Playing Angry Birds on a touchscreen is fun, but why not take a step closer to authenticity? Grab a slingshot, a couple of sparrows–okay, don’t do that. Do, however, take a look at this physical Angry Birds slingshot/controller that two students put together as part of a haptics project at The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.
The students, Andrew Spitz and Hideaki Matsui, rigged up a ‘slingshot controller’ that interacts directly with a digital copy of Angry Birds. Pull the bird back in the USB-powered catapult, and the bird on-screen reacts accordingly. Press the little ‘TNT’ accessory, and the bird executes its species-appropriate second attack (blowing up, splitting apart, laying an egg, doing that useless boomerang move).
Spitz and Matsui say that tactile games and toys like rubber band guns are what inspired them to make ‘Super Angry Birds.’ ‘We wanted to bring the physicality and simple playfulness of these games to a modern game like Angry Birds,” Spitz told Gamasutra. “Angry Birds is such a fun game, and taking the slingshot out of the computer and into our hands is something we just couldn’t resist.
“So much from our digital world has shifted from the tangible to the intangible. Even though in most contexts a purely digital interaction is very efficient, certain interactions, such as gaming, are amazing opportunities for adding a physical element.”
Spitz and Matsui aim to make similar custom controllers for other popular games. If you’d like the details on how Super Angry Birds was engineered, check them all out on this video.