Building an Interactive Sandbox
Sandbox World is a Kinect-controlled, multiplayer interactive sandbox experience developed by Anticlockwise Arts. Participants shape the sand to form islands, mountains, rivers, and oceans.
Sculpt a Miniature Landscape
Sandbox World uses a top-down Kinect sensor to measure the height levels of a sandbox and then projects a dynamic world onto it. This project won the Maker Faire 2013 Educator’s Choice award.
Fun, Easy-to-Understand Interaction
What’s more playful than a sandbox?
Real-time Dynamic Feedback
The landscape adjusts as participants shape valleys, dig rivers, and pile up mountains.
Emergent Cooperative Play
With three open sides and multiple available tools, participants are encouraged to play together.
Sandbox World evolved from a series of Kinect experiments at Anticlockwise Arts. We knew there were interesting opportunities to explore by combining the Kinect’s depth map with projection mapping. After experimenting with a variety of sculptable surfaces, we decided on a sandbox.
Interestingly, Sandbox World contains no actual sand. Due to dust, dirt, and weight, we opted to utilize fake snow (sodium polyacrylate) instead. It is much cleaner and can be transported easily.
Behind the scenes, we used Unity to run the simulation and wrote custom shaders to drive the terrain system.
Keywords: Interactive Installation, Kinect, Unity, Game