During the winter semester, I worked with David Holubec and Daniel Jenikovský in AHM on a project called Překážka (Obstacle). The main idea of the project was to use the game and its course to create a still image. It is a board game for two players, with a one-time life cycle. Both players record the progress of the game at all times by drawing directly on the playing field. This creates a permanent record of the course of the game, which turns the game into a series of images and its meaning remains purely visual.
Překážka z obou stran
The obstacle, as an object, is a "leporelo" made up of 16 wooden boards measuring 50 x 100 cm. The boards are screwed together in two rows and there is a carpet inserted between them for bending purposes. The cosmic base on the plates was created by ink painting, then grinding, macerating with black stain, and finally painting with several layers of varnish.
Grinding of Překážka
All phases of the project were accompanied by Vojtěch Vaněk.
The objects and the grid were then drawn with gold felt-tip pens as the starting state and appearance of the playing field. While playing, the shapes of moons and planets on the playing field are traced through the templates David carved in the laser cutter.
Překážka as a game has two branches. Both players are a "ray of light" sent from the star. The starting board will show you how to draw a ray, moons, and planets. It must make a decision on which wormholes to go to. One leads to the ellipses, the other to the interstellar space. In the ellipses, the light works differently, so it is no longer a thin beam but moves diagonally in the grid through individual tiles. The ray is reflected in the interstellar space from the moons, and on the way between the wormholes, the stars light up. They form an interstellar map, a constellation.
We performed playability tests on a 1: 1 scale
Playthrough of Překážka for the first time took place at the festival of contemporary art and animation PAF in Olomouc. The game lasted 6 hours and 56 minutes and is recorded on Twitch on the Hranostajl Channel. It was a test to see if it was truly playable and it turned out to be with minor changes.
After Překážka came back to Brno, David and I disassembled it into individual paintings and one final layer of paint will probably follow. Records will be presented separately at the exhibition in Jihlava. The finished game is now just to look at.
In the following steps, I will go back to the basic concept of the game and create a smaller, portable version within the Ateliér Duchů. This will include design and visual adjustments to fine-tune the game and move it towards an author-independent project that will also be available to gamers of diverse board games as well as fans of images.