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A real-time strategy two-player competitive tangible media implementation of Battleship


Commodore exposes the hidden realms of a military tactician by utilising a plotting table to simulate a naval battle.

Tacticians can command a battalion to advance or retreat in order to gain a competitive advtange and defeat their opponent.

Technical information on the installation is available at the Commodore project.

Video by Michael Rowe and Bashkim Isai

Declaring war

Two players (black and white) compete against each other on individual physical plotting tables sharing a virtual battlefield.

Games are start by each player ringing their ceremonial bell, declaring war on their opponent.

Photograph by Jacque Prior
The bell used to begin the game

Game play

Each player is presented with three ships of varying ability:

  • Blue: extended projectile range
  • Red: strong against attack
  • Yellow: moves swiftly

Navies are commanded by moving the physical ships on the battlefield. As the move, virtual projection of the ship catches up to its instructed location.

The installation utilised wood and brass for the visual aesthetic. This design approach was carried throughout the installation from the physical (ships, tables) to the virtual battlefield (map, cannon balls).

Digital image by Bashkim Isai
The god-view of the battlefield


When two opponents align broadsides, players can attack by pulling the ships' trigger: releasing it to a satisfying bang.

Once a ship fires on its enemy, it must way until the artillery has reloaded before it can fire again. Reloaded state is indicated by the corresponding lights.

Warfare and aesthetics typical of the British Regency period (1811-1820) informed the game. Inspiration was sort from the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane, Australia and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, United Kingdom.

Photograph by Jacque Prior
Triggers for firing against opponents


As your ship becomes weaker in the game, your corresponding physical ship begins to billow smoke.

When your ship is crippled and has sunk the mast on the physical ship falls, signifying its demise.

The player whose blue ship remains is declared the winner.

Photograph by Jacque Prior
Smoke billows from a weak ship


Bashkim Isai
Product Owner


Avdyl Isai


Jane Turner (Truna)
Concept Development

Gavin Sade
Concept Development

Zach Fitz-Walter
Concept Development

Electronic Engineering

Noel Haynes
Electronic Engineering

Yasuhiro Santo
Electronic Engineering

Industrial Design

Matt Squire
Industrial Design

Mark Barry
3D Scanning & Design

Melissa Johnston
Rapid Prototyping

Visual Design

Michael Rowe

Jacque Prior
Photography and Logo

Kylie-Anne Schmidt

Technical Support

Cameron Owen
Algorithm Development

Glen Wetherall
Technical Assistance

Agim Isai


Jon-Michael Mooney
Composer & Sampling