Myo-Sweeper (Twitch Plays Minesweeper)

To create something simple to operate, challenging to create, and fun to use.

Our hack, at its core, is a unique take on the timeless Windows game Minesweeper. We strived to implement technologies that we though would most benefit the gameplay experience and utilize the cutting-edge products that are over-taking the tech market. For our hack, we utilized the following three technologies extensively.

  • Myo Gesture Control
  • Twitch.tv Crowd-Sourced Gaming
  • Unity Game Development Platform

Key Features

Our project follows this rough sequence. The game is started and a unfilled board is initialized. The board is 16x32 boxes wide. After this, input from the Twitch audience populates the bombs on the field. We achieved this by using Python to read from a Twitch feed, parse and filter the input, and pass that information to the game engine. Our game was made in Unity, which is conveniently very compatible with Myo. Unity gave us a platform upon which to build 3D objects and create the visual environment that we desired. Finally, we use the Myo as a sort of cursor to let the user pick the square he/she wishes to select. We used the Myo in combination with Unity to take the inputs of the Myo and display them in an intuitive way. The user plays until only bombs remain un-turned. If achieved, the player wins. If not achieved, Twitch is the victor.

Timeline

Our team of Zack, Jonathan, and Jean-Luc brought together a Computer Scientist, an Electrical Engineer, and a Mechanical engineer respectively. Given our broad range of talents and wide variety of interests, our initial plan was to create a mechatronics/robotics project. We settled down immediately in the Hardware room, and promptly attended the HackSC Hardware Hack school, where we took a swing at the Intel Edison boards, and started working with Thalmic Myos. Unfortunately, a lack of general hardware (motors and wheels) prevented us from taking our robotics plan to fruition. We woke up on the second morning without a plan. Jonathan halfheartedly joked that we could use the Edison and Myo to play Minesweeper on a 16x2 LCD. After the laughter subsided, we considered taking this minesweeper idea to the furthest extent we could take it.

We along the way decided to use the Myo for controlling the player's actions. We figured this technology would be able to adapt well to a point-and-click application. In order to make the game interactive for an audience, we used the idea behind the "Twitch Plays Pokemon" concept to bring audience particpipation into what had once been a single-player game. The audience, through a Twitch stream, is able to set the mines on the field. Later iterations will be able to confirm on an individual basis who placed the bomb that ended the player's game.

We encountered a variety of trouble through this hack. A lack of hardware set us back primarily. Incompatibility issues, and version control problems held us back in the middle of our day. Finally, towards the end, problems with the Myo gave us the utmost difficulty. We were pressed for time, and the central component of our player's communication was crippled. We were totally capable of setting up the environment, and having the crowd fill it up with bombs, but no way to play upon our creation.

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