We were interested in experimenting with different materials to understand how objects can connect physically. For this one-day project, we have chosen to work with the game Tic Tac Toe. Its built-in constraints allowed us to focus less on making the game work, and more on experimenting with different configurations of conductive material.
Fitting physical objects, especially puzzle pieces with conductive joints presented many challenges: getting the pieces to fit, ensuring that the joints are conducting and using an appropriate conductive material were some of the obstacles faced. We have tried painting the pieces with conductive ink as well as fitting them with conductive fabric, but the resistance was too high to establish a reliable connection.
The final prototype works by having two lines of copper tape running through each piece. The X pieces are given double the thickness of the O pieces. This allows us to isolate the copper wires from each other and detect a winning configuration.
Our various investigations gave us a sense of the underlying complexities involved in combining analogue games with electronics and ways of overcoming these complexities.