Storm Crow Interactive LED Display

It’s time to deck the halls at our favourite geeky sci-fi bar, Storm Crow Alehouse, at 1619 West Broadway. At Intergalactic, we love interactive. So what better way to bring you Holiday Greetings than by getting you involved in a game? We've teamed up with Storm Crow Alehouse to bring you a chance to win a prize by playing 'Santa Says' - a life sized (ok, bar sized) game of Simon Says using giant, decorated light pillars and your mobile phone. Yes, you need to be onsite to play.

This project started as a fun Halloween decor spin-off of “Stranger Things” Upside Down lights communicating from the great beyond, but soon became an arduino controlled light interaction within our office. From there and to many brainstorming sessions later, the team hit upon the idea to morph our new decor into a holiday card interactive game. The internal project spurred the creative juices flow of our dev team and designers, who were all willing to put in extra hours into toward something fun and cool.

Partnering with Storm Crow Alehouse was a natural fit as a self proclaimed “sports bar for nerds” that houses a life-sized carbonite Han Solo and serves up Romulan Ale. We scouted out the location interior and landed upon wrapping the light pillars in the bar with our Christmas light strings, the ideal focal point in the bar for group interaction. Working with Jason Kapalka, the owner of the bar, who hails from the video game industry, our team presented and refined a simple “Simon” (that old thing from the 80’s) game concept that requires you to repeat memorized light patterns into an input device. In our case, we are using the bar patrons’ mobile phones and allowing them to check into our local wifi server to bring up our game interface. With a short time frame and limited budget, the team worked in a quick, light development cycle to concept, wireframe, and prototype the install as well as the app UI.

The team followed the lead of our interactive developers and used individually addressable LED strings to create an interactive Christmas themed display. The plan was for customers to interact with the lights (and each other) via a mobile website accessible only in the bar. The general theory was to have regularly scheduled games throughout the evening and otherwise display idle animations or allow for non-competitive user interactions. Tent cards were printed up with QR codes to indicate to users at the bar to log onto our wifi network to start the gameplay. Players are challenged to pattern match a sequence of colours from the large column displays and correctly enter them on to their corresponding mobile device UI in the shape of festive Christmas trees. For every round of play, our users gain points for correctness & speed of input, with a single triumphant winner at the end. Our half hourly game plays out each night until the end of the year and rewards the winners with a $5 gift card to the bar, redeemable for drinks or food. Each user is identified by a random avatar generator, run off a JavaScript module, which bestows our players with suitably geeky names and custom illustrated icons, like: Skitterbite Buffalo, Heavywizard Trader, Lemonzebra Fly, or Gingerchin Jaw.

The system uses FadeCandy circuit boards as a driver for a series of RGB LEDs. A node.js server is running on a Raspberry Pi to control the FadeCandy boards as well as serve up a webpage the users can join to play the game.

The team got handy soldering electronics and switches, rolling up their sleeves to cut mesh frameworks, craft up a Christmas tree theme of garland via twist ties and zip ties, as well as spraypainting surreptitiously in the back lane of our Yaletown office. We’re happy to get this launched and hope you enjoy your gaming experience too! Give us a shout if you’d like to chat more about what Intergalactic can do for your brand.

Now go feast on some Nightcrawler Currywurst or Xenomorph Brain Fluid.