Virtual Pool in a Box
To a large extent, YES! especially when the number of balls played is reduced, ball motion is accurate and smooth. Another really nice feature is that while the cuestick is being moved around, the LCD is able to capture the moving cuestick in real time on screen. Hence where ball physics and user interaction are concerned, we have to a large part met our expectations.
To add to this, we met our expectation of portability. Pool in a Box is really something that can be carried around as a package, unlike the pool table fixed to a corner of the room.
To be honest, Pool in a Box is certainly not perfect, especially when 15 balls are played. Artifacts occur, that could not be got rid of, and ball collisions did not go as expected a small amount of times. However, given only about a month to develop this game from scratch, getting even 16 balls to move “very nearly smoothly” is a worthy achievement already on our part.
Do it Differently?
We can still think of many ways of improvement, for Pool in a Box, V2.11.
In terms of algorithm, we realize too late that we could have made it more efficient for ball collision detection by splitting up the table area into say, 4 quadrants. However, we realize too, from the TA, that this in turn brings up new problem, particularly at the boundaries of the 4 quadrants.
Since the accelerometers are not sensitive enough, one area for improvement is definitely detecting better the acceleration of the cuestick.
In terms of ball physics, to simplify matters, we assume that the cueball is hit on the center all the time. Hitting the ball on the sides, as what a professional player may do, certainly complicates matter by far, but would be an area for future improvement.
Graphics can too be improved further by differentiating the stripes and color balls to a greater extent, other than merely marking them by numbers. Moving balls can be made to rotate to make it appear more real.
The only code we referenced was the LCD codes from the previous 476 project Cornopoly. No patents were discovered so far for a project very much like ours.
We would hope for patent opportunities, for we believe that this Pool in a Box portability concept is novel.
(1) No radiation, toxic, or hazardous material is emitted. Perhaps other than an addiction to our game, it in no way endangers the health of any human being. We accept responsibility if any user complains otherwise (if they poke themselves in the eyes).
(3) We were honest in evaluating how well our Pool in a Box met our expectations. We said it is an excellent machine, and we did not claim that it is perfect.
(5) We believe our pool game helps in the understanding of technology, for we are (nearly) able to simulate real life pool with potentiometers, LCDs and what nots.
(7) We engaged in active criticism of each other everyday when our respective tasks failed to work. This often resulted in the tasks working the next day!!! To give credits to others for their contributions, we would like to thank Professor Bruce Land and all other TAs, especially Steve for helping us this entire semester. We also like to thank the Cornopoly team, because without them, we might still be figuring out how to make the LCD light up.
(8) We allow and encourage everyone to try our pool game, regardless of age, race, language or religion.