goals of the task were to test the limitations of space, take advantage of the opportunities the space environment offers and incorporate inclusive competition and cooperation.

During the process, we analyzed the problem space and developed insights that would be used as the starting point for our projects.

Using these insights, we each developed three different concepts for the game and presented our ideas to the class. After discussing all the concepts and analyzing from different angles, each student chose one concept to develop further.

Defining the goal, the challenges and the rules of the game was the next step. We used papers to prototype and visualize our game concepts. Additional visualization techniques such as illustrations, animations and videos were also created to communicate our ideas more in depth.

During the course, the most important consideration was art direction. In the process, we created artboards and defined our own design language. Here are some of the student works from the course.

Space Catalyst

“It’s not just a new interactive sport that takes places in outer space, it’s a lifestyle, a way of being creative and connecting deeply with your spectators in order to conquer together. A collaborative sport where spectators create the landscape in real time while the athletes determine the path to go forward.”

“The goal is to reach the base of your opponent in the least amount of time by designing together with the spectator and developing the smartest tactics to move across the play field and win over your competitor.”

Hiram Aragon, Interaction Design Master Student

Check out the website of the game here

Sky Seeker

“Sky Seeker is a worldwide hide & seek game played from the space and the earth. There are two sides, astronauts and earth players. There are multiple teams of astronauts. The goal of the earth players is to find the spaceships hiding around the earth using various methods. In the meanwhile, astronauts need to find the boxes inside satellites before other astronaut teams.”

“When the earth players detect a spaceship, they need to report before anyone else in order to win. The players can report a spaceship by synchronizing to the spaceship’s radio wave which will be announced when the annual game starts.”

Simge Toksoz, Interaction Design Master Student

Check out the website of the game here

Drag with a Swag

“On being asked to present the first native sport to be played in outer space, I wanted to design a fun, refreshing and competitive game that aids to collaboration between people. It was interesting how forces and concepts unimportant on Earth make so much impact in space, like the gravitational, frictional or electrostatic forces.”

“My game ‘Drag with a Swag’ has a touch of mischief and tests the agility and alertness of the players. Your goal as a team is to touch your opponent and in turn, avoid being touched by your opponent. The player aiming to touch their competitor is being controlled by a teammate with magnets to move them around.”

Sindhura Bogadi, Interaction Design Master Student

Check out the website of the game here

Marionettes

“Marionettes is a game that proposes to turn space junk into action figures. Teams of astronauts are given an amount of collected space debris and are required to build avatars on pre-built rig structures, controllable from Earth.”

“There will be 4 teams, in 4 spatial glass boxes, each assigned a similar amount of materials that they can customize to their like. The mission of the game is to convert the orbital space debris into actors on a floating stage, for a new kind of entertainment.”

Cristina Enache, Interaction Design Master Student

Check out the website of the game here

Fire & Ice

“For our future games in space I decided to look into the past and tap into the curiosity fire and water aroused in our ancestors millions of years ago. The discovery of these two fundamental building elements of nature and helped us build a civilization that our forefathers can only dream of. Space is going to be a new territory for humanity. Humans being humans would need fire and water in various forms to build a new kind of civilization.”

“The game fire and ice is set in a battle arena for two 'element masters' with ammunition made from forms of fire or ice. By bringing these basic elements into the orbit of our home planet, this game is a medium for us to understand the behavior of these elements in space and to entertain and educate humans on earth settle in space, a dream not too far from our current future.”

Mrinali Kamath, Interaction Design Master Student

Check out the website of the game here

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