The 2018 Game Developers Conference is just a few months away, and today organizers are excited to debut the 20 games selected to exhibit at alt.ctrl.GDC, the on-site showcase of alternative control schemes and interactions in games.
GDC 2018 attendees who stop by the alt.ctrl.GDC exhibit will have the chance to play all of these inventive and innovative games using unique, one-of-a-kind controllers.
You could, for example, pilot a spaceship while shouting madly at a nearby friend/coworker/stranger to plug different-colored wires into your controller, or play games on a special sphere studded with LEDs.
You might also play virtual golf by blowing madly into a set of sensors, or help virtual disco-loving cops save their city from a zombie invasion by slapping fake zombie heads in time to the beat.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, you could climb inside a special unicorn controller and play a game with your horn and feet, or try your luck at a game of foosball played only using your voice!
As always, it promises to be a fantastic showcase. This year’s roster of alt.ctrl.GDC finalists is as follows:
Striker Air Hockey (Guerrilla Nouveau) – Guerrilla Nouveau has been hard at work on a new touchscreen technique. We made air hockey to demonstrate the possibilities of this low resolution touch screen technique, but couldn’t resist throwing in some extras.
Too Many Captains (And Not Enough Wire) (Avi Romanoff, Giada Sun) – A game where two or more players work together to pilot a spaceship through outer space. The engineer has the controller, and they plug colored wires into panels on the game’s controller. However, the engineer can’t see the screen — they need to rely on the other players, the captains — to guide them to victory.
Vaccination (Installation Required) – Two players must work together to keep the patient alive for as long as possible against the onslaught of bacteria racing towards the patient’s heart. One player is in charge of scanning the body, on the lookout for the bacteria and relaying what vaccine and where the other player, equipped with the injector, should administer.*
Clunker Junker (HNRY) – Clunker Junker is an experimental arcade game in which two players attempt to keep their space transport intact as they outrun space pirates through an asteroid field. As the ship takes damage in-game, physical panels will fall off of the ships 4 main modules, disabling them until they are repaired using the custom-made repair tool. The tool boasts two main components. First, the specially made tip which must be used to connect to the 4 ship modules. Second, the uniquely fabricated crank which provides actual power and rotates the tip, allowing players to perform actions such as steering, changing turret direction, supercharging their engine, or repairing their hull.
Grave Call (Totally Not a Game Studio) – Grave Call is a time-based, asymmetrical multiplayer game based on communication between two players, one is buried alive and one is a police dispatcher. A phone holds clues for the coffin’s location, which has to be identified before the phone battery runs out.
Living Orb (Jonathan Giroux) – Living Orb is a tangible game console, with which you can easily create your own enlightened games. The device is an sphere covered by LEDs. It’s like its surface is the screen! And you only control it by rotating it, that’s all. This allows for unique games!
Wind Golf (Pepijn Willekens) – A game where you play golf by blowing on physical sensors!
Puppet Pandemonium (Fluffy Games) – A puppet show video game that uses the puppets as the controllers, and has an element of audience participation.
Disco is Dead! (Third Floor Games) – Disco is Dead! is a 2-player buddy cop comedy horror arcade game that follows the story of Reggie and Kenny — two disco-loving cops who must save their city from a zombie outbreak with their ultimate handy dandy weapon… slapping! The game plays with slappable zombie heads and disco ball controllers for a more immersive experience!
Voiceball (Alex Turbyfield, Stephen Borden, Ilya Polyakov, Talal Alothman, Ali Yaldrim) – Voiceball is like foosball played with your voice. Using microphones, players hit the ball with a waveform representation of their voice. Make sounds to create waves to hit the ball into the other player’s goal in this party game pitting your vocal skills against your friends.
Wobble Garden (Robin Baumgarten) – Wobble Garden is a hand-crafted arrangement of sensing springs combined with reactive lighting. Players wobble springs to interact with the installation and play games. It creates a unique visual and tactile experience, and will be scaleable to a several meter large installation.
Unicornelia (The Sad Rainbows) – A game about the life of a young unicorn with an office job, played by mounting a horn on your head and inserting it into special motion-sensing compartments while also managing emotions via special pressure-sensitive pillows.
Mark Wars (Matthieu Alves, Louis Bernot, Alessandro Cheinisse, Gaëtan Cloarec, Florian Eschalier, Matthias Johan, Pierre Llanusa) – Our intention was to make a game accessible for a wide audience using no screen and one instinctive button. With Mark Wars, using a marker pen, the players will be able to trace their own unique path! This path will be followed by the player’s small model ship (either a TIE Fighter or X-Wing) and can be altered by the opponent.
Pump the Frog (7 Holy Frogges) – Pump the Frog is a 2d-puzzle-platformer where you control the Frog and your environment, roll, slip and squeeze around the levels, devouring any fly in your path!
Bot Party (Phoenix Perry and Frieda Abtan) – Bot Party in an interactive sound experience for humans. The bots have a problem. They have no way to communicate with their friends. Can you help? They need you to touch another human holding a bot. Through you the bots use the proprietary bot to skin to skin to bot communication protocol (BSSB) to send encoded secret messages to each other. Hold hands with other players to get the bot sound spectacular started!
Yo, Bartender! (Kraken) – Yo, Bartender! puts you in the shoes of a modern day bartender mixing cocktails in a bustling city. Survive the night rush by mixing and serving as fast as you can while making sure you always have the orders right. Do you have what it takes to be a bartender?
Doors to the City (Looking Glass) – An artist is lost in the divisions of his mind as he attempts to organize the vast arrays of his own creative process. The planets of his mind, NYC-LA-Newark-Oakland, take shape as he comes to battle them in their own respective ways.
Lemonade (Jing Sun, Yaying Zeng, Yuchen Huang, Ziqiang He) – A two-player game in which each player controls one (real) water pipe they can use to control the angle and flow of virtual on-screen water pipes. Shoot lemons, avoid cupcakes, make lemonade!
Hi-5 Heroes (Bobby Lockhart and Marty Meinerz) – Hi-5 Heroes is a 2-player cooperative rhythm game where two people high-five, low-five, and fist-bump to the beat.
Scissors The That Than and Shcocoococo VS (Miyazaworks) – One is a a game played with huge scissors controller. Use the joystick on the left to move, press the button on the right to search nearest enemies, cut the enemies in order to survive. The other is a multiplayer game in which you use special soap bottle controllers (modified with a Raspberry Pi) to control an on-screen soap bottle bird. Depress the soap bottle nozzle, and the bird will shoot liquid at germs!
As always, the alt.ctrl.GDC exhibit is open to all GDC attendees and will make its fifth appearance at the conference from Wed-Fri, March 21-23 in the Moscone Convention Center, near the Independent Games Festival pavilion. Any questions about the showcase should be directed to alt.ctrl.GDC co-creator and organizer John Polson.
So don’t miss your chance to play these unique, one-of-a-kind games — GDC 2018 may be your only chance to do so! For more information on GDC 2018, visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.