CrankTank MEDIA Kit H N R Y

The game that started it all

We are a multi-disciplinary experimental design studio focused on creating unique and innovative experiences. What began in 2015 as a school project group has evolved into an award-winning, cross-country adventure.

Built for 2 or 4 players, each team must coordinate their motions to drive the on-screen tanks using the giant wooden wheels. Each team attempts to destroy the opposing teams base.

Combination of new tech, and good ol' fashioned wood

CrankTank was born as the final project to a class centered around alternative arcade controllers. Our goal was to create a full-body, physically involved controller and pair it with a relatively simple on-screen interface. The controllers themselves are made out of 3/4'' thick Baltic Birch Wood which has been CNC cut to be completely modular for ease of transportation. Unity 5.1 was used to create the game which the controllers interacted with, and received input from a single Arduino Leonardo connected to both controllers.

In addition to mastering the controls, each player must also tactically navigate the arena, avoiding obstacles and their opponent, in order to have a shot at victory.

The Cranks

The controllers are almost entirely made of 3/4'' CNC cut Baltic Birch Wood. For the handles we used standard 1 in. x 48 in. wood round dowel's cut to size. In order to reduce the friction created by having the wood-wood contact between the wheel and the body, we placed plastic turntable lazy-Susan spacers with metal ball bearings in the gap between the pieces. Internally, each controller sported 2 custom rotary encoders made up of 2 red LEDs and 2 photo-resistors. A custom laser cut encoder wheel gives the game a 1/4 turn resolution to detect forward or backward movement. Each side of the controller controls one side of the on-screen tank's treads.

CrankTank first debuted at Babycastles NYC in December 2015, but it would be far from the last. Following the opening exhibition, CrankTank traveled to San Francisco and Milwaukee.

Interested in working with us?

If you're interested in working with us or learning more about our studio, feel free to reach out! We'd love to hear from you.


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