2013-05-18 Maker

Video Sans-Video Game

Video Sans-Video Game is a large-format video game without video. Side-scroll your way through hand-drawn levels, powered by computer numeric control. Avoid obstacles and enemies in a race to the finish in this fast-paced, retro game. As exciting to watch as it is to play, and fun for all ages – Video Sans-Video Game is a spectacle that will inspire and engage.

An original design built by Michael Newman, Video Sans-Video Game was inspired by his love of drawing video games as a child. The game was built from parts salvaged from printers and combined with custom electronics. The chassis is aluminum extrusion, on which laser cut pieces mount to house game mechanics and electronics.

Games levels are hand-drawn on long scrolls of paper. Arduino controlled electronics use an infrared sensor to detect the ship’s X/Y position and collisions. A second sensor detects the start and end of the scrolling game level. Stepper motors drive ship and scroll movement and if a player crashes, or wins by reaching the end, the level automatically rewind for the next player.

Video Sans-Video Game was built for, and exhibited at, the 2013 Bay Area Maker Faire. By last minute request, and a bit shocking to Michael, it was included in the DIY Technology Talk hosted by Veronica Belmont – The game was selected the favorite by audience vote and subsequently received four Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbons. Video Sans-Video Game was also exhibited at the 2013 New York City Maker Faire, where it received two additional Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbons.

A smaller version of the game, Video Sans-Video Game Mini, will be appearing in 2014 at The Hudson River Museum along side their installation of the Smithsonian’s The Art of the Video Game exhibit.

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