Curare Magicum

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Title:    Curare Magicum
Date:    Apr-May 16
Type:    Digital/Analog Hybrid
Role:    Design & Fabrication
Collaborators:    Ivy Li, Erenyx, Christian Sutton, & Sam Von Ehren
Description: As our final project in Naomi Clark and Eric Zimmerman’s Design II class, we set ourselves a design challenge of making a solitaire analog game and a digital/analog hybrid. Both are interesting but difficult design spaces, but complement each other as well. Curare Magicum is a puzzle game that casts players as apprentice healing wizards, and has them casting spells by waving their cell phone over three runestones. The physicality of the objects was superb, and players really enjoyed manipulating the pieces.

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I particularly enjoyed designing to the limitations of technology. The pattern detection protocols we used for the mobile application could only parse symbols in one at a time. So we designed the triangular spell casting surface to necessitate moving the phone over the symbols individually, while also making it feel more ritualistic. The stylized motions the game required let us avoid some of the pitfalls that digital-analog hybrid games often encounter.

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While the design was extremely challenging, it was rewarding to take on such an unfamiliar game space but still be able to create a compelling experience.

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