Jason Eldred

Interaction Designer

Jason Eldred

Striker Air Hockey

Guerrilla Nouveau has been hard at work on a new touchscreen technique. We made air hockey to demonstrate the possibilities of this low resolution touch screen technique, but couldn’t resist throwing in some extras.

Our first board, which had a lot of tracking problems when the board would flex.

Our team, Guerrilla Nouveau started out making custom art projects with Arduino, Capacitive Touch, and Unity. This gave us simple button presses, but we wanted more fidelity. So we figured out how to develop a low fidelity touch grid on a shoestring budget (under $100*).

*The touch grid is inexpensive (if time consuming) to make. The computer and pico-projector for displaying the gameplay cost significantly more.

What we had before were simple capacitive touch buttons. We could cut out tin foil, place it somewhere, and have a button. Our new capacitive touch grid technique lets us detect the presence of a palm on intersections spaced 3 inches horizontally or vertically, and can get more granular by measuring the proportional capacitance change on multiple activated intersections.

We can detect a palm press anywhere on the board. We can track your hand as it slides around. We have pretty good tracking, but we can improve it with software.
The idea of a touchscreen, or even a touch table, isn’t new. But a technique for turning any surface into a touchscreen for a fraction of the price of other technologies is. If accepted, we plan to come to GDC with how-to/tutorials/open-source software for our custom touchscreen technique.

Why Air Hockey?
Originally, for a school LAN party, we pulled this game of air hockey together to demonstrate how our grid works and can track hands swipes. But we’ve already added a ton of different add-ons and hope to add more.
Current Features
-Goal Time Slow Motion
-Gravity wells (positive and negative)
-Hit the target mode
-Always Fast, Medium, or Slow pucks
-Puck that changes directions randomly
-Any Number of Pucks! (performance permitting)
Planned Features (in order of difficulty)
-More Art, UI, and Sound Effects
-More modes and an easy switch menu
-Cleaner Hand Tracking
-Other games that use the touch grid, especially ones oriented to a multi-day conference with elements that change over days.
-Other Touchscreen Surfaces? (Wall? curved?)

  • Date September 2017 – Present

  • Type Custom Hardware Game

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