Experiment 4 – Final Report
For our final project we wanted to create a twist on the traditional two player competitive arcade game by altering how the players would typically interact with the game. Our game mechanic was centered on a goal keeper and a striker wherein player one summons and unleashes ghosts along three lanes by using touch sensitive fabric on an Ouija board, the other player would then banish the summoned ghosts by using a flashlight to light up light sensors within a candle in order to launch a beam of light along a corresponding lane. The overall theme of the game was inspired by “Luigi’s Mansion” wherein the player uses a flashlight to combat ghosts within a haunted setting.
The inspiration for our project was based around implementing non conventional human interface devices to interact with a seemingly classical arcade game. Our original concept was to recreate an existing arcade game within P5.JS and use a variety of sensors to interact with the game in the place of traditional controllers. This concept evolved to focus on two player competitive play wherein games such as air hockey or Pong were taken into consideration for game mechanics. When discussing how the player would interact with the game we decided that using light as a controller would be a novel, creative, and unique idea where the inputs would be based around light sensors. We then related this idea back to our original inspiration of “Luigi’s Mansion” where the character utilized light in order to fight ghosts; the game’s theme revolved around summoning and banishing ghosts which suited the theme of our arcade game and allowed us to develop two unique purpose driven controllers.
For the design of our controllers our goal was to create a unique and creative design that relates to the overall theme of the game as opposed to simple buttons and switches; after experimentation with what materials and parts we had we settled upon a design based upon a Ouija board and candle set. The Arduino components were a relatively simple design based upon multiple on and off switches and light sensors, these were tried and true methods that we knew would work but the trick was to utilize these components in a creative way through the building and usage of the controllers. With an idea set in stone we then researched other creative and unique controller designs throughout history as well as analyzing aspects of our past experiment as our “Cardboard Band” project was also inspired by the idea of providing an extra level of immersion through the design of the controller; utilizing what we learned we worked towards taking this experiment a step further.
In our research we found many strange yet unique controllers. The article “25 bizarre video game controllers” by Aaron Birch details many unique and creative controllers throughout history, yet one of the controllers that stood out for us was the Dreamcast’s Sega Fishing Rod that featured motion sensing capabilities, a quick upward thrust mechanism, and a reel on the side in order to catch fish on screen (Birch 2014). Although on a technical aspect it might not have been too different from a standard controller it was arranged in a creative and unique manner related to the theme of the game in order to provide an extra level of immersion, intractability, and entertainment. Controllers of this nature wouldn’t find much use in other games as they are more specialized and typically can only be used in certain games; however, this type of hardware excels in a more public arcade setting as it catches attention and allows multiple people to try and play the game. With the design of our Ouija board and candle set controllers we hoped to create an intriguing and unique design that catches attention and encourages people to investigate and try it out.
Features and Goals:
The list of features we wanted our game to have is for it to be a two player game, to have the controllers represent the feel of the game, and to have the game fully functional. What worked was that the game was playable with two players so throughout the critic people enjoyed playing and competing with each other which is what we had originally wanted. Another feature that was implemented well was the controllers; since our game involved ghosts we felt that it was appropriate to design the controllers as a Ouija board and a sort of magical circle with candles. We felt that the controllers made the person more immersed into the game. For the game being functional it did work but there were some problems with some collision detection but overall it worked as intended for the most part.
Birch, A. (2014). 25 Bizarre Video Game Controllers. Retrieved from https://www.denofgeek.com/games/game-controllers/30841/25-bizarre-videogame-controllers