Game for Space

Anlin Liu & Jialiang Cai

(i)The first game Journal(16/11/2021): Phase 1

  • Get the initial idea of the game
  • Creating the basic plan and game rules on paper 
  • Buying or crafting hopter for further game test

Project:Hopter Master

Number of players:2-3 players per team

Gadgets: Several Hopter, folding fans

Space: A medium-size stairs

We had some initial ideas for the space game in this first Journal. The mind map(Figure A)shown below just represents the first thought of the game but not the final demonstration. We mixed the idea of stairs, hopter, and a folding fan. 

Figure A

So the core gameplay of this game is similar to the sport called a puck. Players will play the game as a group. Each group gets one launcher and two supporters. The launcher the hopter from the bottom of the stairs, and the other 2 supporters will use the folding fans to get the hopter up to its final destination by blowing the wind. The stairs will be separated into different sections that match other points. The player’s score is related to the final destination of the hopter of where it landed. In addition, there are several unique areas on the stairs which award players extra points. The goal is to get the highest score. The image (Figure B)below shows the initial thought of the game rules.

Game Rules:

Figure B

In the next Journal, we aim to get our first playtest done. We will test this prototype on a stair and see whether it work or not!

Question List

  • Which space are you going to choose:  We would like to choose a space with stairs (like the stairs in front of our classroom or the stairs near the entrance gate).
  • What are the boundaries of that space: Just on the stairs.
  • What features does the space has that can be utilized: Altitude difference, stages
  • How do the players relate to the space: One player standing at the bottom of the stairs with the hopter, others standing on the stairs holding the folding fan.

The players will need to change their positions via horizontal and vertical axes (x and y-axis), increasing the game’s mobility and depth. Unlike a flat platform, the player will need to move freely and quickly on the stages while blowing the wind simultaneously, introducing different game experiences. 

  • How can you quickly and clearly communicate the game rules:

A folding fan and game skills make the hopter fly to a specific position on the stairs.

(ii)The second game Journal(22/11/2021): Phase 2
Refine the rules of the game:

The game takes place at the LCC stairs and needs two players. Each player got 3 copters and 1 fan, Player 1 stands at the top of the stairs, and Player 2 goes to stairs one level above him. Drop the copter for Player 1 through the gap the stages above him. When the hopter is dropped from above, player 1 needs to use his fan to blow the wind to the copter and make it fly as far as possible down the stairs. When the copter lands on a stage, Player 1 moves to that stage, and player 2 will need to drop the second copter to above his new position. Each player got 3 hopters. When he used up all of them, Player 1 and Player 2 switched positions and summed up the score for that round. Different colors blocks represent different scores, it depends on where did player land each copter.

how to make a hopter

In this Journal, we start to test our game prototype by gathering several hopter. Initially, we planned to order some hopter and folding fans from an online store. Due to the delivery and finance problem. So we decided to craft all these hopters and fans by ourselves.

The first prototype of the hopter is that we plan to use straw and paper.

Model A

This second model is made of paper; it’s easy to make but can only be dropped upside down. If we blow the wind to it, it could fly a distance. However, we decided to use this Model and change it a few game rules.

Model B

References about how to make a hopter:


how to make a folding fan

This is the prototype of a folding fan.

Model C

References about how to make a folding fan:


(iii)The third game Journal(10/12/2021): Phase 3

Here are the newest game rules. According to Model B, we have two updated ideas about the topic game for space. We will test them and figure out what is best for our game.

This is the first updating idea and testing.

Figure C
Figure D

This is the second updating idea and testing.

Figure E
Figure F


In my original thought, the game is complicated. It needs programming, beautiful pictures, strategy, website, which are the products of modern industry. However, the project Game for Space let me realize that games exist far beyond the modern industry. Games were born at the same time as us, and it is in our nature to play them. It is not just digital games, board games, and so on. We can play with space as primitive people did thousands of years ago.

This project reminds me of the time I played with my friend on the playground when I was young. Although we can play this kind of game at a very young age, it is still a big challenge. I never thought about games like this, not to mention making one.

My personal goal here is simple: finish a game that the player can play in a specific space, expand my understanding of the game, cooperate with classmates, experience making a physical game, and play this game with classmates together.

Luckily, most of my goals have been achieved. Based on playtesting, if I could redesign this game, I would set up a session for players to make their bamboo dragonflies and fans to make the game more creative and fun. The hopters are all made by us, and all are the same, so the flight path is the same and lacks randomness.