Mitchell Karchemsky

Industrial / Interaction Designer - UC Berkeley

Doom Sense

Doom Sense was a project done in the class "Software Defined PCBs." The class focused on the idea of using software to define which components need to be utilized in order to bridge the gap in creating hardware. Being a student of Cogntivie Science, I wanted to incorpate what I had learned about neuroplasticity to see how adding an additional sense modality would affect ones performance.

We modeled our device around the first person shooter DOOM, where it is important to always be tracking what resources you have. For example, you would never want to be in a dark hallway with very low health. It also adds to the gameplay if you knew when enemies were somewhere not directly in your field of view.

With these goals in mind, we created Doom Sense. Doom Sense is a jacket which a player would wear giving them a more immersive experience in a game. We focused on two data streams: Health, and proximity of enemies. We useda large dc motor with a offset counterweight to create vibrations. By scraping the data from the game of the remaining health, we could convert it to a percentage, with a percentage level, we modulate a waveform which simulates sinius rhythm of the heart; the less health you have, the faster and more agressive the heartbeat is. The other datapoint we use is the proximity of enemies surounding the player. We look for the closest enemy to the player that isn't in the direct field of view, calculate the distance and then with some trade-secret magic, convert distance information into pulse strength. We five motors on the neck of our jacket and found that most experienced video game players would adapt quickly and triangulate within the first 2 minutes of gaem play, while more novice players would take 5.