Pretzels, teapots, and exotic fruits rush over your screen in UCLA Design Media Arts student Theo Triantafyllidis' Pin-Pon, an interactive virtual ping pong simulation game. Inspired by George Maciunas' modified Ping Pong table as well as Tinder, the online dating app, the game invites you to smash incoming snacks and objects with your paddle—a virtual phone stuck to your hand.
Thanks to precious help from the UCLA Game Lab, Triantafyllidis refines the straightforward gameplay. All of the 3D elements and digital projectiles are made with Sketchup then processed in Unity3D to add fuel to the game.
Triantafyllidis tells The Creators Project, “Two players use a Leap Motion controller to control their virtual hands, trying to bounce off as many objects as possible, from their side of the table and onto their opponents. The more items they hit, the more crazy the game becomes until the table explodes and both players win. It's a match! It's kinda hard to master tho [sic], it takes time to learn to hit the balls with grace.”
As an "alternative sport," Pin-Pon allows the lazy to work out—at least virtually—and offers a creative critique of online dating apps at the same time. “It's like these intense instant messaging sessions, with multiple 'bling' sounds, that cause your hand to be stuck to your phone. Eventually, the hand and phone become one, their souls spliced forever,” Triantafyllidis explains. “Accidentally, the most effective way to win the game is by repetitively doing a finger swipe motion, similar to the one you make on Tinder.”
Click here for more projects from Theo Triantafyllidis.