Winner of the CHI 2020 Student Game Competition - Innovative Interfaces! Read our extended abstract here.
CHALLENGE: Create a game that engages players' bodies and can't be played with an existing controller... then make the controller for that game, without using any off-the-shelf sensors.
MY ROLE: Concept refinement, interaction development, game art, some video filming and editing, and general design guidance.
The great opportunity with making an immersive game is that you can let your players experience things that they couldn't normally do without serious consequences. Heists and suave con-men hold a romanticized place in our pop culture, but aren't an accessible experience for the average person.
The first iteration of our game incorporated our key goals - it was effectively a functional safe, locking unless the combination was found. However, it lacked visual polish and the appearance of a strong, sturdy safe. We learned during informal user testing that it also lacked the actual sturdiness necessary for prolonged play.
A comparison of the two safe versions. Besides aesthetic improvements, the second safe is also much more solid -- using CNCd 3/4" plywood, lift-off gate hinges, bolts and dowel nut assembly, and metal d-shafts for the handle and dial. The headphones were changed from corded to bluetooth to allow more organic movement, so players aren't chained to the audio source. We also added a screen inside the safe, so beating different levels could have different payoffs.