пятница, 30 октября 2020 г.

Foot-operated game controllers can save classic arcade game clubs

    The first COVID lockdown shocked out-of-home gaming  and the  current second one can almost kill arcade clubs as we know them. Classic arcade gaming environment  is based on intensive  direct communication between  players and onlookers( bystanders). Home\mobile  gaming is another  genre of digital entertainment  and  can not satisfied   classic arcade fans .

It seems almost impossible to follow all sanitary requirements concerning   classic game controllers  in arcade cabinets. The only way is to make some great changes.  At the beginning of  2020 I came to the idea  to replace hand controls with  foot-operated ones.  Idea looked wierd but it works!

 Here is a real example from Seattle(USA). Arcade club's owners took away all arcade cabinets and left only  modified pinball. In pinball they replace push-buttons with    standard foot-pedals.

And here is full clip.

But  two foot pedals are not enough for any arcade game, even simple one.  Thinking in the directions I have invented  foot-operated game controller with rotating platforms.  Visually it looks like X-box adaptive controller, which I found in the article in "NY Times".On photo I show  the very first working prototype.

 I made three games  in Unity5 game engine.

The first was my version  of the "Dance Dance Revolution " but in a  "Twist"-style. Even Grannies can play it!

The second game is a simulator of table soccer ( kicker) that is also banned during COVID pandemic.

And finally I created a "Pong" clone   for four  players.

All these games work and  are almost "COVID-safe" because are controlled with hands-free controller. In  my "Pong"  game test desktop works like a  remote server  and notebook works as a client's gadget . Client's gadget gets game data through WiFi UDP socket.

One problem still exists - the COVID-polluted air in the gaming room.   Very expensive HEPA-class air filters will ruin any game club business. The only one way out ,IMHO,is to go outdoors with social distancing! This is how I see it in rendering.

This solution was filed as patent application and contains vandal-resist foot-operated platforms , user's gadgets as displays and remote game server connected with Player's gadgets through WiFi UDP sockets.  The most amasing thing in my project is the fact that such system can work even when game club itself is locked ! Bigger screens may be installed in cabinets like  in vending machines. In this way, exergame fitness may be sold like chips or Coke -).

 #arcade, #lockdown , #CovidSafe, #covidprotocol,#alternative controller, #alternative gaming,#rehabilitation, #Twist dance, #attraction,#alt.ctrl


In December 2020 I made  the  3rd variant  of  my foot-operated game controller.

I replaced Arduino Uno with Arduino pro micro. I tested  this new controller with  updated version of my arcade game " Twist Dance Machine for Grannies".



Such type of game controllers may be used not only by teenagers but  by very old people too. In this clip I played/danced sitting at the bench.  It mean that such game systems may be used for rehabilitation and\or fall prevention therapy  also.

Minsk, Belarus, 2020.

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