Lab: Multimodal Media Madness (M3) - SS 2018

Multimodal Media Madness (M3) is our hands-on lab ("Praktikum") for Bachelor students in Computer Science, although we also invite students with strong skills from other disciplines to apply. Build an interactive system with an unusual user interface in hard- and software that creates an awesome user experience! It's a great gateway into our lab's research and teaching focus on User Interface Design, Human-Computer Interaction, and Personal Fabrication.

2018 Topic: Build a Steampunk Escape Room

This year, you will design and build physical riddles that make up an Escape Room. Each riddle will be a physical artifact using mechanics, electronics, and embedded programming to create a challenge for the players to solve in a few minutes, which will allow them to unlock the next riddle. The players will have one hour to solve all riddles together to escape from the room in time. The aesthetic of the riddles will place players into a Victorian-era Steampunk environment full of brass, gears, goggles, airships, and weird steam-powered contraptions.

You will learn:

  • How to develop a compelling game experience that puts your players into the right mood and makes it clear why they need to solve your riddle, carefully balancing game difficulty and play time.
  • How to use the digital fabrication tools in our Fab Lab, from our laser cutter and our VisiCut software, to our various 3D printers, to make your physical enclosures;
  • How to use the free Eagle PCB design software and our PCB mill to design and produce your own electronic circuit boards for making your riddles react to what players are doing with them;
  • How to use the beginner-friendly ATmega-based Arduino microcontroller boards and the Arduino IDE to program your riddle's interactive behavior in embedded software (we also have other boards like the MSP430-based Energia).

After some quick introductions to these tools, you'll then have most of the semester to create your own awesome riddle in small student groups.


Prof. Jan Borchers, Jan Thar, Anke Brocker
Please contact Jan Thar or Anke Brocker directly with any questions about the class.

When and Where

Wednesdays, 13:15-15:15, room 2222 , Ahornstr. 55
Start: April 11, 2018.


Join our L2P-Lernraum: TBA

Grading Policies

To take this course for credit, you must complete all assignments, lab exercises, and the final project. The grade of this course will be a combination of the assignments and final project. Note that you must achieve a cumulative score above 4.0 and complete all exercises to pass the course.

You are expected to be aware of, and abide by, the ethics policy for courses taught at our chair.

Assignments/lab exercises will be assigned weekly. They are to be completed in groups of 2 or 3. If you do not complete the lab exercise during the scheduled lab section, you must complete it on your own time and submit it by the due date. Lab exercises and assignments will be graded on the following scale:

  • 1.0 - exceptional work that clearly went above and beyond what was given on the exercise
  • 2.0 - exercise was completed satisfactorily as per the assignment specification
  • 3.0 - exercise was completed, but has some problems
  • 4.0 - incomplete exercise
  • 5.0 - little or no effort was put into the exercise

Late assignments will be graded with a penalty of 0.5 per each beginning 24 hour period after the due date. Exceptions will be granted only for valid (i.e., medical) reasons.

M3 Student Projects from 2018: Build a Steampunk Escape Room

D.O.R.I.S - Die Defekte Dampfmaschine

Make it stop


LED Cubes


World Map
worldMap 2 800 600

Radar Maze



Great M3 Student Projects from Previous Years

FabArcade_total.png The FabArcade (M3 2013) is a classic games arcade that can be built in any Fab Lab around the world. It runs classic arcade games from the 80's as well as custom-written games our students wrote for it.

weatherella.png The Weatherella (M3 2010) is an umbrella that lights up whenever you should take it with you!


IMG_6826.jpgThe FriendLocator (M3 2010) is a wristband that helps you find your friends at a concert.

Previous Offerings

Previous Offerings:

SS 2017 - SS 2016 - SS 2015 - SS 2014 - SS 2013 - SS 2012 - SS 2011 - SS 2010 - WS 2008/2009 - WS 2006/2007 - WS 2005/2006 - WS 2004/2005

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