The Space Probe interactive is a challenging multiplayer experience, where teams attempt to assemble a space probe crammed with all of the essential equipment needed for exploring deep space.
Taking on the roles of the ‘Chief Engineer’, ‘Communications Officer’ or ‘Head Scientist’ visitors must choose a mission to embark on and then work together to outfit a probe that will not only get into space but also successfully complete the mission. The team must do this whilst under a mission critical deadline to make the launch window.
If the team makes the right decisions the outlook is favourable but if not the team must face the media and discover how hard it is to put a probe into space.
The Space Probe was a challenging installation to put together. With the creative lead coming from London based agency Newangle, I worked closely with their designers to realise their vision and help inform their user experience.
With heaps of HD video footage packing a visual wow and the background networking synchronisation providing the backbone, this interactive combines the graphically elegant with the technically sophisticated.
One of the toughest challenges we came across was working out how many of the consoles were being used and if they weren't we needed the computer to take over and become an artificial player. At the same time we needed the capability for someone to walk upto a console and re-assert control at any time while the installation is active. This took quite a lot of experimenting and refining to get the experience right; allowing people to jump into the action at any point and understand what the mechanics of the experience entailed..
Creating and encouraging a team dynamic took many hours of testing to slowly evolve into a seamless flow of interaction allowing a single player as well as a group engagement given the ever changing stream of people through the exhibit.
- Constructed from 4 computers, 3 touchscreens, 1 plasma screen and a localised network.
- Playable with 1, 2 or 3 players. The computer will step in if a player is not present.
- Part of the £15 million development of the time and space galleries.
- Opened by the Queen in May 2007
- Free entry to the public. Open from 10:00-17:00 everyday