It seems rare for artistry and gaming to go hand in hand. Usually there are rigid rules in video games that prevent artistic on-the-spot changes to game design. And in art, there isn’t usually an endgame or a point counter, but only subjective likes or dislikes. But that doesn’t mean the two disparate worlds can’t fuse together, and make something seriously cool. For instance, Flippaper: the pinball machine that lets you draw—with markers and paper—interactive pinball games.
Flippaper is the brainchild of Jérémie Cortial and Roman Miletitch, the former an artist and inventor who often uses drawing in his projects, the latter a digital artist, researcher, and teacher whose work revolves around movement. And for this particular collaboration, they took pinball, a game that’s been around since the 18th century, and combined it with a digital update that allows players to draw their own interactive elements, which are immediately incorporated into gameplay.
As demonstrated in the video immediately above, Flippaper takes players’ drawings, scans them, and then projects them onto the paper/game screen as interactive elements. According to one journalist from Creative Applications Network who spoke with the duo, this works by using “a relatively simple computer vision system” that’s made up of a web cam, a video projector, and a mirror, as well as an application built using Cinder, and the physics engine Box2D.
Creating the interactive elements involves four colored markers (red, yellow, blue, green) as well as “a grammar of strokes” that includes lines, dots, filled shapes, and closed shapes. Each one of these color/grammar stroke combos corresponds to a different interactive element, like flippers, speed boosters, walls, portals, and targets. Once you’ve drawn your interactive elements, all you have to do is press “SCAN” and boom, you’re playing a pinball “machine” that you designed.
Along with the cool tech, the superb detail and design of the cabinet should also be noted, because that case is so so pretty. It’s subtle, but definitely a gorgeous and finely executed throwback to the old-school consoles at the root of today’s wildly inventive games. Imagine an entire arcade with games like these. Cortial and Miletitch, we will shut up now so you can take our money.
How psyched are you about the intersection of art and gaming, in general, and Flippaper in particular? Sketch out your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images: Sodakat Pictures