Alt.Ctrl workshop

Experimental Game Interfaces Workshop

  • At: Universty of Lapland
  • By: Tuomo Tammenpää & Daniel Blackburn
  • For: University of Lapland
  • In: May 2018

Game controllers for digital games have been reduced down to ergonomic but very limited devices in capturing various human gestures let alone recognising object-based tangible interaction methods. Let’s get back to the early years of curious contraptions and precarious prototypes on human-computer interaction, with the latest software and hardware tools for holistic DIY interaction design.

Emphasis of the workshop is on the experimental physical controllers, how to use various sensors for gesture and object detection, how to process the input data and send it to computer and most importantly, how these unconventional interaction paradigms change game design process. The methodology follows learning-by-doing and co-learning practicies. We split in teams with minimum three participants in each and try to scatter existing skills in different teams. Existing working groups with game design ideas can be taking in to account.

The control prototypes will be platform agnostic – it will be up to participants on what platform they choose to use their new controllers on. This workshop does not teach how to develop games on platforms like Unity3D or Unreal Engine 4. However, we will provide one sandbox scene for both platforms ready to capture the controller data and guide game design process in general.

The learning outcomes of the workshop gives the participants required skills and knowledge for game design with self-made experimental game controllers, building prototypes of these controllers, programming the middleware with Arduino-based microcontrollers and formatting the data suitable for serial input on PC game engines.