colliderscope high scoreI had the chance to work closely on a game App, Colliderscope. This is kind of the fulfillment of a childhood dream, combining my love for art and technology. As I grew up and studied, there was no word to describe what today we call, very simply yet precisely, User Experience (UX in the industry’s slang). Videogames were obscure and mysterious, venerated by a bunch of geeky adepts but unknown to the great public.

Smartphones and Facebook apps have changed all that. They provide a chance of experimenting with the possibilities of interactive recreation while reaching large numbers of diverse people; when based on  inherent human abilities like coordination and calculation, videogames are not hindered by any cultural or social barrier. They can be distributed globally at the sole cost of the initial intellectual creation.

There is no storytelling in the classic sense in Colliderscope. At all. You shoot balls inside a designated area, trying to avoid other balls orbiting around your target. The game is fast, simple, and while it does require both strategy and reflexes, no complex thinking is required. Yet there is a story if you read between the lines. And a very nerdy one at that.

During brainstorming, the picture in our mind was an atom. Each shot that is fired is a proton; a spinning electron is added to keep the atom in balance. The maximum amount of balls you can place on each ring in Colliderscope corresponds to an actual level of energy for electrons. Other game mechanics are completely arbitrary, but the main inspiration came from quantum physics.

And if there is a concept in science that has gone viral, that would certainly be Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. The very recent discovery of gravitational waves has one again proved Einstein right. Take General Relativity away, and we would not only lose some of the major scientific discoveries of the last century – we would also find ourselves missing a significant chunk of sci-fi literature and art.

I don’t know what the future evolution of Colliderscope as a game will look like; it really is a sort of scientific experiment in itself. How many will see the artistic impression of nuclear fusion behind the game? Is it sending out the message that science is cool? Did we make it too hard (but it’s nuclear fusion, it has to be)? Time will tell.

Not that time exists at all, like we perceive it… but that’s another story.