Tangible game design game


”Game designers don’t simply tell stories; they design worlds and sculpt spaces. It is no accident, for example, that game design documents have historically been more interested in issues of level design than plotting or character motivation. A prehistory of video and computer games might take us through the evolution of paper mazes or board games, both preoccupied with the design of spaces, even where they also provided some narrative context.” – Henry Jenkins

Design process

As I was doing my master thesis I experimented with using different materials to aid rapid tangible prototyping. One participant was then to ”handle” the game, while the other played it. The prototype I created was inspired by that experiment, Jenkins ideas about game design as spatial sculpting and my overall fascination with tangible materials and their affordances. This project has also sprung out of my interest in game spaces as manifestations of rules, constricting and allowing actions.

In the rough prototype I developed, you can model a virtual space in real-time with clay. I used the Kinect and a Processing Kinect library to get information about depth, save the frame as an image at a rate of a couple of times per second, put it into a local folder and then accessed it at about the same rate with Unity through my local server. The images were then used as heightmap textures and applied to the terrain – changing the shape of the terrain at runtime. I was initially planning to smoothen it up a bit and create some game concepts for it, but I never got time.

My role

– All