Suite for Overhead Projectors – Come Out and Play, Night Games 2015

This was, I believe, our second iteration of the playful light guided scores. We had the addition of two wonderful people to help out (the same two that also helped out with the Candy Crusher session we held the day after), and some know-how from our first iteration.

Learning from our first iteration, we did away completely with one of our scores, an Ice Cube based score where melting cubes floating atop the projector top would in theory generate a swirling abstraction of colors. Sadly… the amount of dye needed to let even a bit of color shine through is too great, and the mess too much of a hassle to make its inclusion worthwhile.

We did not bring the portable projector screen that we had at our first iteration, which we ended up finding regretful. The reliable smooth surface afforded by the portable ensured that the instruction outputted by Tiny Projector were always readable. Sadly the stone surface of the legs of the Manhattan Bridge proved too rough. It took away not only from the quality of the images streaming forth from Main Projector, but rendered Tiny Projector’s instructions difficult to read. From henceforth, Portable Projector Screen shall have its part in the main ensemble next to our two starring projectors.

Another absence I felt rather quickly was the lack of the loud, thumping music I’d detested at our first showing. That ‘caustic, delinquent dub step’ I’d abhorred had played a very important part in getting players into a more improvisational, playful mood. During that first showing, many people would suddenly start playing with parts and pieces from different scores, merging them together to create a fascinating, hypnotic mash of light and colors led dazedly by the beats of the music. I believe for the next iteration a series of music ‘scores’ need also to accompany the instructional scores that grace the visual screen.

Apart from these two grievances, the event went fairly well. The effect that a different crowd and an alternate ensemble of materials had on player preference was interesting. There was more favor for structure, the kind afforded by the first score. It was by far the most popular, followed by the shadow puppet. In the first showing, this first score had been the least popular, as people preferred free styling with the materials at hand. Perhaps the availability of liquor also had a hand. Tipsy people are more likely to get engrossed in the interplay of abstract shapes and colors on a wall.

Overall the flow went well. It was a bit loud and the grainy instructions rendered explanation a must, so we found ourselves yelling out instructions to groups at a time. Following the event, we went on a search for a megaphone. If we plan on including trace-inducing music in our repertoire from now on, the acquirement of a megaphone or mic may be a must.

I am also a bit curious about how the game would be received and played with by different crowds now. How would a drama theatre play with the materials and the instructions? How would a crowd of primarily children play with the pieces?

I also feel that perhaps the inclusion of some kind of timer may not be a bad idea. Many people would come in and see one score playing out, and believe that one score comprises the entire game. With the use of timed music that signifies a switch to another score, those in the vicinity would understand that the game comprises of multiple pieces by just hearing the musical switches alone.

I also feel that as I am now familiar with the laser cutter it is imperative I finally design a shadow puppet more conducive to input from multiple angles. I think the shadow puppet could be expanded to have more props and the like.