On your adventures through the mystery manor, you find yourself in a large game room, surrounded by taxidermic trophies and old rifles. There's a storm brewing outside, and you still have no idea how to get out of this God-forsaken mansion.
Suddenly, lightning strikes right next to the window! The power goes out and you can only see the room in the brief, blinding moments of lightning. The stuffed animals look alive in the eerie light, watching your every move, ready to pounce. You can barely hear your friends over the thunder rolling through, when suddenly one of them yells, "Look! A clue over there!"
Our vision for this project was to simulate a thunderstorm behind a window. Thus, the onus was on us to find a balance between design feasibility and user believability . Our guiding principles were engaging as many senses as possible, catering to diverse crowd size and age, playing off existing archetypes, complementing the theme and storyline, running autonomously within a timing mechanism, and most importantly, having a high "WOW!" factor.
We isolated three components to the window (aesthetic frame, thunder & lightning, and rain & wind) and then added the hand as an interactive element. For each component, we prototyped a robust electromechanical analogue and coordinated all of them using a Raspberry Pi microcontroller. More details about the design choices and fabrication methods can be found in the Assembly pages.
While everything worked as planned, there are some areas for improvement and troubleshooting: