Overkill // final post

Here is the synopsis of what Overkill is about taken from my previous post.


A game where you judge each other’s moral and ethical decisions.


In the year 3221, planet Earth has become inhospitable due to overpopulation. The human population exceeds the carrying capacity of the Earth. In order to decrease the population and save the Earth, a new law governs that the dictator has to choose a group of people to cull.

  1. A dictator is chosen from the four players.
  2. The counters are placed onto the tiles.
  3. Players have to decide which they think the dictator has chosen to kill.
  4. Earn a point if you choose the same as the dictator.
DEMOGRAPHICS: Who are we killing?

Game Instructions:
  1. Press the Start Button and a dictator will be chosen at random amongst the 4 players. If your light is lit up, that means you are the dictator for that round.
  2. Place your counters onto the red and blue tiles, a minimum of 15 counters must be placed.
  3. After placing the counters, press the play button and one red & one blue tile will be lit up.
  4. Within 10 seconds, players are to decide which they think the dictator will choose to kill, the red or blue representative by pressing your red or blue buttons.
  5. Once the time is up, your light will lit up if you have chosen the same as the dictator.
  6. Press the reset button to start a new round.

Ohmy, this project has been one heck of a ride.

I first began by testing out a trial game with two groups of people. The first group gave me insights into the game that I didn’t take notice of, such as how personalities of players can be taken into consideration. The second group, however, were a little more critical on the conceptual aspect of the game. Basically, they wished the message was a little stronger. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to delve too much into the story of the game because I envision the game to be easily understood and intuitive for the players without having to go into too much detail.

Trial game with makeshift paper board and counters

After the trials, I started working on the form of the board game.

Initially, I designed the board in a 300mm by 600mm dimension as seen below.

However, the feedback given by the class was that the dimensions did allow for an equal level of playing field for players. A simple solution was to create a square board game, ensuring equality for all 4 players. Previously, I was constrained by the size because the Print Centre’s laser cutting machine can only take a maximum of 300mm by 600mm. With Jeffrey’s and Minjee’s (work-study for the print centre) feedback, the laser cutting machine from the PD workshop will work better in my case.

Crafting the model took a lot of trial and error to ensure proper construction. Thus, I spend way too long on Illustrator, working out the dimensions as well as the look and feel.

Once I was ready, it was time to laser cut.

Counters were a little too small during my first laser cut

The next part was working on the code and circuit. Realising that I require many pins, I decided to work with Arduino Mega. To be completely honest, the technological aspect of the project is pretty simple; buttons and led diodes. What makes it complicated though, is the number of wires.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to incorporate the trap door idea using servo motors into the board game. The number of wires without the 10 servo motors is already pretty overwhelming.

I struggled for a fair bit with the wires and it soon proved to be my downfall. Before the end of semester show, I was caught up with trying to just plug in all the wires without having proper cable management. Thus, this resulted in the Arduino Mega to shortcircuit in the early morning of the End of Semester Show. I believe this was due to there being many exposed and loose wires.

Some of my classmates also gave me feedback on how to properly manage the wires such as, using different colour wires and taping down the exposed wires. Taking their feedback into consideration, I redid all the wiring.

This is an image of the wires before the end of semester show.

After the end of semester show, (thank you to Jeffrey and Galina for allowing me to continue working on this project!), I tested all the wirings first to ensure that everything is still functioning. I created several test codes to check that the buttons and lights are working.

After checking, I plugged out all the wires again and tried my best to group and tighten the wires down. Here is a before and after.

Once I ensured that all the wires are properly managed, now I can get down to business and modify my code wherever necessary.

And there you have it, that is how Overkill was made.


  • I believe I paid too much attention to the appearance of the board game that I neglected my wirings and code whereas, for my previous projects, I prioritised the wirings and code. Nonetheless, this time I am pretty proud of the overall aesthetic of the board game, even though it is simple.



I can’t emphasise this enough. But lesson learnt; when you are working with many wires, always ensure everything is labelled and use coloured wires.


  • There are many things I wish I could add or improve to the board game. Nonetheless, I’ll continue developing the project whenever I can. For now, I hope you enjoyed playing Overkill as much as I enjoyed creating and making this project!


The Fragment Space // digital project

When I first started this project, I was looking into how to add technology and improve from the analogue project. Halfway through, I realised that I was kind of forcing the narrative of the analogue project into my digital one. After taking a step back to relook the objective of my digital project, I decided to create a different narrative that relates to my current emotional situation.

In the second half of the semester, I found myself to be facing the issue of coping and controlling my emotions. In the analogue project, it focuses on letting go of negative emotions, whereas, in the digital project, it focuses on controlling your emotions. While going through several stressful episodes, I had wished that there was somewhere that I could run to in order to relax.

Hence, The Fragment Space was built.

The Fragment Space: An isolated space to escape to when you need to keep calm.

When under stress, it is only natural that our heart starts racing. Thus, the main essence of this project was centred around the human heartbeat.

When participants first enter the space, they hear the sound of a heartbeat and are asked to enter into the space. They are then greeted by a bed and pillows where they are to lie on. When ready, they’ll place their finger on the sensor which will track their heart rate.

In the first segment, the audio and visuals are designed to mimic a heart racing, which is created for participants to match it. In the second segment, the actual heart rate is tracked, and participants are told to breathe and keep calm. If they are able to stay calm, they’ll see and hear their heart rate go slow. Participants can stay inside until they have kept themselves calm.


How was it created?

Designing the audiovisuals on Processing

I had to delve into generative art. After some research, I designed the graphics to resemble heart rate waves. I didn’t want the graphics to appear flat, thus I felt by adding the 3dimensional effect would add to the immersive experience.

Next, I found a heartbeat track and figured out how to code it in such a way that the speed of the track will match the heart rate.


Pulse sensor

After creating the graphics and audio, I connected the pulse sensor to an Arduino and connected the Arduino code to the Processing code. Also, I added the variables for the heart rate into the Processing code so that the audio and visuals coincides with the heart rate.

To ensure that a change in heart rate is apparent, I created three ranges; low, normal and high, as seen below.




Building the fort

I spent weeks trying to figure out how to create the frame for the space. After cracking my brain, I came to the conclusion to use PVC pipes and using the cloth to drape over.

Installing the setup

With the help of my product design friend (shoutout to Mus), we created a box to hold the projector as well as the pulse sensor. In my opinion, I think it might have been better to project it from behind, which allows for more space within the fort and participants won’t see the technology behind it.

  • In the technical part, I should have coded it so that the graphics do not move when there are no heartbeat detected. I believe participants were confused as to why it was still moving when their fingers were not placed on the sensor. I believe this could also be due to the limitations of a pulse sensor as it detects atmospheric vibrations. If I could develop this project further, I would try to explore the ECG sensor instead.
  • As suggested, the project could potentially be converted into a large scale room experience or through virtual reality. Personally, I had envisioned the visuals to spread across the entire space, to create an immersive environment. Unfortunately, the project didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted it to. Hence, I hope in the future, I could expand this project on a larger scale.

Bury and Grow // analogue project

Inspired by the book “The Law of the Garbage Truck”, Bury and Grow encourage participants to bury their negativities away for positivity to grow. The reason I chose this topic was that I myself was going through some negativity in my life that I wasn’t able to let go. In short, I was holding a grudge against someone over something that happened and that was affecting the people around me.

I spent what felt like an eternity trying to figure out how to execute this project. I had many different ideas, but none seemed to be able to deliver my message. Eventually, I thought the Bury and Grow was the most meaningful and achievable idea and decided to execute it

The basic idea is that participants were tasked to write down two memories; one positive and one negative.



  • Several comments pointed out the fact that they felt disconnected from the project because it was too literal. The catharsis effect of negative emotions was not strong enough. I wasn’t able to capture the emotions effectively as the actions they performed were not effective enough to convey the message.
  • I could have created a stronger narrative by connecting the positive message to the negative. By adding that connection, I believe participants can see the correlation and also reflect on how to react to a similar situation in the future.
  • A feedback given was that the message was powerful that I could bring into my digital project, even though poorly executed, which I hope to improve on for the digital one.

overkill // not-so-final-pitch


A game where you judge each other’s moral and ethical decisions.


In the year 3221, planet Earth has become inhospitable due to overpopulation. The human population exceeds the carrying capacity of the Earth. In order to decrease the population and save the Earth, a new law governs that the dictator has to choose a group of people to cull.

  1. A dictator is chosen from the four players.
  2. The counters are placed onto the tiles.
  3. Players have to decide which they think the dictator has chosen to kill.
  4. Earn a point if you choose the same as the dictator.
DEMOGRAPHICS: Who are we killing?



reading assignment // Digital Performance by Steve Dixon

Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art and Installation by Steve Dixon

As the title suggests, the book discusses the impact of computer technology on the performing arts. The book is divided into two main sections; histories, theories and contexts of digital performances & specific practices and practitioners. Since this is a pretty long book, I’ll be focusing more on the second part of the book.

Steve Dixon defines digital performance as “broadly to include all performance works where computer technologies play a key role rather than a subsidiary one in content, techniques, aesthetics, or delivery forms.”

Dixon gives an example of digital performances as one that incorporates projections that have been digitally created or manipulated. However, the performing arts are equipped with audiovisual equipment, thus the prevalence of technology in the performing arts has become omnipresent. By that example, just with the use of some projections or speakers could be defined as a digital performance. In my opinion, what separates these technologies from being classified as a digital performance is by how the technology is being manipulated by the performance. In a way, there should be an output and an input, where for example, the projections act as an output, and the movements of a dancer is an input that controls the projections (output).

Example of a digital performance using dancers and projections.

He mentions how the internet has allowed for collaborations with no barrier in geographical distance. Let’s look at the social media app, TikTok. Albeit, not the best quality of performances, nonetheless it allows people from all over the globe to collaborate with one another to create a short performance together that can be viewed by everyone around the world.

In the next part of my review, I have divided it into two sections based on the chapters that have most intrigued me.

Virtual Bodies

“Virtual bodies are new visual representations of the body, but do not alter the physical composition of their referent flesh and bones. Virtual bodies may appear to be bodily transformations to the (receiver’s) eye and mind, but no actual metamorphosis takes place within the (sender’s/performer’s) actual body. The virtual body is an inherently theatrical entity, and there is an enormous amount of suspension of disbelief going on in relation to it.”

In this chapter, Dixon speaks a lot about the disembodiment of the virtual body from the physical. I believe from what I have read (correct me if I’m wrong), Dixon’s view of the virtual body is that it is not less authentic and not disembodied from its physical body.

An example he gave to “support” his view is the artwork, Telematic Dreaming (1992) by Susan Kozel/Paul Sermon. Before this reading, I had heard of this installation from one of my other interactive classes. However, after this reading, I have a completely different impression. Kozel describes how after days being engrossed in her virtual body, her actual/real body began to rebel and asserting its presence. This goes to show that both bodies can’t be split from each other and needs to find the right balance.

Furthermore, Kozel recounts how sexual as well as violent encounters, even though experienced through her virtual body, was often felt by her real body. Thus, she concludes how the virtual body is an “alternative, yet still material body, inescapably connected to its corporeal embodiment”.

What I personally got out of this chapter is how the virtual body cannot be separated from the actual body. For example, when we play multiplayer video games, our avatars in the game acts as a virtual body. Even though your avatar may get attacked by monsters, our actual body doesn’t experience it, but relationships/friendships build through these games are not virtually based, these connections metamorphosises into the real world.

Performing Interactivity

This chapter stood out to me for obvious reasons.

A big question in interactive art, is how do you dub an artwork as “interactive”.

“If one turns on a light switch, the process is interactive—something is received in exchange—but no real dialogue takes place. In precisely the same way, many and arguably most products and artworks dubbed “interactive”—for example, the majority of CD-ROMs—should more accurately be termed “reactive.”

Interactive should be defined as a reciprocal exchange between a transmitter and receiver, thus invoking a response. For example, a tv offers only one-way communication from a transmitter to a receiver, and the receiver is not able to provide a response.

Interactive art, on the other hand, must invoke a response, thus creating a dialogue.

“But in interactive installations and performances where the user/audience member is directly addressed and can respond meaningfully, the performer becomes a “you,” operating in the second person rather than the third by nature of the direct interaction with the viewer, even when the performer is mediatized on a screen.”

The book defines interactive art in 4 types and ranked according to the depth of interaction;

  • Navigation
  • Participation
  • Conversation
  • Collaboration

For our project, Matapolis, I would consider it as a mixture of navigation, participation and conversation. Navigation – in the Q&A segments of the tour, participants will press buttons to hear answers to predetermined questions. Participation – in the green light district, participants must follow the green spotlight by moving around the space. Conversation – throughout the entire tour, participants will lose points if they do not adhere to rules. Based on the adherence to the rules, they will either leave the country or be sent to jail.


Personally, the reason I chose this book is primarily that I have been involved in the performing arts for most of my life (through dance and drama). I gained a new perspective on digital performance, as I practised more traditional performing arts that do not involve technology. Hence, to see how technology can be integrated into the performing arts is revolutionary.