A Sketch-Based, Physics-Enabled Video Game
Senior Project: 2008-2009
Kerpoof is a Boulder-based company which hosts an educational and entertaining
web site, kerpoof.com for children.
The motivation behind Kerpoof's products is to create a fun, interactive
environment aimed at instilling interest in creativity and discovery in their
young audience. Kerpoof's previous Senior project, the highly acclaimed
(later renamed Super Doodle),
incorporates a shape recognition system that allows users to create elaborate
and precise drawings. The goal of SketchCraft was to incorporate the
existing Super Doodle engine into a drawing-based game that is fun,
educational and creative.
The World of SketchCraft is an online, sketch-based video game.
The project was written in
using the Flex 3 Software Development Kit.
Users sketch various objects to complete the tasks set before them. Using the
Super Doodle engine, user-drawn shapes are corrected: based on the
overall shape of the object that the user drew, the game actually adjusts the
shape to have straight lines, rounded curves, and square corners. Once the
shape has been corrected, the shape enters the physics world. Based on the
material that the user used to draw, the shape is assigned a set of physics
properties. Example properties include the shape's friction coefficient, mass,
and coefficient of restitution. In combination with the object's initial
position and shape, these properties govern the object's behavior in the
physics world. For example, a rubber object bounces when it comes in contact
with another shape, while an ice object slides.
The variety of possible drawing materials adds another degree of complexity to
the game. Using various shapes and materials, the user must intelligently
develop a method of "beating" each level. Level goals range from building a
tower to catapulting objects into the "win" area. This combination of drawing
and physics based game play make SketchCraft unique.
In addition to this basic game play, SketchCraft also provides a level
editor and a framework for further extending the game's capabilities.
Ultimately, users will be able to construct and share new levels with each
other and developers will be able to use the framework to extend the game in
new directions. The project has won two awards: a
"Best of Section Award"
at the Spring 2009 Engineering Design Expo, as well as the
2009 Lloyd Fosdick Award
given to "exemplary collaborative projects that include CU Computer Science
undergraduates as participants."