Posts about “TEI w:2”

  1. Photo by nattarin kraiwachirasit on Unsplash

    Smell & tell

    the battlescent logo

    Today we had our show and tell with the smelly games. There where both good and less good games. Maybe smell does not do a good job in delivering a rhythm, but the same game could have become more like twister.

    I liked the "Smelly Cat", a smelly version of "Old Maid". I liked the physicality of the cards and how well smell could be implemented. The same goes for "Domi-nose", a domino with scent. Theses games had smell in them as natural ingredient that had a value of it's own and never had to be translated. You never have to know what the scents are or their names, you just have to pair them with the same scent.

    Many games had "guess the smell" components. But in some, like the mentioned above, the smell was a quality, you never had to translate it. Just like a color in many card games, it's just there to make the game work.

    Sadly it felt like the presentations got rushed the longer the day went. In the first ones we could ask questions and such but in the end it was just presentation -> demo -> over. I would have liked a bit more information and discussion.

  2. Photo by Darren Nunis on Unsplash

    Building Battlescent

    After the Wednesday smell workshop we got a quick assignment for the week to present on friday.

    Assignment: Smelly Game

    Brief: Modify an existing game to incorporate smell. It does not have to be the complete game, you can focus on just one aspect of it.

    Materials: Smell and any other materials.

    Team: Cathrine, Denisa, Simon and me

    We started brainstorming on games and quickly gravitated towards Battleship. Not going with our other alternative, "Guess who", was lucky as two other groups went with that.

    We started exploring how smell could be added and we decided to change the guessing mechanism into a smell skill assisted guessing. A quick paper prototype, where you closed your eyes and tried to track the smell showed promise and we decided on that concept.

    We then started designing the board in illustrator and I guided Sion through it as he has very little experience with that and wants to learn. Cat and Denisa took the designs and ran to the laser cutter while Simon and I designed some smell containers to 3d-print. We where unlucky with the printer as the PLA did not want to stick. This has been the problem for some days and I have not been able to solve it. I hoped as these designs where simple and we used the best PLA it would work but it didn't.

    Luckily we had anticipated this and asked Johannes if we could use some of his small containers he has for a smell project, and that was absolutely fine. With that in mind we designed our game board to be compatible with his containers and that saved us in the end.

    I will try to find some IPA and see if that solves the 3d-printer problems.

    The Wednesday ended with us fitting the parts to see if everything works and then we went home. We where a bit worried about the smell of burned MDF ruining the game so I took all the parts home to lay them out on my balcony for the night. Julia mentioned baking soda as a possible smell absorber too but we didn't try that.

    Testing the smell board

    Today started with us sanding the board dow a bit to remove stains and a bit of smell. THe smell problem wasn't that bad, it was more like a background noise that was quite easy to disregard. It clashed a bit with bay leaf, which was one of our three smells, so we decided to change that in the end.

    with enough time it was quite easy to pin point the "ships"

    Trying it out on our selves and our classmates showed that with enough time it was quite easy to pin point the "ships". We tried different configurations where the "ships" could be any shape and not just lines or even scattered around. This proved to make it harder but we also strayed from the original game, so we decided to play with time instead. Having a time limit also made it harder so we stuck with that.

    After having a lot of discussions about how the game rules could work we decided not to focus on those parts and more on just the smelling/guessing part of the game. The brief is clear on that we don't have to show a complete game and we want to focus making our redesigned part as good as possible.

    We tested on more class mates and are happy with the result. Tomorrow we make the powerpoint and get to see what everyone else has been doing.

  3. Photo by Pedro Figueras from Pexels

    Smoke rings

    We had a workshop on smell. Simon started by introducing us to the history of scent toys and games.


    We started with a simpler form of Kōdō, where you are subjected to three scents and have to remember them. Then we got to smell them again in a random order and we had to guess which ones they were. I took notes on the smells to try to categorize them and to remember.

    1. Citrus, tar, wood
    2. Citrus, vanilla, caramel
    3. Carnation, leather, dentist

    I think most of us had all three right when guessing. Maybe Simon made the game a bit too easy.

    Rose bombs

    These rose water filled egg shells are interesting as an artifact. As eggs they feel very fragile, are a very good size and weight in the hand and afford throwing, they almost demand throwing. The history is several hundred years old and they were used to spice up dinners and parties. It's like an antique water ballon, but they are nicer to handle than balloons.

    Four people play catch with a rose bomb

    Vortex Cannons

    Vortex cannons were a lot of fun. By blowing smoke rings, they can deliver smell over longish distances and target people. The smoke is just for visuals, it is easier to play around with if you can see the ring.

    Vortex cannons shooting smoke rings
    Vortex can be built easily and can deliver smell over a longer distance and with some accuracy

    Combining this with computer vision and servos could make a fun project. A Raspberry Pi with a camera that turns to target people and shoot smells using a vortex cannon actuated by a solenoid. Maybe later.

  4. Photo by Alejandra Coral on Unsplash


    We start a new week with a new theme, smell. Talking about smells sparked a lot of interest in me. It's a complicated topic as there is no rgb of smell, we have about 350 different working smell receptors, digitizing that is hard. So it requires physical scent carriers and that is bulky. The resolution in a scent display is very low, the ones we saw only had 4-8 different smells because it get bulky. I never thought about this topic before but Simon's angle had a lot of personal hooks for me.

    Seeing how my mothers sense of smell and taste diminished in her last year, and seeing how that made her eat less and all the problems that led too was very hard. I saw the same tendencies in my girlfriends grandmother and in a lot of people when I was working in an home for elderly. That's why it felt personal reading the articles about the research and the coupling between loss of smell and dementia.

    It also made me think of my brother who lost his sense of smell around the age of 25. It probably has to do with allergies and such but it would be interesting to try some smell training on him. I may try the 12 week thing on him.

    Gaming is something that hooked me as a child, I still am very interested but I don't practice as much as I would want. I remember trying to play "Leisure Suit Larry" in the early nineties. My strongest memory was trying to get by the age verification system. If my memory serves me, you had to answer questions that children shouldn't know, like old politics and stuff. We had to refresh until we got the one question we knew the answer too.

    There are a lot that I didn't know about smell. The belief that humans are bad at smelling is not true, we are even better than dogs at some categories of smells and we can learn to track by scent out in nature.

    This week will be interesting.