Saturday, April 28, 2012

Design Teams for Radical Games #3 - 2012

Below is a list of the third design teams for your radical games. You will be presenting on 21st May. You will also have an audience from the IGDA Melbourne chapter to present to later that night.

M. Sarah C, Alex J, Shaun S
N. Amy H, Jayden G, Anushka D.M
O. Amanda B, Adam W, Charlie Le
P. Georgie Z, Timothy D, Dakenum J, Patrick W
Q. Ahn-Tu T, Priscilla W, Chris B
R. Kamila K, Alex T

Please post below or email me your team member names and blog URL so that I can put them up on the list. Please do this as soon as possible!

Radical Games Exhibition No. 2

Here are all the games that were showcased as part of the second radical games exhibit.

Tween Twist - Shaun S, Amanda B, Adam W

Easing initial social awkwardness kids between the ages of 10-12, (colloquially called tweenagers) can have when meeting and interacting for the first time is an untouched area. This is where Tween Twist comes in. At that age kids are only just becoming self-conscious; getting over that initial hurdle can be tough but once the process has been ironed out, great new friendships can be explored. Tween Twist has been designed as an easy-to-access iOS and Android game that encourage young people to physically interact with one another in a safe, fun environment, thus smoothing out the initial difficulty meeting new people. Play-testing has shown that kids greatly preferred getting to know each other through the medium of a game rather than conventional first introductions. Using a game space to blur the line between stranger and friend creates a much easier social environment for young people, and that coupling the elements of a game to real world interaction improves this result.

Spider Hand - Amy H, Patrick W, Dakenum J

The aim is to decrease anxiety or/and fear of small invertebrates such as spiders or small insects. The problem we face to solve is that sometimes people overreact towards small insects and arachnids. Our approach goes along the lines of exposure therapy where the repeated exposure to certain fear will help over come it. The elements of exposure therapy is coupled with sense of competition/herd mentality to make subjects more willing to participate. What we have learnt is that fun, or the perceived idea of it, will allow a person to overcome personal distaste. Exposure through the medium of a game is a useful tool to overcome psychological obstacles.

Look At Me - Alex J, Timothy D, Anushka D.M

Look At Me is a game designed to help those uncomfortable with having attention drawn to them develop the courage and the confidence to overcome their discomfort. Lacking situations that push people to overcome this discomfort; many never get the opportunity to develop this life skill. Look At Me utilises an overseer to guide the actions of competing players to win the most attention from a non player group within a short time frame. With the use of an overseer, players find themselves less inhibited when attention is drawn towards them. By providing situations in which social inhibitions are challenged, Look At Me provides players with relevant experiences to tap into when they are next presented with a scenario that puts them in the spotlight of attention.

Dignigty - Alex T, Charlie L

The game is a search for emotion and excitement. We attempt to provoke reactions out of the player. Each player has a different challenge as he switches roles. The person showing the video is recording the reaction and wins if the reaction provoked is stronger than the one he went through. So the challenge is to find the appropriate video, the one that surprises. The player watching the video needs to try and not react so that he wins the game. The player recording the reaction needs to find the videos that will shock/scare/amuse the other player the most. The player observing the video needs to try his best to hold his emotions in, making the game more exciting. Our experience of designing this game has enabled us to make video sharing websites more interesting to use. We incorporated the use of sound as a medium to measure the score. The game will have succeeded in making the player feel some emotions in anyway rather it is frustrations for not succeeding on making the player react or the opposite if he succeeded. The loser will come out with the most emotions because to lose you have to burst out laughing or screaming. In conclusion, our game has succeeded in bringing a little excitement in times of boredom. People these days enjoy video sharing websites, and thus this game will appeal to them. This game can also be used as a drinking game for more excitement, as one is more emotionally reactive while intoxicated. The novelty is the use of sound and video sharing websites. The contribution is bringing excitement while using every day habits.

Stayin' Inline - Sarah C, Chris B, Jayden G

This game teaches players a different means of communications while making it fun in game form, but goes further than that, it try’s to make one player and extension of the other as if trying to share the same mind. The major problem we encountered with our game was simply coming up with a way to communicate in a non conventional way. Speech, writing and sign language are the most common forms and people do them on an every day basis so it was difficult redesigning something so common in a game form that would be of use. After addressing our problem the steps soon after were simple however not easy. Our games silences one player and blinds the other. The blind player must be directed through a maze using their finger by the player who is speechless this is done by a form of touch. The silent player drags their finger along the blind players back. This gives the blind player a rough idea what shape the maze is. After the first trace is made along the blind players back a second one is done slower in order for the blind player to slowly navigate through the maze while the speech impaired player navigates and corrects them. The over all idea of this game is to create a game where ones communicate with out speech. While such an idea may not be practical in day to day life it made for a fun and different game concept. A lot of games today are pushing interactivity with other online players via voice chat or video call. While it may not redefine how to interact with other players it would be nice to see a first person shooter where players avatars interact with each other through animations or hand gestures as such is done in military operations where soldiers need to remain quiet in some situations.

?? - Kamila K, Ahn-Tu T

The fundamental ideas we wanted to express & demonstrate in this game was memory skills, quick wit & punishment for failing to exert these skills. And we wanted to have these elements come out & utilized in a socially focused game. So we settle upon making a game involving short term memorizing & logic puzzle that can be played with a group people. The players gather round in a group & each draw a card from the deck of the chosen mode (there are 4) & each player must read out the content of their card, while memorize on the content of the next player’s card & so on & so on & so on, building up the skills of memorizing things, until the player screws up & forgets, they must suck on a lemon as punishment. This will negatively reinforce the player to try harder at memorizing the cards & the other player’s cards.

Monday, April 16, 2012

More Radical Games

Thank you all for your contributions. Today we analysed some more radical games and tried to pinpoint the novelty and contribution of each one. This becomes very important when talking about your games and crucial when writing a research paper (somewhat like the relationship between identifying your game's core mechanic when giving an elevator pitch). The radical games discussed today were 'Ere Be Dragons (paper), Combiform (interview), Fingle (interview), Johann Sebastian Joust! (paper).

We also talked about why facing each other while playing games is important, and played a game of Cheat. Then we discussed the Designing for Critical Play paper and did an exercise on modifying and critically engaging with existing games.

Don't forget that your second radical game presentations are next week. Please have ready by next week the following.

  • Critical reflection on the class in the comments section below
  • A blog for your second game (post the URL and team members here)
  • Your abstract
  • A video of your radical game
  • Practice your presentation

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Design Teams for Radical Games #2 - 2012

Below is a list of the second design teams for your radical games. You will be presenting on 23rd April.

G. Shaun S, Amanda B, Adam W
H. Amy H, Patrick W, Dakenum J
I. Alex J, Tim D, Anushka D.M
J. Alex T, Charlie Le
K. Sarah C, Chris B, Jayden G
L. Kamila K, Ahn-Tu T

Please post below or email me your team member names and blog URL so that I can put them up on the list.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Radical Games - Students' works

Mimicry - A children's game to learn sounds

Studies show that many children in the early years of primary school don’t have verbal skills suitable for their age.[1]  Worse, there sin’t a fitting number of toys and games that focus on verbal skills for this demographic available. So how do we help to remedy the problem? Mimicry! is a game about sound to be played with 2-8 people, aged 7 and up. Each turn a player will draw a card and using only the ‘instruments’ at hand or their voice to help the other players guess what their item was within the time limit. Basic verbal reproduction and recognition skills can translate to better language and even arithmatic skills.[2]

[Flash 10 is required to watch video]

Domestic Dash - A remote-controlled toy for lonely dogs

Domestic Dash
We aim to give something that both the player and the animal partner can consider as a true game and yet give something that benefits them beyond simple gameplay. The problem we face to solve is the psychological problems that arises from the long term physical separation from the owner and the pet dog. We looked for something that dogs innately find interesting, which is hunting, and add a more personal element, the voice of the owner, to it. A short training will ensure the desired effect. The solution is an RC car with attached speaker and cameras. This provides a mean for physical, visual and audio interactions between the owner and the pet dog that is aimed to benefit both the player and the dog psychologically. This is a simple means to an end. This method can be reapplied to any other types of pets in a similar way.

Smell this - A game based on smell alone

Smell This
Through “Smell This”, we are able to invite players who are vision impaired. Although taking away a primary sense of the human body narrows down our audience, it at the same time increases accuracy of our secondary senses. The major problem we encounter is that no one likes being vision impaired for a long duration of time, even for a short duration it can be slightly frustrating. This can be a deterrent from training one’s sense of smell. As we needed an incentive, we decided to make our game competitive. Rather than doing an action on your own, the game is played with 2 people and is a race against time. 
Even when taking away a person primary sense it is still possible for a person to have fun for a duration of time provided there is a proper incentive. Our overall contribution is that games can be played with the things you smell, as opposed to things you see. While our game may not be world changing we hope people can see, from a different light, ways that people play and design games. The results from players will help improve their sense of smell, something they may not always actively pay attention too.

Blind Buzz - A game based on smell alone

Blind Buzz
People have become accustomed to being able to locate a sound's direction with the visual aid of eyesight. Blind people do not have the aid of visuals to guide them, they must rely on sound to guide them through everyday life. Because of this, Blind people have always had to cope with this disadvantage in life. Blind buzz introduces a radical new way to play a game where the players vision is taken away from them and blind people actually have a distinct advantage. The game requires the people be able to locate the position of each sound they hear, factoring in factors such as sound direction and distance. In order to compete with blind people, people must train their hearing to adapt to the visionless game world of blind buzz. Blind buzz isn't just about the player scoring as many points as they can by throwing a ball at different sound locations within a time limit, although that is the player's primary motivation while playing. Blind buzz is a game where people and blind people can play together and introducing a new sightless environment for the player to experience.

Metcycle - A radical cycling game to promote Melbourne Bike Share


Sign Monster - A radical game to learn sign language

Sign Monster
With this game the initial idea was centered on implementing sign-language (by proxy intricate hand gestures & recognition) as an element of game play into video games. Motivating this decision was the reasons of wanting to create empathy with deaf people who sign as a means of communicating with the world & wanting to create a new experience in games via the novelty of signing. At first I had a convoluted narrative to implement the mechanic (via the use of kinect & or playstation move) but then we settled on a simple mini-game-esque design that was transparently educational yet fun. Sign Monster  is a game where the player must defeat a monster by delaying his sense by spelling out the “English” word he/she presents in Sign language in the time of 7 seconds or less (normal level of difficulty) , while delayed the player can escape from the monster. The monster will catch up with the player & have another word of higher difficulty that the player will have to spell out & so on & so on.  This game will help the player to learn while they play.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Radical Games Exhibition No.1 - Photos

Well done to everyone. You all ended up with great projects! Looking forward to your next projects now.

A. Alex J, Shaun S, Sarah C (


B. Patrick W, Dakenum J, Georgie Z
Domestic Dash

C. Anushka D.M, Christopher B, Amy H
Smell This

D. Jayden G, Adam W, Priscilla W
Blind Buzz

E. Timothy D, Kamila K, Chuong L

F. Ahn-Tu T, Amanda B, Alex T
Sign Monster

Monday, March 26, 2012

Radical Games Exhibition No. 1

Today week 4 started, and we had a Radical Games Exhibition of all your games!
Chad will post some pictures next, and we are looking at your game ideas, associated webpages, videos and abstracts right now in order to give you your grades, in addition to the feedback you already received as part of the exhibition, including from the great Hugh Davies.

Homework for next week:

  • Read the 2 papers for next week and bring them with you including your comments on them, as you will need them to engage in group exercises around the content in the next class
  • Comment on the blog below
  • Form new teams of 3 and start working on your new, even more radical game for the next exhibition, the bar will be raised once more!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Today you discussed various game definitions based on Jesper Juul's work and you learned how to pronounce the name of one of the most influential play theorists: Johan Huizinga. Also, we discussed the magic circle and how considering it can help you create radical games. Lastly, through the Madness session you got feedback from everyone in the room on your most recent Radical Game idea.

Homework for next Monday:

  1. Comment on the class below: what did you learn? How does it help you design more radical games?
  2. Prepare your game for Monday, it will be an ongoing game exhibition!
  3. You will also need a webpage and a video for your game. I said you will also need a paper, but for now, you do not need to write a full paper, but an abstract that you put on your webpage for the game please.

Here is how to write this abstract:

An abstract is usually <150 words and consists of 5 sentences:

  • Motivation:
    Why do we care about the game? This is where your learnings from gaining empathy comes in: games are always designed for a reason and for someone. Thinking about these might help articulate the motivation for your work.
    Example: Games that support exertion can help address the obesity epidemic.    
  • Problem statement:
    What problem are you trying to solve with your game? Even though games often do not seem to solve a problem, they do: this can be ranging from preventing the player from getting bored, to you opening designers' eyes on what games could be if they would only listening to you.
    Example: The problem with Exertion Games is that although people enjoy them, they do not play them for long enough to experience health benefits. 
  • Approach:
    How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? You can answer this by articulating why the novelty of your game helps you make your point. Why did you have to create a new, novel game, instead of just buying one to solve your problem?
    Example: In order to address the problem, we designed an Exertion Game that supports long-term use to demonstrate that this is possible.  
  • Results:
    What's the answer? What have you learned from designing your radical game? This is your contribution.
    Example: Our experience of designing the game suggests that 3 aspects are important when designing for long-term use of exertion games: easy to understand high-scores, more bosses than in non-exertion games and offering players calorie counters. 
  • Conclusions:
    What are the implications of your answer? Is it going to change the world (unlikely), be a significant "win", be a nice hack, or simply serve as a road sign indicating that this path is a waste of time (all of the previous results are useful). Are your results general, potentially generalizable, or specific to a particular case?
    Example: In conclusion, our work can help designers create better exertion games, which means players profit more from the benefits of playing these games. 

Inspired by the advice on how to write a good abstract.

As an example, this is what Chad and Josh wrote for Bubble Popper (this is a bit too long):

Exertion games, digital games that involve physical effort, are becoming more popular. Although some of these games support social experiences, they do not consider nor support body contact, mostly due to technical limitations. We believe ignoring body contact as part of a social play experience limits the richness of exertion games. To explore this design space, we present Bubble Popper, an exertion game centred on a merged physical-virtual space that supports considering and facilitating body contact. This is achieved without the need for sensing body contact, hence Bubble Popper also demonstrates how to consider and facilitate body contact with very simple technology. Through reflecting on our design process and play observations we analysed what impact physical space, screen size and physical disparity between input and digital display can have on body contact and how to design games that aim to consider and facilitate it. Our results aid game designers creating richer exertion game experiences, supporting players profiting from the benefits of playing these games.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Groups & Design Teams 2012

Below is a list of the groups of two, you will be presenting to the class your chosen topic:
1. Georgie Z, Patrick W (19 Mar)
2. Anushka D.M, Christopher B (19 Mar - see email)
3. Alex J, Shaun S (2 Apr)
4. Kamila K, Ahn-Tu T (2 Apr)
5. Adam W, Jayden G (16 Apr)
6. Sarah C, Amy H (16 Apr)
7. Timothy D, Dakenum J (30 Apr)
8. Alex T, Chuong L (30 Apr)
9. Priscilla W, Amanda B (14 May)

Below is a list of the design teams of three, you will be creating your 3 radical games (26 Mar, 23 Apr, 21 May):
A. Alex J, Shaun S, Sarah C (
B. Patrick W, Dakenum J, Georgie Z
C. Anushka D.M, Christopher B, Amy H
D. Jayden G, Adam W, Priscilla W
E. Timothy D, Kamila K, Chuong L
F. Ahn-Tu T, Amanda B, Alex T

Please email us if there are any errors or if you are not yet listed.
Design teams of three must post their blog URLs below in the comments or email them to us.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Second Class on Radical Games: Design Workshop

Today we learned some strategies on how to come up with a Radical Game. Basically, sitting on your own and waiting for your creative spark is probably not going to do it! 
Try instead to:
  1. Design the game FOR someone
  2. Gain empathy with this someone
  3. Interview deep (ask "WHY?")
  4. Reframe what you found in your own words
  5. Check what others have done to address the challenge
  6. Articulate the
    1. Novelty and
    2. Contribution
  7. Get feedback from who you are designing the game for
  8. Ideate (jot down as many ideas as possible)
  9. Re-frame: ask outsiders for feedback
  10. Iterate and re-iterate through getting feedback
  11. Build and test 
Next week is a public holiday, so we meet again on the 19th, again in the Exertion Games Lab, 9.1.27.

Prepare a 90 sec elevator pitch for your team's (design team of 3) radical game idea (1 presenter): Finish with the sentence "it is novel because ... and the contribution of our game is ...". Practice it. (We will cut you off otherwise!). In the next class you will get feedback from everyone Madness-style!
Update your design team's tumblr (design team of 3)
Read the papers for next class
Prepare your group discussion task (group of 2) (check the schedule to see when you are on)
Write critical reflection on blog below

Thanks for participating in the design workshop today!

Monday, February 27, 2012

First class on Radical Games

Today we learned what a Radical Game is and how it can make a significant contribution to the field of games and play. Furthermore, we discussed how some existing games can serve as examples how the novelty (seems relatively easy) and contribution (seems often the more difficult part) can unfold.

Next week, we do a design workshop so we meet in the Exertion Games Lab, 9.1.27.
You need to bring money :-). Also, you need to setup your tumblr or alike for your design team of 3, so you can start designing your radical game (email us the URL please). You should also start reading the papers and write your critical reflection about the class by adding a comment below.

Thanks again for contributing to Radical Games today!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Radical Games

New class 

The year 2012 introduces a new class in the games program: Radical Games (codename: Experience Design)

Radical Games are unconventional games that advance the gaming field significantly by challenging our understanding of what games are and play is, confronting us with our assumptions about the way we play and design games, and provoking us to reassess our believes in our work. Radical Games are often considered ground-breaking, advocate extreme change, are labelled as breakthroughs and being ahead of their time.

We will be focusing on digital Radical Games.

Learning objective

You will learn about the following:
What is a radical game, what makes a radical game, how do we recognize a radical game, how do we articulate what a radical game is, how do we design one, and how do we argue that our game is radical?

This is a research-focused class, preparing you for a senior position in industry or academia.


You will produce a portfolio of games which includes research papers about your games.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New class

There will be a new class on the topic of Radical Games to be offered in the RMIT University Games program, featured by the Exertion Games Lab in 2012. More info will be announced here shortly.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lecture 12: 27May2010 Final demo night!!!!!!!

This was final demo night!!!!!!

Awesome games by everyone, fantastic fun, it was great to be part of so many creative ideas!
Thanks to all of you for joining every Thursday night, and thanks for creating, designing and developing such awesome exertion games! Everyone was really impressed!

If you post your webpages, your promotional pics and youtube videos here, I will collect them and make a nice demo out of it that you can send off to the press!

Thanks again for making this such an awesome time, I have learned a lot from you also, for which I would like to thank you very very much!
Keep up the good work,
your exertion gamer

Dark Horse Defender Nerf Game Webpage

Waterfall climber's webpage

Spongeoline's webpage

Pin the Tail's webpage

Peak Hour BMX's webpage

Team M's webpage

Team Nymphora's webpage

Team Popzat's webpage

Team M's webpage

Hardcore swimming team interviewed!

Nice interview by the hardcore swimming team:
Well done!