Categories
Projects

Awesome Alt Ctrls

In 2019 and 2020, I organized an open list of resources for creating alternative controllers, playful installations and physical-digital hybrids. You can find the full list of resources and more info here.

Are you interested in games that let us play differently? Have you found some intriguing project on Shake That Button and would like to find some extra information to help you start to make your own thing? This community-curated list of resources is here to support you: it is focused on tools, materials, and things that you can use to craft alternative controllers.

Categories
Research

Demo and Doctoral Consortium at DIS 2019

I presented my game Cook Your Way as a demonstration and also participated in the doctoral consortium at the Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2019 in San Diego, USA.

My participation at DIS 2019 resulted in two extended abstracts published in the conference proceedings. Here they are (click on the title to download a PDF):

Granzotto Llagostera, Enric. 2019a. “Cook Your Way: Political Game Design with Alternative Controllers.” In Companion Publication of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2019 Companion, 25–28. DIS ’19 Companion. New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/3301019.3325148.

Granzotto Llagostera, Enric. 2019b. “Critical Controllers: How Alternative Game Controllers Foster Reflective Game Design.” In Companion Publication of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2019 Companion, 85-88. DIS ’19 Companion. New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/3301019.3324872.

Categories
Work

Student organizer at DesignJam: Accessible Gamepad Jam

I was part of the student team organizing the accessible gamepad jam, in a participatory activity part of the accessXchange forum on advancing inclusive, accessible approaches to design and learning.

My main focus was on the use of the Micro:bit board as starting point for prototyping and experimentation on collectively making accessible controllers for existing games. I also participated in designing the jam process and collaborating with peers from EducationMakers and Milieux.

More information is available on the event website.

Categories
Projects Research

Cook Your Way

This is a game about how immigration systems and capitalist discourses of multiculturalism combine to oppress migrants. Visa applicants (or players) are tasked with cooking a typical dish of their country of origin using a cooking station. Immigration authorities then evaluate applicants according to their efficiency and potential to contribute to the new country’s society. Cooking becomes a standardized test, one step within a longer application process.

The game features a custom cooking station controller.

More information can be found on the game’s website.

The game has been presented at alt.ctrl.GDC 2019. An interview about the project has been published at Gamasutra.

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Projects

gambi_abo

gambi_abo is a series of do-it-yourself (DIY) cardboard-based game controllers. Each controller has approachable and accessible building instructions for how to create controllers using easy to find interface devices. With gambi_abo, the public can make controllers for the games you choose, not the ones a certain company decides are the best for its platforms. You can learn more about this project in its website: https://enricllagostera.github.io/gambi_abo/about/.

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Projects

Roots

Roots is an on-going collaboration between Rebecca Goodine and Enric Llagostera, started in January 2018. It is a research-creation game design project that actively involves intergenerational players in an experience that cultivates each other’s capabilities for care within a larger community. Gameplay is both haptic and visual in nature, with players working together to grow an onscreen digital garden through an alternative controller resembling an underground roots system. In the current Roots “well” design, players put their hands inside a soft padded well through holes in its sides. The game’s digital garden inside the top of the well can be grown and watered by connecting roots within the well’s interior to a circuit based ground cushion. Each root has a different feel, texture and weight, with softness and tactility acting as invitations into new and unfamiliar learning spaces.

Roots has been exhibited in the following events: 

  • Flop Rooftop Artcade (Montréal, Canada)
  • Different Games 2018 (Worcester, USA)
  • Milieux Expo 2018 (Montréal, Canada)

Categories
Research

Designing Cook Your Way at CGSA 2018

I went to Regina, Saskatchewan, from 29 May to 03 June, to participate at the 2018 Annual Conference of the Canadian Game Studies Association (CGSA). The conference was part of the 2018 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

In the event, I presented a talk in a panel which featured my fellow student members (Jess Rowan Marcotte, Dietrich Squinkifier, and Rebecca Goodine) of the Reflective Games research group, directed by Dr. Rilla Khaled. Our panel showcased and discussed the group members’ research-creation work, focusing on design approaches and how our projects aim to encourage critical reflection in games and their design.

My individual talk at the panel (about the design process of Cook Your Way, a political game discussing the experience of migrants in relation to issues of identity and otherness) also sparked interesting conversations with other researchers. Topics discussed ranged from the representation of power in the game to how the different layers of design in the game reinforced its message and reflection through play.

Sample slide.
Categories
Projects

Balance the Beam

This alternative controller game was made for the Alt Ctrl Game Jam in 2015. I designed and programmed the game, using an Android controller attached to a broomstick as its controller, connected to a PC running the game logic. Players have to use the broomstick to keep an interstellar portal open and save the spaceships. My goal was to explore existing devices, subverting everyday objects and use them to invite players. You can download it here and there is also a preview video here.

Categories
Projects

A Duel in Limbo

This local multiplayer game had two players playing asymmetrically: one controlling physical tokens and the other a virtual character. They had to compete and take turns creating a range of virtual obstacles via the physical tokens and escaping that fractured landscape. This game prototype was made for my MSc experimental game design class, and it used computer vision libraries to enable the interaction with the tokens. I made the programming, design and art.

Categories
Projects

The Wise Head Says

This game is a local multiplayer game in which players compete to reach the top. However, their only way to go up is by using jetpacks fired by their singing. I made this game as an experiment about shared microphone input and competitive play during my MSc game design class.