tldr; In 2015, the student representatives for electrical engineering at RWTH Aachen university rebuilt an awesome childhood game.
|While I was studying at RWTH Aachen University, I was part of the student representatives for electrical engineering (FSET) for a few semesters. We were elected each semester and besides representing the students in different bodies within the university, we were in charge of welcoming the new students. Luckily, a fund from the university allowed us to spend money specifically for the new arriving students each year for things like building games, renting an inflatable human-soccer-field or having a BBQ. One time in march 2015 I received a message from a friend while I was on holiday: “Martin! do you know the ‘Arktos Superspiel *(1)’? From Tabaluga TV? Do you think we can build this for the first semester student welcome?” I remembered an ‘ice-field’ represented by hexagonal, lit up plates where the children on the TV show were shown a ‘safe path’ step by step. Then, the markings disappeared and they had to walk across the field by remembering the path. Awesome idea, I thought and replied “Well, it’s gonna take a lot of hard work and probably ~3000€ for the materials but yeah, sure we can!”.
After being back from my south-america-trip , we started brainstorming and prototyping. Thanks to many helping hands, we recreated this childhood-memory as a game with 60 fields for the first semester students and even won a price at the university.
The game is built as a set of 20 modules with 3 ‘ice-fields’ and an RF-module each; supplied by 10 computer-power-supply-modules. 2 transport-wagons were allowed us to store and transport the game and a software with a GUI allowed an easy, setup and automatic generation of the ‘path’ as well as measuring the missteps.
=> about 4.000 watt power-consumption and lots of fun!
It’s important to note that all of us worked without pay and spent many hours of our free time (even during the exam phase) to create an awesome experience for the first semester students. Thanks again to everyone who helped to realize this idea!
Some of the main issues we encountered:
Ps: To avoid any risk for the students / children that might play the game, we kept all self-built parts at the 12V-level and used standard PC-power-supplies to power the game.
(*1) The name ‘Arktos superspiel’ is most likely trademarked by Tabaluga TV but not know outside of the german speaking community. If you want to know more about the game, feel free to google the name and rewatch some old episodes on their channels/websites