Lasagna - In with the old, in with the new.
The group is working tirelessly to get the first prototype up and running!
Planning the generation 0 maze map!
Generation 0 of the top layer of Lasagna!
A close of up the gimbal we made!
Our modified PSU that allows us to power up to 6 servos/stepper motors at once!
Testing our gimbal that ended up as the final design!
Our inspiration and our goal
With over 90% of children in the USA playing video games at least half an hour a day, over 22 million hours are spent daily in front of screens by children seeking interactive entertainment. Lasagna's goal is to move that interaction away from the screen, and into a family setting. We strive to increase face to face time between parents and children, all while doing so through the most entertaining of media - video games.
What it does
Lasagna is the first attempt in making a complete crossover of a video game and a tabletop game. We started with one of the most beloved games of the 80's, Labyrinth. We wanted to find a game that not only worked on a table top version, but also had a lot of moving parts.
Lasagna is pvp Labyrinth. The game consists of an attacker who can control the tilt of the board. This player has a joystick and uses it to maneuver the ball from the start to the goal. The defender has access to a few different traps around the map. The Goal of the defender is to slow down the attacker as much as possible. After each player has had a chance to both attack and defend, then the attacker with the lower time wins! The idea is simple, but the skill ceiling is high. Good luck!
How we built it, our challenges, and out triumph story
Our project started with a few things: computers, cardboard and tape. From there, we split in to two main groups. The hardware group, Jack and Michael, immediately started working on the build of the game. Michael created the gimbal design, and Jack began to build from Michael's plans.
While this was going on, the software team, Thomas and Kerry, began to design the maze that was atop the structure. They did this first so they could begin production of making the virtual map as soon as possible. After their design was complete, Thomas created the digital map and Kerry swiftly made the bare bones of the back end for the web app.
After the structure was complete and the web app production was running smoothly, the hardware team was tasked with making the interactive controller with the joystick. After a quick google search and skim of the part's documentation, Michael wrote the code and got the joystick working right away!
At this point, our team had a working prototype. Although the defense player was not working, we were able to get a bit of sleep before waking up the next day to continue development.
Thankfully, the sleep payed off and Sunday morning was extremely productive! The hardware quickly got 3 of the 4 defensive traps working. The 4th had a broken servo mounted to it. The team then went to the MLH hardware booth and checked out one of the last few stepper motors to do the job of the broken servo; it worked perfectly.
After getting all of the hardware up and running, the software team had a breeze finishing up the web app in less than an hour. Both teams then finalized the game's scoring and rules and that was lasagna. We had finished the goal we originally set out to do - in with the old, in with the new!
What we learned
From this project, our team learned how important it is the the hardware team and software team work with each other at all times. The team was able to succeed because of the collaboration skills we have built up working with each other for over a year now.
We also learned the importance of precision from both a hardware and software aspect. The design of the tower was modeled down to the inch, to ensure perfection with the many moving parts. We then used this sketch to make the UI/UX much more extensive through the web app's defensive controlling.
Overall, we learned that there is a future in merging the gap between tabletop games and video games. As that gap grows, it is our job to shrink or even close it. Closing this gap is the future of gaming and family time. Because of this, it is not a matter of if we will succeed with out goal, but rather when we will be able to match video game popularity with lasagna popularity.
What's next for Lasagna
The next step for Lasagna is to move forward with a finalized product that can be taken into any home. This means stronger materials, a smaller/more compact design, and a cheap manufacturing process. The team also want to develop a mobile app to help ease the connection to the game and make the whole experience more enjoyable! All in all, lasagna wants to increase family and friend bonding through merging video and tabletop games!