Global Game Jam 2015

We built a fun thing for the Global Game Jam this year–a light- and sound-based artful narrative experience. Teammate Rob has written up a detailed and thoughtful summary of the tech behind the experience we built, which used Philips Hue lights and MiLights paired with timed directional audio to evoke sensory reactions, including awareness of place, and movement.

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The Global Game Jam is always a fun, positive experience for our team (in 2013 we made YODO, and in 2014 we made Cuppa Quest, which was a finalist at IndieCade that year).

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We knew going into the weekend that we wanted to make something using the lightbulbs, but had envisioned a game in which players kept their eyes shut. It quickly became clear that for the sake of color clarity people would need to have their eyes open but their vision blinkered, so we created whiteout glasses from vellum paper.

We spent most of the second day dealing with the physical build part of the experience, which necessitated a few trips to the hardware store. By the end of Saturday, the system was working, ready for us to build out the content on Sunday.

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We ended up creating an on-rails audio experience to demonstrate how our system functioned, and it was lots of fun to watch people interacting with it. We’re all looking forward to exploring more uses for the system, experimenting with timing (for example, at which point does the brain’s awareness of the colors overtake the immediate experience of wearing glasses/being in a booth/playing a game?), and building more game levels.

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Thanks, as always, to PIGSquad and the Art Institute for hosting and for all of the hard work they put into organizing this worthy event each year.

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