Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Mega Cooperator - a Teamwork-Fuelled Custom Controller

The Mega Cooperator is a custom controller I built for Sega Mega Drive consoles. It plugs into the console's controller port and mimics the actions of four buttons. One button is randomly assigned to each of the four players. Every 30 seconds the actions switch around, so players need to communicate to figure out who has what, and to operate the game.

I’ve been excited for a long time about re-interpreting classic games in new ways, seeing them as a canvas to be explored rather than as finished products. I’ve also been inspired by the amount of teamwork that was present in Codex Bash.

By adapting the 4-button custom controller I made for that game, I found I could take existing single-player games and turn them into comedic teamwork experiences.


Sunday, 27 November 2016

Welcome to the Incredible Playable Show!

Current show dates for The Incredible Playable Show are listed here on the blog

Follow The Incredible Playable Show on Facebook for news on upcoming shows and events!

This October I made my way to Nottingham for GameCity once again. I’ve always loved the GameCity festival, with its focus on creativity and hunger for experimental work. Its audience mixes children and families among academics and industry professionals, and new unknown works sit side-by-side with established names. It’s the home of Dash & Bash, one of my favourite pieces of work, so it was a perfect choice of venue to debut my latest project: The Incredible Playable Show!

The idea of a playable stage show has been on my mind for years, as the next logical step from touring local-multiplayer installations. I’m keen to explore the opportunities the stage offers as a space for games, and to find the best ways to mix performance and play.

Over the four days of the festival I ran the show six times, and was given GameCity 2016's Spirit of the Festival award.

The trailer below, filmed at a subsequent performance at the Bristol Improv Theatre, should give a good feel for what the show is like!


What is The Incredible Playable Show?


The show is takes games of my own invention - involving physical interaction, running around and unconventional homemade controllers - and puts them into a theatre context. Spectators are invited onto the stage to become players, and must interact with each other and the audience to progress.

Still from BBC Click, 26 November 2016
Sometimes players take the role of human controllers. Other times they must climb through the audience, who have become real-world obstacles in a digital game. In the final act the audience must work together to solve coded messages, getting out of their chairs to pass clues to each other and share ideas.

Each set ran for 45 minutes. As well as operating the tech, I donned a ringmaster's jacket and drew upon my improv skills to become The Incredibly Playful Showman.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Winner of the GameCity Spirit of the Festival Award

Autumn 2016 has been a busy season for me and Codex Bash! September saw me jetting off to Abu Dhabi to run it at an A MAZE popup at the Discrict Me festival. October took me to GameCity in Nottingham to run it as part of the fringe, as well as running a brand new project called The Incredible Playable Show. Then in November I turned to bustling Hamburg to show Codex Bash at the Play16 festival, where I also ran Go! Power Team! complete with morphsuits.

In particular, The Incredible Playable Show was a roaring success, and I took from it a great many lessons about how digital games where we take them into completely new contexts. And it saw me earn the coveted Spirit of the Festival Award at GameCity - a great honour indeed!