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… and it did. I first noticed up and coming game ibb&obb at Indigo showcase 2010. It stood out by its attractive graphics and simple yet innovative gameplay: two players control a character in an inverse world with opposite gravity. They advance in the game by working together.

This looked like a smart game concept that could reach great heights. The game landed again in my mind when I read today’s De Pers (page 19): ibb&obb made it to the Playstation Network.

Objective: Develop a tactile toy for children between 6-7 years to learn language. Allowing them to ‘catch’ and ‘order’ words. This is one of the results of an evening of brainstorming and paper prototyping:

Modular telescope prototype.

It is a tool that is made up of different modules, allowing the children to capture objects, showing them to their classmates and telling a story about them. Turning the closed tubes up and down facilitates guessing games based on the sound the caught treasure makes. Other parts allow the taking of photographs, or have a display to show the pictures that are taken. Combining different hollow containers (object in display-tube placed behind a window-part) creates a cumulative experience of several aspects of one object-word.

The module sizes allow the sliding of parts into each other, creating one single tube that can be easily carried with a strap on the back. Connecting the corresponding cylinders allows for the creation of a network (with branching elements) enabling a game of sending words (‘Chinese whisper’), sorting objects in different categories and racing games along the coloured path.

Games that drew my attention at the Indigo showcase 2010:

Proun – racing a tight rope
The concept of racing on a cable while avoiding the geometrical shapes that are attached to it had an unsettling effect on my conception of space in racing games.

Am I racing through the game world? Or am I standing still and is the environment revolving around me? Flashback memories to an old Need for Speed game in which my car never seemed to move much on the screen, except from swivelling in the direction of the turns.

Proun developed by Joost van Dongen

Avoiding geometrical blocks in Proun

Website of the game by Joost van Dongen

XYZ – music visualiser
Even after numerous tips from developer Robert Hein Hooijmans, I did not manage to play the game correctly. Rather, I was becoming worse as I did not nearly reach the high score I set earlier. Then playing without understanding what I was doing.

But did this really matter when experiencing the interaction? No. Whether successfully gathering music blobs to the dread figure or not, interacting with the music visualisations was delightful, as was the selection of available songs.

Read more on the game’s website (in Dutch)

Project Amygdala – take a listen in someone else’s head
Blindfolded, I could explore the memories of a fictional person. They were grouped in three emotions: joy, anger and fear. The experience in the dark was not as frightful as I anticipated, as I was too engaged in navigating to let some of the more eerie sounds get to me.

It was intriguing how the shape of the environment that I formed in my mind (quite visual, including narrow alleys, busy squares lined with trees) completely did not match with the actual spatial setup of the game. Especially strange since this spacious layout was explained to me prior to playing. Nevertheless, I was not disoriented as the interaction with the spaced sounds worked very intuitive.

Project Amygdala

Specially designed chair The Explorer

Go to the portfolio of designer Raoul Matheron to hear the demo (spoken in Dutch, English website)

Tweets (Dutch and English)