Hammer's Slammers: Game aid Technology - Computer Aids
| One of the notable things about the game for those who have
seen it - and certainly one area that gleans considerable comment - is the
degree of apparent computing power being expended on the game. We have four
computer monitors and two lap tops at a show which sometimes sets people
back a bit. The reality, however, is that none of them are being used to
actually 'run' the game but are simply 'aids'.
One laptop runs a monitor which is, effectively, a computerised leaflet. It runs a presentation which loops continuously and, with pictures, words and video clips, explains the game, who the forces are, what sort of weapons they carry and what their objectives are. Essentially it provides a cut down version of what is available on this web site and is, osteopath bills aside (it runs on a very heavy 21 inch monitor) a very useful demonstration and explanation tool to have at a game show.
The other lap top usually runs three monitors all linked up via a splitter
box to show the same product. This is essentially an 'aide memoire' for
the umpire. The Rolling Hot games we run at shows are far bigger than
anyone would normally want to run at a regular club meeting: there are
far too many players and vehicles, the table is way too big to even shout
over and it all takes a bit too long. After trying to use a megaphone
at Salute 99 we have switched to using headset radios and laser pointers
to make communication (in a 24 foot table in a noisy hall) bearable. But
the problem with the long complex games is that umpiring became a nightmare
as one easily loses one's place in the phase chart.
| So the second lap top simply runs through a
sequence of the turns and phases in order, every time a key is hit. However,
that would, on its own, be a bit boring, so the interface is designed to
look like the controls of the inside of a vehicle and, whilst reminding
the umpire and players (everyone around the table should be able to see
a screen) of what's going on, other pre-programmed events appear to the
players at the appropriate time. Vehicles lying in ambush and buildings
hidden in the trees can all be 'revealed' by the 'sensor screen' of the
|The Presentation and 'Aide Memoire' were created using Corel Draw, Xara, Photoshop and similar tools and assembled in Microsoft PowerPoint 97. These computer aids are valuable with the demonstration game but, obviously, less useful in a 'club night' scenario.|
| Photography and site development by John Treadaway.
|Click here for Modelling, Conversions - part 1 , part 2, & part 3, Painting & Finishing, Scenery, Game rules, Figures|