Technical interakty on fantastic conventions. Part 1

    Over the past few years I have become addicted to science fiction and fantasy festivals, movies, TV shows and books. In the first year only as a spectator, but in the following years I had the opportunity to participate in organizing fan stands for Doctor Who (Doctor Who, science fiction series), Redwall (Redwall, B. Jacks’s book series), Firefly (Firefly, space western), Gravity Falls (Gravity Falls, the animated series), Futurama (Futurama, the creation of M. Growing) and Jumanji(Jumanji, movies and animated series) at various festivals. Stand colleagues know that this is not an easy task, preparation includes the construction of a stand, tailoring of costumes, and the development of an interactive program - what you can do at the stand. Everything happens on a voluntary basis and without a good team in any way. At the festival itself, most of the time you are on the stand, conducting interactive interactions for visitors. It is always more interesting if you can do something unique, suitable for this Universe on the stand, so everyone is trying to come up with something special. I would like to tell about a pair of my interactions.

    Beware, spoilers!
    The articles will have a couple of plot moves from Gravity Falls and Jumanji , not the most important ones, but having a direct bearing on the interactions. If it does not scare - welcome under the cat =)

    Old MacGacket Laptop (Gravity Falls)

    Gravity Falls Universe is full of mysteries, mysteries and mystical devices. One of them is a laptop found in an abandoned bunker. After switching on, a sign with a password entry form came out. The protagonist for many days tried to guess the password, and in the end, the timer of the last input attempt appeared on the screen. Although we did not find out the true content of the laptop, I decided that from this you can make a good interactive visit to the Gravity Falls booth for the 2015 Starcon Festival .

    For a start, a suitable device was required. I was in the presence of Toshiba 20 years ago, from which I once started to get acquainted with computers. He no longer holds a charge, half of the screen is displayed with stripes, but the main thing is that it works and looks quite similar. He took it out, sealed it with a plaster (for the sake of the entourage) and began to develop it.

    I decided to remember the first course and began to write a program in Pascal. The first version was fairly simple. A greeting, notification of the need to enter a password and an input field were displayed.

    If the password entry limit was exceeded, the timer for the last attempt was activated. If this attempt also failed, the screen was blocked before entering the secret combination.

    A number of successful passwords were written in the configuration file of the program. Simple passwords gave each of their greetings, but there were several basic passwords corresponding to some things from the stand or characters from the animated series, which could be found here as cosplayers. When entering such passwords, the symbol and its location were issued. Knowing all 8 characters, you could enter the master password and get a prize.

    Also in the first version, I added the functionality of a large timer from the series - so that it can be launched as a background in case the interactive time is not performed now for some reason. On the stand were planned “What? Where? When? ”And a win-win lottery, and I added a simple randomizer with memorization of already dropped numbers - to automate the selection of envelopes with questions and winning lottery tickets. Additional functionality was also called by entering special passwords.

    The first festival was a success. The laptop was popular, passwords were guessed, but it seemed to me that the potential of the laptop was not sufficiently realized. For the following festivals, I added the possibility of passing the test on the animated series. It was necessary to answer correctly 4 of 5 random questions from a hundred in order to successfully complete the interactive. It was possible to choose from 3 levels of difficulty, so all visitors had chances - especially since we could prompt and allowed to pass the test. Although younger visitors and they themselves coped quite successfully.

    Funny fact
    После первой версии программы у меня возникла идея написать небольшую статью про неё — с кратким функционалом и скриншотами ноутбука. Я размечтался, что могу выложить её на английском, а автор сериала — Алекс Хирш — найдёт её и оценит творчество фанатов. Написание статьи затянулось на три года. За это время Алекс Хирш успел лично приехать на Большой Фестиваль 2016, оценить фанатов, стенд, ноутбук и даже пройти тест в программе (я предварительно сделал английскую версию). А статья до сих пор в процессе =)

    In the next part I will talk about a more recent interactive - mobile application for this year's Jumanji stand .

    Technical interakty on fantastic conventions. Part 1

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