Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Making an electronic board game playing surface

It's been a while without posts, but that doesn't mean nothing's been going on at Nerd Towers. In fact, quite a lot has. And in real-life work too (but that's all confidential, hush-hush, say-no-more). But one of the things we've been playing about with is CyberLink Power Director (Deluxe) to make some videos.

Now video isn't our preferred format. Written words and pictures are what the blog is all about, not videos. Some people make great video blogs - but there's a degree of dedication in editing, lighting, getting everything "just so" required that we simply can't commit to. Whether it's because we're working in a poorly lit loft, a messy, noisy hackspace, or a freezing cold shed in the winter, videos just don't work for us right now.

With all that said, however, we've been asked to put together an instructional video, demonstrating how to create our electronic board game playing surfaces. So here goes with the first rough cut.

This video only ever had an intended audience of one. We made it to give to one person who hadn't seen any of the ongoing builds, to see if they could understand and follow it. We gave them a kit of laser-cut bits, some components and wanted to see if they could make a board section, without any intervention, just by watching the video.

It's poorly lit, the sound is terrible, the noise from slurping coffee is distracting, and hands and arms get in the way all over the place. But that's partly the point of it - so when we come to make the "proper" version of the video, and have gone to the trouble of hiring a properly lit studio and all the right video equipment, we know what to avoid doing and where best to put things and so on. 

The quality of the video is terrible. But in the name of sharing what you do and all that, here goes....

Files and links to the templates, schematics, firmware and all that will be released as soon as we're happy that they're complete - at the minute, we're changing things as we go; making a tutorial video really does show us where things we thought we'd finished actually need much more improving upon!


On reviewing this, perhaps we should have created an introduction video, showing the final thing working, to demonstrate what it actually is we're creating! But there are more than just one or two posts throughout this blog that bang on incessantly about the electronic board game idea. So maybe not.

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