Wiimote Microgames – Global Game Jam 2015
Global Game Jam Page (includes link to download and play)
My role: Game Designer, Promotional Artwork/Video
Technologies: C#, .NET, Nintendo Wii Remotes, WiimoteLib,
(Promotional video made during Global Game Jam 2015)
What Do Wii Do Now? is a collection of 3 experiences I worked on with a small team over 48 hours for Global Game Jam in 2015. The theme was “What do we do now?” which we had some fun with in our title and concept.
Rolling with the pun, we decided on making games experienced through Wiimotes (albeit with a computer facilitating) and opted for a no graphics approach centered around motion controls and sound, which was both a GGJ diversifier and a creative and technical challenge.
In the end, we ended up with 3 (mostly) complete experiences:
Soda Can Simulator
This “game” was an idea I had early on and one that actually ended up getting completed. The Wiimote is transformed into a soda can that reacts to touching the face buttons with sounds of poking/flicking a can, can be shaken up by shaking the Wiimote, and opened up with the B trigger.
This game is completed when the can is shaken up completely and then opened which makes a big fizzing sound like the can is overflowing. It’s intended to be given without instructions so it’s something between a puzzle and a digital toy. You can see it in action in the video.
In this game, we basically tried to recreate Ping Pong without graphics. It’s a simple timing game where you serve by pressing the B trigger and swinging the Wiimote in time and then returning volleys back and fourth with your partner(s).
Everything is communicated via sound and rumble so you hear the ball bouncing back and fourth, your swings, hits, and misses. A game is finished after 11 completed volleys. One quirk of this game is that it can be played with up to 7 people (limited by the number able to be connected at once), who play in a circular order (P1 to P2, P2 to P3, etc). You can see me and programmer Liam Fratturo pretending that we don’t know how to play in the video.
This game is probably the most complex and the last one we completed. It’s a multiplayer exploration game where you are trying to find and hi-five the other players within a procedurally generated maze.
Players hold the Wiimote vertically and swing in one of the 4 cardinal directions and get feedback (audio+rumble) about whether that direction was a wall or not (swoosh if air, knock if it was a wall). Using the d-pad lets the player move in those directions, but if they move into a wall, the Wiimote rumbles and they get stunned for half a second. If a player within one square of you swings and hits a wall, you would also feel a vibration. If you swing forward while standing on the same tile as another player, you’ll high five and complete the game.
Like Ping Pong, this was expandable up to 7 players, with the maze scaling up in size quadratically (making playing with large groups really challenging). We had some ideas to expand and refine with time limits, enemies/traps, better scaling, etc. but ran out of time.
Altogether, this was a very fun and creative project to be a part of, especially as someone who typically also fills a primary artist role. I also really enjoyed designing something for specialized and unique hardware.