Today we want to share with you some interesting information about one of our projects - a ready-to-play/ turnkey escape room. To be more exact, it is not a classic escape room. It is a symbiosis of an escape room, a museum and an educational center. This is our «edutainment» project.
The escape room industry has been developing quite fast. Obviously, this is not a secret for anyone. We can say that at the moment the ER industry is becoming a part of the educational process.
Our project is divided into three main parts:
part with an Augmented Reality (AR) game;
«classic» escape room;
control part (server): puzzles, lights, sounds and web-interface (application).
Part 1. Augmented Reality
First of all, we want to describe the AR part. It is a great combination of augmented reality and physical interaction of players with application and the room.
Players have tablets and 4 pictures. Each tablet has a special application for the escape room. Player #1 should look at the 4 pictures through the tablet. The AR part: on the tablet screen he/she will see some characters flying around the pictures. At the same time player #2 should catch these characters with the help of a special prop.
It is always hard to describe the AR part. Better see our video!
Some key details of the AR part:
The AR part can be seen only on the 4 pictures, which are programed in advance;;
Characters are scaling up to distance;
Players catch the characters with the help of light. There is a special device inside backpacks to do this. The number of lights is not limited;
While the game progresses, it becomes more difficult;
You use the server to manage and change if necessary the number of characters, their speed, trajectories and also the settings of backpacks;
There are some technical points, which do not allow players to cover the camera with light. We added some additional sensors to avoid such «bugs».
Part 2. Puzzles
There are both several quite ordinary puzzles (from the puzzle producer point of view) and a few unique ones.
Let’s start with the unique puzzles!
Players should use sand inside the box to create a certain landscape. Of course, we programed the prop, so that a camera above the sandbox analyzes the landscape, which is being created by players. However, there is no strict pre-programed location and sizes. Otherwise, this would be too difficult for players to solve the puzzle.
This is a pure machine vision puzzle. The game operator can see via the web-interface a picture of the landscape and give players some hints.
A sequence of lights and sounds. This is standard for escape rooms. It has the same logic as a famous memory skill game «Simon»: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_(game) However, there is one unusual option, which makes this puzzle unique. During the game the system records all the sounds in the room and then plays the record backwards. There are 3 cycles, by the the end of the last one the cacophony can become quite annoying and perplexing.
Technical information about server and whole project
Server on OS Linux.
Protocol of data exchange with external sources: HTTP.
Contol of the whole game via WEB-page (any device: laptop, tablet, PC, smartphone) .
Technology PoE is used (power over ethernet).
There is special protection for ports to avoid short circuit.
Inside puzzles there are microcontrollers AtMega 328.
Control of DMX controllers goes via ArtNet protocol.
Multi-channel sound system (6 channels).
Machine vision via OpenCV in connection with kinect.
Printed circuit boards (PCB) were developed via Altium Designer.
Firmware of microcontrollers was made via C/C ++.
In our next post there will be more information about the puzzles and server.