Play, Dine & Score
TOCA, an international football/tech experience company, reached out to Design Reality to help develop some pivotal aspects of the world’s first arcade-style immersive football experience for their upcoming TOCA Social centres. Their vision being to combine a social dining setting with a fun, football-focused, technology-enabled, night-out experience.
Building on TOCA's own football pitching invention; the company wanted to develop an arcade-style football game where players could kick a ball at an interactive gaming wall. Having developed the bones of the software already, TOCA approached Design Reality to help with a number of practical design aspects of the project – such as automatic ball retrieval and screen technology. With a vision of bowling-meets-football, we got to work.
Part of what can make or break a good design is how easy it is to use.
While getting the ball to the player was already sorted, TOCA wanted a hassle-free way for used balls to be returned back to the pitching machine to minimise downtime for the players.
Knowing that the system would be built into custom venues, we were able to present a series of designs that used the environment to our advantage, such as sloped surfaces and under-floor conveyor belts.
The final design used both, with an automatic guttered conveyor system feeding balls back into the pitching machine.
Designed to last
The screen itself was another aspect of the design which needed a novel, yet practical solution.
With a klick from a seasoned player, a football can travel at speeds over 60mph. Not only would the screen need to withstand a barrage of such impacts; but it would need to sufficiently deaden the bounce-back of the balls, so as not to injure or interrupt the player or others attending.
Through meticulous research and testing we were able to select a suitable material for the screen and design a frame that could prevent ball bounce-back, avoid tears and would also be suitable for the motion capturing projection.
With the ball pitching device being hidden behind the screen, another aspect of the design had to incorporate access for maintenance. To maximise accessibility, whilst maintaining ultimate usability, we devised a dual roller system. With the mechanics hidden from impact, testing showed improved resistance and a more robust system.