Collaborators: Cade Ponder


In this multidimensional dollhouse, house guests are invited to play in the physical house and teleport (via a portal in the basement) into the virtual, video game house. This game invites people to tinker and uncover stories together.

How does it work?

Cade and I worked on separate parts of the game, but we collaborated on the whole project's design and gameplay. We frequently worked in the same room, which allowed us to talk through ideas, playtest our game with peers, and adjust our game as new problems arose. Cade fabricated the wooden dollhouse and installed/programmed the LEDs and switches in the walls. The house is constructed with an inner shell and a removeable outer shell that neatly hides the microcontrollers and wires that are weaved throughout the structure.

Each doll has a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag on their foot, which assigns them a unique ID number. When a doll enters the secret portal, their tag gets scanned by an RFID USB reader that is hidden under the floor. This triggers the video game to start on the monitor. I set up serial communication between the Arduino IDE and Unity so that when a valid tag is scanned, the video game is triggered to start. Each ID tag unlocks each doll's unique dollhouse, with their respective decorations and stories. The Unity-made virtual dollhouse is developed and designed by me.

If you're interested, check out my . . .

Short demo video
Video game demo

Link to my detailed process blog coming soon.