When Videogames Have No Video: Haptic And Non Visual Games

By , 2014/01/11 @ 8:38 am

[mf_video_highlights]I loved Jeff Thompson‘s presentation at the Electronics Stage at Maker Faire New York. It’s all about games that don’t rely on visual cues to deliver information to the player.

Case in point, his haptic handheld video game. He and some friends built a small game that simulates a person feeling their way through a dark dungeon. It sounds like a rather fun hack, with circuit boards they etched themselves and pager motors supplying the feedback, all controlled by a maxed out ATtiny85 running Arduino. One of the team members created a Processing script that takes images of dungeon levels and converts them into arrays, so the game knows the layout.

He also talks about a couple of games created in Processing for Android. They take advantage of a tablet’s audio and vibration capability to create non-visual games, like Sonar, where you have to avoid obstacles using only your ears.

It’s a fun talk, and inspiring as well–Jeff urges his audience to explore using more non-visual feedback in their projects. Cooly, he shares the source of his games on github.