playful gadget powered by machine learning
acrylic, arduino, termal printer, python

collaborative project


︎ github repository

︎︎︎ Core 77 2022 student notable honoree
︎ featured Yanko Design
︎︎︎ featured
︎︎︎ featured New School News
Trouble Maker is a game-gadget that generates random prompts for Truth or Dare using Markov Chain. Truth or Dare is a classic party game, which places the player in a dilemma between answering a personal question or performing a challenging task. However, running out of prompts is a common pain point of the game. It is challenging to continuously devise clever prompts yourself and the prompts you can find online are often limited and repetitive in content.

We propose an innovative way to generate prompts using Markovify — a simple machine learning generator based on Markov Chain. Markovify predicts the next word based upon its previous word, but not the whole sentence. The fact that this machine learning model doesn't really understand the true meaning of each sentence results in the absurdity of the prompts, and makes it more unpredictable. By using a series of selected inputs, including both absurd and serious content, Morkovify can generate 'infinite' challenges for the players that are beyond the human imagination.

This work is a collabration with Yibo Fu.

Why a Gadget?

We designed this small hand-size gadget with a built-in thermal printer for generating each prompt. There are plenty of web based or app based tools for truths and dares, just like for many other party games. However, we realized that using these screen based tools can kill so much fun, since these tools often divert the players' attention to the electronic device, which can distract them from the party with incoming messages and other notifications. A party game is meant to bond people together in reality, while electronic devices does exactly the opposite. We intend to create a gadget that provides a getaway from the excessive use of electronics lifestyle. With the prompts thermal printed on tips as the interface, the players can be fully concentrated on the reality and more importantly, on each other.