Zipline: Looks Like

Pseudogravity Failure Storyboard

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As shown in the storyboard, this room requires an element that allows users to traverse the room to reach the other switches, as well as suggest that there is artificial gravity acting. Monkey bars and a zipline were proposed in the concept sketches; I decided to delve further into how a zipline might look in the room.
Room layout from storyboard
Zip-line concept sketch
Zip-line sketch model

This looks-like sketch model is 1/10th scale model of the actual proposed size. Only the first, longest zipline is built for simplicity. With this looks-like model, I sought to investigate

  • the proposed length and scale of the zipline compared to the rest of the room
  • how the zipline may look with the rest of the theme of the room
  • different ways to grip the zipline

Sizing and footprint

In the storyboard, there were additional ducts to climb through for players to reach other switches. In designing and constructing floor layout with the zip-line, it is apparent that these ducts will not fit in the room safely with the proposed zip-line footprint, while ensuring the room remains within the given size guidelines. Therefore, the zip-line would be the main element of the room and other means of climbing the walls to reach the other switches would need to be employed (see below).
Top view of sketch model -- no room for duct work for additional climbing!

Feedback from the concept sketches suggested that there needs to be a clear sign that guests cannot step on the floor underneath the zipline. In this scale model, our solution to that is a duct is painted on the floor in one-point perspective to give the illusion that there is no support if you fall off the zipline. This floor would also be padded to cushion falls from the zipline

Integration with room setting

To go with the space ship boiler or control room setting of the game, the zipline structure is a silver pipe or painted silver for an industrial look. The zipline itself is slanted so that the carriage can return to the starting end under its own weight, thereby making the mechanism self-resetting.

Silver zip-line pipe, silver trolley, silver supports to fit with room setting
Platforms at either end. Landing pad is slightly taller than the launch pad, due to the incline of the zip-line.

At the ends of the zipline, there are take-off and landing pads to aid in launching with enough momentum to make it to the other side and landing safely. The platforms are raised enough off the floor to aid the guests in using the pipeline, but not so much as to cause injury if someone were to fall from the platform. These are rectangular and look like duct work to also fit in with the room setting.

Finally, room walls were constructed to investigate how the zipline would fit in the overall proposed ambiance of the room. Since the originally proposed duct work for climbing to other switches cannot be incorporated safely into the room with the zipline, these walls have piping that can be used to climb to some of the switches.

Together, the piping on the walls and the zipline look believable as a boiler/control room. The currently proposed size also allows the door to the room to open with enough clearance to not hit the launch platform.

Handle mechanisms

Three different possibilities for handle mechanisms were fabricated for the sketch model. The mechanisms vary in the physical strength required to successfully traverse using the zipline. To give a sense of how players might look on the trollies, scaled people were constructed from pipe cleaners and photographed with the mechanisms. From easiest to hardest, they are:

  1. A circular seat suspended from the carriage
  2. A pipe bar suspended from the carriage by a chain
  3. A rope hanging from the carriage
The pipe and chain handle option looks the most industrial to fit with the room setting. The seat option could be modified to look like manhole cover and the rope like a chain, for a more industrial theme. The trolley design is such that it is customizable, since the handles all can attach to the clip "carabiner" on the trolley. For maximum flexibility in room difficulty, the handles could be switched out every few months.

From the players perspective

To put it all together, scaled pipe cleaner players were placed around the room and photographs from their perspectives were taken to understand how the room might look from a player perspective. Overall, the sketch model room setting does give off the intended industrial feeling also from the player perspective. Additional small detailing work could further increase this feeling and would be further explored if the team decides to move forward with this room.
Room has plenty of room for three players and should have enough room for up to five