Sunday, December 06, 2009

With a Finger on the Button

When I think of "the button" singular, I tend to think of a launch device for a nuclear missile, but game designers are undertaking the one-button challenge this year for the upcoming GDC, as the Kokoromi Collective explains.

Gestural controls, multi-touch surfaces, musical instruments, voice recognition—even brain control. Games are moving beyond the iconic hand-held controller, and into the future. But is the secret to good games found in high-tech interfaces? Kokoromi proposes that game developers can still find beauty in absolute simplicity. On March 10th, Gamma 4 will unveil brand-new games that use JUST ONE BUTTON.

Gamma 4 invites software developers to push the limits of gameplay with a single input. Game developers, media, and industry luminaries from around the world, will join the general public to view and play the Gamma 4 games at at a party that bridges the end of the Independent Games Summit and the start of the main GDC. Following the event, all the games will be playable in a dedicated booth on the GDC Expo floor. Game creators whose games are selected for presentation at Gamma 4 will also be awarded free GDC All-Access passes.


* Use a single button as your player input, in a unique or experimental way. Be creative.
* The game must be pick up and play.
* The gameplay cannot rely on audio information, since there will not be audio output provided during the event. Non-essential audio is permitted.
* Your game can support any number of players up to 4.
* The game cannot rely on an internet or LAN connection (there will not be connectivity provided during the event).
* The total gameplay session must be no longer than 5 minutes, including any intros, instructions, or credits.
* The official controller is the Xbox360 controller. Player input must be assigned identically to the A,B,X, and Y buttons, and can use only the standard functionality (press, tap, hold, etc) of that button type (no triggers, bumpers, directional sticks, etc).
* Games running either on Windows or MacOSX are accepted.
* The maximum game resolution is 1024Ă—768.
* The submission deadline is Jan 31, 11:59pm pacific time. Submission instructions to follow in mid January.

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