I made these for the 2010 Game Developers Conference as an exploration into Augmented Reality – and a clever gimmick to make my business cards stand out. You play the games using a webcam and the QR code on my business card.
I really like motion controls and wish there were an accessible way for people to use them. Even something simple – like giving the cursor an orientation – opens up a realm of new gameplay possibilities.
I made Squirrel Fight for a one-button game competition in 2009. The idea for it hit me as I was riding my bike home one day and by that evening I had my first prototype. It’s an RTS game – like Starcraft – but with extremely simple controls.
It’s a two-player game, so you’ll have to grab someone nearby and play with them.
This one requires some explanation.
In 2009 I was a new graduate student in the Interactive Media program at USC (now the Interactive Media and Games program). One night during our weekly seminar, Scott Fisher – head of the program at the time – announced that because students kept stealing his water bottles he was going to put a new water cooler in the lab. The new water cooler came, and worked great for about 10 days – until we drank all the water in the two provided jugs.
Weeks went by with no replacement jugs. We worked late nights in the lab – groups of students huddled around glowing monitors furiously trying to make awesome games – with that dry husk of a water cooler leering at us, mocking our thirst.
One night I’d finally had enough. Taking a cue from our many in-class discussions on “Serious Games” and “Games for Change” I opened up Adobe Flash, and in an hour or so built a game. A game with a powerful contemporary message. A game that would show the elites that they could no longer ignore our suffering. A game that could inspire all humankind to lay aside our petty differences and be united in the cause of ensuring well-hydrated game designers!
And that was how Water Cooler was made.
Anyway it worked. You can still see the reaction to it on the USC Interactive website ( look for Scott Fisher’s response 🙂 ). New water arrived shortly afterwards and the cooler was finally filled.
I worked in that lab for 3 more years, and every time I drank from that water cooler I felt the satisfaction of having made the world a better place.