Prompt: Produce a mechanical game for children between the ages of 4 and 8

Timeline: One semester

Goal

Create a dynamic 2-player portable pinball-style game drawing inspiration from popular classics like Plinko and pachinko machines. Through the development of concept art (featured below), key features were meticulously crafted, including dual marble launchers, a captivating spinning target, vibrant UV LED lights, luminous marbles, and transparent windows offering players a clear view of every successful shot.

Process

To make Laserball an engaging game, the focus was on understanding the mechanism, particularly the marble launcher. Initial steps involved creating several small test systems to experiment with shapes, sizes, and proportions of both the launcher arm and the levers. A system was developed through experiments utilizing a knife-like divider to prevent double-feeding of marbles into the launching chamber. This design encourages lively play, enabling players to launch marbles at maximum speed.

Making it Playable

Once the mechanism was figured out, attention turned to refining the gameplay experience. This encompassed various elements such as designing the spinning target system, establishing a designated “score area” for players to track their successful marble shots, and devising a method for marbles to be replenished to the top of the game structure.

Orthographic Drawings

Making It Real

Once the 3D model of the game mechanism was completed using a Solidworks Assembly, the process of printing and assembling all required parts for the final functional model began. To prioritize functionality, each functional component was printed separately to ensure that they all served their purpose correctly. 

Alternative Branding

Laserball represents merely one approach to branding this entertaining and captivating game. To underscore the platform’s adaptability, emphasis was placed on showcasing how Laserball could seamlessly undergo rebranding to suit various themes. These could range from college football teams to nostalgic nods to 1930s pinball-style games like “Posh-M-Up.”

Jackson Barousse

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