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Spinning Drum Maze

A challenging carnival maze with a small footprint
  [vote for,

This reconfiguring carnival maze consists of just two cylindrical rooms: essentially two giant, interlocked gears with several doors.

Whomever is navigating the maze is really just walking back and forth between these two rooms, but a computer changes various properties of the rooms: room lighting; room décor; ambient music; and which doors currently serve as exits. Each time the explorer opens a door, the rooms are rotated around and the room properties are changed, creating the illusion that the explorer is passing through dozens of rooms.

spiraliii, Mar 11 2007

The Avengers http://dissolute.co...web/emmabw/423.html
the House That Jack Built episode [xenzag, Mar 11 2007]

Redirected walking in place http://wwwx.cs.unc....place_EGVE_2002.pdf
no treadmill, no powered shoes. Just mental trickery [gtoal, Mar 13 2007]

Cube (a classic) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cube_(film)
Your idea, with deathtraps. [GutPunchLullabies, Mar 14 2007]


       I like this a lot. You could go for a jog and remain within those two rooms. The only problem is that our inner ears would perceive the rotation if it were fast. I wonder if this could be countered by projecting the walls with objects rotating in the reverse direction.   

       Or maybe you would just barf.
bungston, Mar 11 2007

       You might need three rooms, so that the room you are in never turns, only the others...   

       But good idea!
emjay, Mar 11 2007

       /three rooms so the room you're in never turns/   

       Sorry, but the only way to create the illusion of an "endless world" of rooms would be to have the user's current room rotate. The reason for this is simple:   

       User starts out in room one and proceeds to room two (the middle room). No matter what the other rooms do, the user knows that he is facing a certain direction. The door opens, and the user steps out. He knows that he is three rooms into the maze, linearly speaking. How do you proceed? The only way to maintain the illusion of infinite linear progress in a limited space is to laterally rotate the user so that he thinks he is facing north when he is actually facing south, and do as the original poster suggested.   

       A way to overcome the nausea associated with centrifugal force would be to have a number of rooms X, where X*2=the number of sides of each room. For example, if you have three rooms, then each room has six sides, with a door in each side. This would allow for a more gentle rotation of each room to create the illusion of linear movement in the user, as well as allowing for more complex mazes.
phaseinduction, Mar 11 2007

       Brilliant! I will install one in my hall.
wagster, Mar 11 2007

       with three rooms it would negate the need to rotate the room that the person is in, but it would have to moveaway from the space to which the person inside is going. still if youre going to have three rooms whynot fouror ten. Nofun stick with two. so when you go for a crap in the the toilet then go back through the lounge, and then to the kitchen, you wonder just what kind of biscuits are in the oven!
the dog's breakfast, Mar 11 2007

       Make it so whichever room you are in is stationary and let the others move around and rotate to change the layout. That way there will be no sense of motion, although there will probably be some mechanical noise as the other rooms reconfigure.
nuclear hobo, Mar 11 2007

       Since we're talking about a carnival maze here, I don't think mechanical noise and taking a crap are concerns. Garish carny music will no doubt be loudly blaring from speakers throughout the maze so any mechanical noise will be masked, and insofar as taking a crap, that's why you'd visit a restroom before you enter the maze.   

       The idea sounds good but raises a couple of questions in my mind. First, if the intrepid explorer retraces his footsteps (accidently or not) will he return to the exact previous room layout?   

       Second, would the system be flexible enough to allow the explorer choose the degree of difficulty for their adventure (complexity & number of rooms)? And alter the admission charge accordingly?   

       The biggest drawback to the 2-room small footprint format is that it serves one "guest" at a time. Traditional carnival mazes can handle more traffic due to their larger footprint and unchanging layout.   

       Have a bun, but don't bother using it to leave a trail of crumbs to find your way back...
Canuck, Mar 11 2007

       How about two or more large rotating disks with a lot of smaller rotating disk rooms on them? You step into a small room, facing east, and the big disk rotates to carry you to the other side of the ride, while the room you are in counter-rotates so you are still facing east. That's a lot more complex, though.
baconbrain, Mar 11 2007

       //First, if the intrepid explorer retraces his footsteps (accidently or not) will he return to the exact previous room layout?//   

       //Second, would the system be flexible enough to allow the explorer choose the degree of difficulty for their adventure (complexity & number of rooms)? And alter the admission charge accordingly?//   

       Yes to both questions. Room rotation and room properties would be controlled by a computer. This means that:   

       1) A variety of maze templates could be fed to the computer, creating an infinite number of possible maze layouts. It could even generate a random maze layout every time you visit the maze.   

       2) Maze layouts could be highly structured, like a real maze, so that you could retrace your steps. Other maze layouts could designed to be very chaotic, like the "maze of twisty little passages" used frequently in IF games. In the later case, the explorer has to rely on other clues found in the room properties to navigate the maze. There would still be a pattern in the maze, but it would be just more subtle; more difficult to recognize.   

       3) Extremely complex mazes could be given interactive room properties. For instance, there might be a pedestal in the center of the rooms, with three large toggles. Pressing any one of the toggles, alters the maze layout. Understanding the pattern in how the room layout is altered by these toggles could be the key to finding the exit.
spiraliii, Mar 11 2007

       See link for details of an episode of the Avengers which featured Emma Peel trapped in a house where she kept being returned to the same room no matter which door she opened....The rooms moved around under mechanical control. It was one of the best episodes in the series in my humble opinion.
xenzag, Mar 11 2007

       One possible downside of this, at least as a carnival attraction, is that (if I understand it correctly) only one person could use it at a time. (A group could use it only if they always stay together rather than take different routes.) Carny operators would be more likely to go for something less impressive but more profitable.   

       It's still a clever and cool idea, mind you. [+]
imaginality, Mar 12 2007

       Each room could be personalised by using projectors linked to several video cards.
Ling, Mar 14 2007

       Sorry for the bump, but I need to address this. Also, this thread is a really cool idea.   

       "with three rooms it would negate the need to rotate the room that the person is in, but it would have to moveaway from the space to which the person inside is going."   

       That's not true. Even if you move the rooms and reposition them around the user's current room, with only two actual rooms you are either going to have the user walking in circles, or you are going to need a huge space large enough to contain the path of the user. If the user tries to walk in a straight line through four rooms for example, the two rooms will have to leapfrog the distance of four rooms. If you limit the door options to force the user to travel in circles with only two real rooms, then the user will obviously notice this and it will break the illusion of infinite space.   

       The only way to solve this is if you rotate the room that the user is currently in, therby turning what they percieve as a straight line into a curved path. The more sides you have to each room, the more slightly you can rotate and the less perceptible the rotation will be.
phaseinduction, Apr 22 2007


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