A third year student from Goldsmiths Computing has developed a unique felt circuit board to enable primary school children to learn about electronics.
The project, ‘Felt-e’, was created by BSc Creative Computing student Elisabetta Motta as a potential new resource for teaching physical computing to children.
She said: “My research into primary schools found that teachers in computing lessons often lack the resources and time to enthuse young boys and girls about the subject. Felt-e provides a unique, hands on experience for kids and allows them to be creative while learning about electronics. It’s also a resource that’s easy to understand for teachers who might be unfamiliar with computing.”
Elisabetta, 28, surveyed a number of teachers during her initial research, exploring the frustrations of many Key Stage 1 and 2 teachers around lack of computing knowledge and pressures to prioritise literacy and mathematics.
Common feedback included a difficulty keeping pupils focused and lack of resources to run hands-on activities, which inspired the design of the Felt-e board.
Similarly laid out to a breadboard – a commonly used electronic tool which allows the user to lay out components – Felt-e includes two bus strips and ten terminal strips. Each strip has metallic poppers, to which the user can connect ‘wires’ and other components.
The longer wires have one popper on one end to connect to the board, and a crocodile clip on the other end to connect to the micro controller. The shorter wires have poppers on each end so connect points on the board.
Components are made from white felt with drawings of the relevant electronic symbol on one side and positive and negative signs on each end (if relevant to the component). The circuit is also compatible with micro controllers including the BBC micro:bit.
Thursday 7 June sees our annual celebration of achievement by undergraduate students from across the department.
A mash-up of exhibition, show-and-tell, performance and academic conference, GENERATION is a showcase of outstanding computing projects realised by undergraduates in 2017-18. It’s an exhibition for anyone who’s interested in how digital technology and computer science is impacting on health, education, business and entertainment.
This year we have a lots of computer games, as well as virtual reality experiences, augmented reality apps, interactive thingamajigs and technologies for art, music, education, business and healthcare.
Opens: 1pm-5pm Thursday 7 June
Bar & performances: 5pm-9pm Thursday 7 June
Goldsmiths Student Union Bar
Dixon Road, Goldsmiths, University of London
The degree show for BSc Digital Arts Computing launches on Thursday 3 May.
Titled EXIT STRATEGY, the exhibition features over 30 computational artists, using digital technologies to create works on surveillance, artificial intelligence, art theory and the end of humanity.
Artworks include cliquey robots, a VR gallery, life stories from the Soviet era, haptic devices simulating human touch, sonified data, and a toddler exposed to the internet.
The exhibition launches with the ever-popular opening night party, 5.30pm-9.30pm Thursday 3 May 2018, with guests from across the world of art, curating and digital practice. Get free tickets for the party
EXIT STRATEGY continues from Friday 4 until Monday 7 May, 12noon – 5pm each day.
EVENT: Digital Art’s Exit Strategies 3pm – 4.30pm Saturday 5 May
We invite artists, theorists and curators Suhail Malik, Ami Clarke and Bob Bicknell-Knight to respond to the exhibition and propose art and curatorial strategies for exits. Open to all.
Any Button Gaming journalist Darren Colley recently met up with Matthew Deline, a student on our MA Indie Games & Playable Experience Design. We republish his article here.
This week we are showcasing the creator of retro tabletop arcade cabinet Shape Arcade, Matthew Deline.
Hi! My name is Matthew, and it’s very nice to meet you. I’m an aspiring independent game designer and travel blogger from California who is currently based in London. I love to travel and make cool things, and I am a passionate believer in the importance of storytelling and the power of creative expression through play.
Building on lessons learned throughout my professional and academic history, from a focus in world literature (I was named the 2009 Outstanding Graduate in English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University), to high-level Technical support for global teams at Apple in Cupertino, to my experiences filming, writing about, and sharing our world as a travel blogger with The Radical Dreamer, I’m currently studying to build transformative game experiences at one of the United Kingdom’s top universities for digital humanities with the MA Independent Games & Playable Experience Design program at Goldsmiths, University of London.
My key interests of study include interactive fiction, virtual reality, physical computing, and creative coding which gives me a unique interdisciplinary skill set from using Unity, GameMaker and C# to create digital games, to Twine for exploring branching and reactive narratives, to using Processing and Open Frameworks to make tools for creating generative artwork, and the use of microcontrollers and electronics for building playable (and playful) experiences.
And with a core focus on learning fundamental game design concepts, I now have a skill set that includes rapid prototyping and iteration on paper and in Unity for a broad range of both physical and digital experiences. And I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to create with these new skills to explore the sociological and identity issues that are relative to interactive entertainment and the unique narrative and expressive qualities that the medium contains.
About The Game, Shape Arcade Shape Arcade is an arcade game where players compete to reach the highest score possible by using two dials to match their player’s shape to different colored shapes falling down the screen. Designed to be simple and intuitive to engage with, and challenging at higher levels of play.
Players match shapes by moving their player using the left dial, and increase or decrease the number of sides to their shape by turning the right dial. As players reach higher levels, their scores become even higher, and so do the stakes! Shapes move faster, rotate, and sway. Once they have missed three shapes in a row, the game is over.
The original concept for the game is inspired by early arcade-era games in which the goal is to reach the highest score possible. Games like Defender, Space Invaders, Asteroids, as well as more recent re-interpretations of the frenetic action in games like Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and Pac Man Championship Edition DX were instrumental in defining the gameplay characteristics of flow and compelling interaction and colorful and simple aesthetics that I wanted to achieve with this game.
1972’s Pong was a major influence on the arcade design that uses two dials for interaction. Early versions of Shape Arcade had three dials, and a remote controller over bluetooth, but it was feedback from players that pushed me in the direction of building an arcade cabinet that is heavily influenced by this design.The actual concept for the game itself (where you are matching falling shapes) comes from a more unlikely source, the game show Nokabe, which has been described as a sort of human Tetris where players must contort their bodies into awkward positions to fit through holes in walls that are coming towards them. The natural tension of having to match a particular shape or face disaster I
found very compelling, although the falling shapes in the final version of Shape Arcade are more akin to Tetris than the game show itself
The final art style of the game (including the font) was heavily inspired by the works of Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, and other members of the Bauhaus school of art that utilized geometry and everyday patterns to create incredible things.
We cannot wait to see what Matthew works on next and you can keep up to date with where you can play Shape Arcade by following him on Twitter or checking out his website for more of what you have seen here.
EPISODE ONE: It’s Alive!
Join us for our inaugural episode as students Matthew, Ben and Tommy sit down to chat about games, university life in London, the importance of embracing failure, and more!
EPISODE TWO: The New Challengers!
Matthew, Ben and Tommy as they are joined this week by newcomers Billy, Ece, and Doruk to discuss Games, Design, and student life in London. This week we discuss the importance of the magic circle, player agency, and narrative choice with a discussion on Stardew Valley, Prey, Gone Home, Life Is Strange, What Remains of Edith Finch, Hollow Knight, Bury Me My Love and more.
EPISODE THREE: Life in London
Join Matthew, Billy, Tommy and Alex as they discuss their chosen course of study, what it’s like returning to school, life in London, and arcade culture!
EPISODE FOUR: Narrative Games and Voice Over Artistry
This week we have a visit from a very special guest, voiceover actress Natalie Winter. We discuss what it’s like to work in a recording booth and how best to incorporate voice over into our games. And we have a massive discussion about both the physical and digital in gaming; from The Town of Light, Before I Forget, Fragments of Him, to Forbidden Desert, Pandemic Legacy, Dungeons and Dragons, and all the way to Super Mario Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed, Skyrim VR and TWINE.
EPISODE FIVE: End of Term
This week, we discuss Horizon: Zero Dawn and other open-world games, developing for virtual reality, share some of our thoughts from the end of the first lecture term, and have a deep discussion about some of the projects that we’ve been working on.
A third year Computing student has made it into the final of Target Jobs’ Undergraduate of the Year, in the Science & Computing category.
The organisers describe their ideal winner as “someone who can demonstrate a real passion for technology and the ability to communicate their innovative mindset with others”. They will win a month’s internship at FDM, a global professional services provider with a focus on IT.
3rd year Francesco Perticarari got through to the assessment stage by completing maths, computing and psychometric tests, and writing about a piece of technology that he is working on.
“At the moment, I’m building Silicon Roundabout, an online hub to help startups and tech ideas at any stage of development connect with investors, early adopters, and software developers / employees.
“When I got through to the assessment day, I wasn’t sure about what to expect and I remember walking in fairly casual, only to find out that everyone else was in a suit. Despite that I felt fairly relaxed because all the other attendees were quite friendly and fun and we linked up quickly. We were asked to do a group test including time management, organisational skills, and presentation.
“After that we had individual interviews. I was asked to explain why I should win this internship and I said: Because I’ve worked really hard, and if I don’t know something, I keep looking for the right people who can help me, and then annoy them until I get it.”
Last week the organisers announced that Francesco had made it into the top ten. The winner will be announced at a networking lunch event in April. The business-savvy student says: “This event will give me a chance to connect with interesting people in the industry that could possibly help my Silicon Roundabout project gain traction.”