Role: Design Lead
Client: Personal Project
Our best friends Travis and Bethany were getting married, and we wanted to make Travis' dream of having his own pop-a-shot arcade game come true.
Beautiful, custom, and collapsable pop-a-shot with a wooden backboard, a custom arcade UI, and built-in game modes
Lots of fun times playing pop-a-shot and stories of Travis and Bethany enjoying it together.
An ambitious project outside of my expertise
Building a custom pop-a-shot game for our buddy Travis was the most ambitious project I've ever taken on. I led the entire effort, recruiting a few close friends that were experts in engineering and woodworking to contribute.
Under the guidance of our engineer our plan was to wire sensors to a Raspberry Pi as a simple shot counter. I delegated to Brandon, the developer, to code a quick counter test to make sure everything worked, and together further refined the sensitivity and timeout periods to not have any false positive reads.
Arcade research to embody a retro vibe
While the pop-a-shot backboard was being built by our woodworker, I worked through the interface and game modes. I'm a strong believer of "never starting from 0%" so I leveraged some tried and true pop-a-shot game modes and then created some of our own.
Based on visual research through retro arcade games I designed the interface to embody the retro feel while being personalized to the newlyweds.
Testing in production
With the designs ready and the coding complete, I needed to bring everything together with the Raspberry Pi. Once the designs were in place on the screen, I immediately realized how important testing in production-like environments was. The interface was extremely tiny and hard to read from the pop-a-shot baseline. I refined the designs further and sized everything to be very clear from a far distance.
The grand reveal
For the grand reveal, we snuck it into the newlywed’s house while they were both at work and set it up in their game room. Their reaction was perfect. Travis and Bethany had no idea and were mind-blown to see this in their house. The pop-a-shot has been a hit for casual hangs and big parties they’ve hosted. The most fun yet being a pop-a-shot shootout tournament.