April 12, 2013

Keep your brain safe from zombies

To make a big spash at the 2010 PAX Prime (Penny Arcade Expo), PopCap Games asked me to create a traffic-cone zombie hat that could be assembled on-site and worn by gamers attending the conference. PAX is the largest gaming festival in North America, so it was a great opportunity for PopCap to promote one of its flagship games, Plants vs. Zombies.

If you’ve never played Plants vs. Zombies, the Zombies gain special powers when they wear a traffic cone on their head and are doubly hard to destroy.

The challenge for a geometry-challenged designer was how to make a paper cone that will sit flat on its base. After multiple frustrating attempts at eyeballing the correct arc, I realized I would have to turn to my longtime nemesis, math.

Fortunately the answer presented itself in the next 30 seconds after a Google search. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, not only can you find instructions on how to make a perfect cone, but an online calculator will give you the correct formula when you key in the dimensions.

The hats were a hit with the PAX attendees, and thanks to PopCap, we now have more empowered zombies out there threatening to consume our brains.

zombiehat