CSE Game Design Lab

Innovation in game design

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Movement-based game design

Posted by on April 14th, 2010 · Uncategorized

Over the years game input devices have slowly evolved. Where we once used joysticks and buttons, or a keyboard and mouse, we now have digital guitars and motion-sensing remotes.

In late 2003, Sony released the Eye Toy for the PlayStation 2. The Eye Toy is a camera that uses the player’s body location in a 2-dimensional range as input. The Eye Toy has had a fair amount of success, selling over 10.5 million units by November 2008 – according to the ever-reliable Wikipedia.

Microsoft has been working on Project Natal for the XBOX360, which uses an infra-red camera to track movements of players in 3-dimensional space. The system is expected for release later in the year.

There is a company called Softkinetic that has created a similar system, which I will be using for my game design thesis. The main question that I will be addressing is, “Is this new system fun to use?”

People are almost assuming that this input device will be fun. There has so far been very little research performed on such a device, but it can be compared to other movement-based game systems like the Eye Toy, Nintento Wii, and the famous arcade game Dance Dance Revolution.

I will therefore make a game that uses either a keyboard or the infra-red camera. Player-testers will play the game with both devices, and give feedback regarding which one they preferred. This will be difficult to examine, as enjoyment is a subjective opinion. My intention is therefore to see how well the new system competes with traditional game design.

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