We recently facilitated an on-site hackathon at a client's office, where the KeyLimeTie team came in and produced the event for them and served as facilitators while their employees developed their ideas. We decided to have a bit of fun with it, knowing that everyone needs a break after long hours of intensive coding and brainstorming.
What if Angry Birds were real?
Angry Birds has been called "the new Super Mario Bros." I'm hard pressed to find someone with a smartphone who hasn't played it. Since Rovio sells the plush Angry Bird characters, we decided to make the game a reality.
The setup is surprisingly simple, though it took me a little searching to get it right. Instead of building a slingshot, we opted for a three person water balloon launcher. To make the bricks, we first bought 1/2"-thick foamcore from a craft store, but it proved to be too flimsy when we put the relatively heavy plush pig on top of it. Since we wanted the game to be a bit of a challenge, we had to find something else.
While walking at the Yorktown Mall near our office, I found Brilliant Sky Toys & Books. They happened to carry exactly what I was looking for; Melissa & Doug Jumbo Cardboard Blocks. These blocks are similar to ones I remember in play areas when I was little.
These blocks are heavy enough to pose a challenge when struck by a plush bird launched from a distance. In addition to the difficulty of hitting a narrow target (you're essentially playing a 2D game in a 3D world), this means that our Angry Birds game isn't a walk in the park. It's more fun because of the challenge.
We set up the large Angry Birds course at the client, and for about an hour took turns hurling plush birds at plush pigs. A lot of shots missed, and the participants experimented with different techniques of holding the birds, different strengths on the slingshot, and other techniques. We even tried to spread out the target to make it wider, but that actually made the game more difficult. In the end it appears that it's easier to focus on one target than it is to have several in front of you.
Here's What You Need
Want to build your own Angry Birds game? Here are links to the products we used to assemble it.
Did you build your own? Tell us!
If you try this or another version of a physical Angry Birds game, we'd love to know! Tweet us at @KeyLimeTie or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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