Scribb is a computer game in which the physical area scanned by the mouse is an integral part of the interaction. The player must draw some black areas, detected by the mouse, to be able to evolve in the game. So, in the same time, he has to manage the position of the mouse and the surface on which it is placed. 
This double reading questions our way of switching from digital to analog. The mouse, diverted from its usual role, is not only used as an extension of the hand, but as a physical object influenced by its environment.


What have you made?

I’ve created a game you play with a special controller: a mouse that detects black and white color.

What gave you the initial inspiration?

I saw a prototype of Etienne Mineur ( that «hacked» the optical camera of a mouse and I’ve found interesting to use the physical space of the mouse to bring a new interaction on this very well known object.

What is the original idea behind this project?

I developed my interest for controllers with a previous project called Incontroller ( where the difficulty is brought by the hardware but not the software. Both Scribb and Incontroller play on the fact that I like to surprise people with objects they know well and who suddenly do not work as expected. It also came from a lot of research I’ve made about the relationship between print and digital. As I have a background in Graphic Design, these questions always intrigued me. So with Scribb, I wanted to explore this feeling, when you jump, repeatedly, from analog to digital.

How does it work?

The goal of the game is to pick up crosses to open the exit door to the next level. To do so, the player must pass/avoid some obstacles in the scene. The player can achieve this by putting the mouse on black areas that he has drawn with a marker. Indeed, when he passes the mouse on black areas, the scene changes to switch to negative. Therefore, some barriers disappear as new ones appear. The difficulty lies in this double reading, the player must manage the cursor position in the game while remaining attentive to the mouse, whether it is on a black or white area.

How long did it take to make it real?

We had one semester to make our Diploma project. Developing the concept took half of the time and build/code it, the other half.

How did you build it?

The mouse has been modified to include a reflective sensor, the same type that you can find in robots that follow black lines. The sensor detect if the light reflected is strong or not, according to the color close to it. It is connected to the ground and 5v of the mouse chip and the other cables to get to analog values pass through the mouse cable and goes to the box. The regular USB cable of the mouse is connected to a double USB hub. The cables of the reflective sensor are connected to a micro Adruino, powered by the usb hub. For the software, unity3D is used through serial connection, receiving analog values on whether the mouse is on black or white color. The same sensor is used to detect if the mouse is lifted or not.