Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mechanical "LCD game"!?

is it possible to create an hand-held game, similar to an LCD game, but purely by mechanical means? Electro-mechanical would also fine!

The main problem is how to visualize a video-game without a screen, but via a mechanical device?

Here are some findings about this idea:
- Produces animation without the use of lenses or electricity [source]

- Fractals can be used to generate multiple shapes shadows [source, and some theory about moire' patterns]
- Paul Overton at DudeCraft shows us how to make this cool analog "scanimation" style animation using a transparent sheet with black bars on it [video]
- The type of game I'm thinking about is this: where all the sprites are pre-drawn into an LCD screen [source]

My idea so far is to:
- take a screen similar to the initial screen of an LCD game (like here)
- make a transparent filter (like the one used in scan-line animation) that will make the character sprite appear and disappear in a specific sequence
- make a second transparent filter for the background objects, that possibly does not interfere with the first one
- now playing the game should simply be a matter of moving the filters left/right (or possibly also up/down); the player's filter should be moved by the player, while the background/enemies filter could be controlled by some mechanical timer, perhaps randomized in some way...

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