July 3, 2022

Indie Developer Showcase: Mobile Arcade

Any Button Gaming recently attended an “Alternative Controller” gaming expo at Server in Sheperd’s Bush, London. The latest bar from gaming bar pioneers Loading Bar.  Over the next few weeks we will be showcasing some of the innovative games and truly charming developers we met at the event.

This week we are showcasing the creators of Mobile Arcade.

Creators of the “Mobile Arcade” game, and their core roles in the project:

 

Hugh Kennedy, System Programming @hughskennedy

Tommy Graven, Gameplay Design, programming  @tommy_goodgame

Doruk Hasdoğan, Environment Design @DorukHasdogan

Ece Seyrek Hasdoğan, Character Design  @EceSeyrek

 

Mobile Arcade:

Be the last player standing in Mobile Arcade: a portable party game where your phone is the controller!

 

What is Mobile Arcade?

Mobile Arcade is an arcade party game designed for public spaces, inspired by early-00’s party games such as Mario Party and Crash Bash. We’ve found a way to have players control the game using their phones over a WiFi network, instead of using traditional console controllers. The game itself is a series of small minigames played in quick succession, with players facing off against each other to be the last one standing.

 

Target audience:

We wanted to build a game that worked well with a small crowd in a public, urban setting: something you could walk past in a bar, for example, and start playing on a whim for a few minutes at a time. Phones work really well for this, letting us easily support 20 players at once without needing to supply everybody with their own game controller which passersby may or may not be familiar with.

 

How to play?

We have a WiFi hotspot next to the game that players can join. Once a player connects, a webpage pops up with a joystick-ish controller and they’re ready to go! Players then have to roll around the scene, knocking others off the edge of the scene before somebody else does the same to them.

 

THE TEAM

From left to right; Ece Seyrek Hasdogan, Doruk Hasdogan, Tommy Graven, Hugh Kennedy.

Hi! We are currently all students at Goldsmiths University, studying our MA in Independent Games and Playable Experience Design. This is a project from one of our modules: Approaches to Play 2, where the objective is to make a spatial game. We came up with this idea of a Mobile Arcade where basically you can bring this item anywhere you want — for example, pubs or waiting rooms — and play minigames with friends or strangers. The uniqueness of this project is that you are using your own phone as a controller and more than 15 people can face off against each other at the same time! It’s really simple to join in, all you have to do is connect to the network that is displayed on the Mobile Arcade and a captive portal will pop up. Inside this window you will have a digital thumbstick which you can use to control your character.

 

Hugh Kennedy

hughsk.io

[mks_social icon=”twitter” size=”24″ style=”rounded” url=”https://twitter.com/hughskennedy” target=”_blank”]@hughskennedy

[mks_social icon=”instagram” size=”24″ style=”rounded” url=”https://www.instagram.com/hughsk/” target=”_blank”]instagram.com/hughsk 

I’m an Australian developer and designer. I’ve spent the last eight years or so mostly working as a graphics programmer using JavaScript, along with some installation work here and there. I’ve spent this year making the switch over to Unity and C#, along with a bit of dabbling into Houdini, Blender and Rust. I miss being able to just share my work with a URL, but working with native applications opens up a whole bunch of functionality that you just can’t get from a browser as easily.

 

Tommy Graven

tommygraven@me.com

[mks_social icon=”twitter” size=”24″ style=”rounded” url=”https://twitter.com/tommy_goodgame” target=”_blank”] @tommy_goodgame  

[mks_social icon=”instagram” size=”25″ style=”rounded” url=”https://www.instagram.com/tommy_graven/” target=”_blank”] instagram.com/tommy_graven

I’m a 22 years old developer from France. I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of Utrecht (UU), in the Netherlands. In the last 4 years I built an interest in game development, indie games more specifically. I’ve always been using C# to code and I’ve just been using Unity since about a year and a half, working on university projects, game jams, or even small personal projects.

In this MA I’ve also put a lot more effort working as a game designer and for most of the projects in this course I’ve been mostly focusing on game design and gameplay development. Same goes for this one.

I thought about the possible playspaces for this Mobile Arcade and then I had a feeling that most of the players would play it in very short sessions. We tried to make the games pretty simple to understand for anyone (moving is your only possible action), but hard to survive so that rounds don’t last longer than a minute (e.g. the floor is slippery, players bounce once they collide against each other, etc.). I like the fact that one player can be directly responsible for another player’s win or loss, this type of competition can bring many kinds of social interactions that I was looking for in this project.

 

Doruk Hasdoğan

 dorukhasdogan@hotmail.com

[mks_social icon=”twitter” size=”25″ style=”rounded” url=”https://twitter.com/DorukHasdogan” target=”_blank”]@DorukHasdogan

[mks_social icon=”linkedin” size=”25″ style=”rounded” url=”http://linkedin.com/in/dhasd” target=”_blank”] linkedin.com/in/dhasd

[mks_social icon=”behance” size=”25″ style=”rounded” url=”http://behance.net/Malebolge” target=”_blank”] behance.net/Malebolge

I am a game artist with kind of a broad background. I came from Turkey to do my masters in Independent Games. I was always interested in traditional game design, and art, but coming to London I learned about less traditional and more experimental games. With the skillset I acquired through these years, I am focusing more on creating playful experiences.

My work is geared towards art, but generally when working in a team I go for being the artist that creates bridge between the developer(s) and the rest of the artists. I have basic understanding of programming, I have been in lots of independent group projects, and I have lots of experience working with Unity’s interface. I had some experience working in “AAA” in Turkey, with Taleworlds Entertainment, which made “Mount and Blade: Warbands”. I like designing for independent projects more, as I feel like I have more contribution to the overall work, and I feel that it is more purposeful, rather than the purpose being to earn money. Also in most independent projects like this, everyone has their say in game design which in my opinion creates a better work space.

For mobile arcade, we designed the environment trying to highlight gameplay rather then the decorations, putting clever self put shadows, and bright low poly models, we highlighted characters a lot, and didn’t put anything that could confuse the player. Doing that came in a cost though, because the aim was to go for low polygon, our goal became, not to try and make it really appealing, but rather understandable. We put minimal post processing effects, and really limited number of lights. We lowered the contrast for background, and increased it on the foreground where the core gameplay is happening.

Overall it was a fun developing process, and the end product could be great to show at venues, and ended up as a really easy to access – easy to understand party game.

Ece Seyrek Hasdoğan

 ece_seyrek@hotmail.com

[mks_social icon=”twitter” size=”25″ style=”rounded” url=”https://twitter.com/EceSeyrek” target=”_blank”] @EceSeyrek

 [mks_social icon=”linkedin” size=”25″ style=”rounded” url=”http://linkedin.com/in/ecesey” target=”_blank”] linkedin.com/in/ecesey

[mks_social icon=”behance” size=”25″ style=”rounded” url=”http://behance.net/ScarceQueen” target=”_blank”]  behance.net/ScarceQueen

[mks_social icon=”instagram” size=”25″ style=”rounded” url=”http://instagram.com/scarce.queen” target=”_blank”] instagram.com/scarce.queen

[mks_social icon=”youtube” size=”25″ style=”rounded” url=”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNsUSUUsKNzML6Vn3TCT4yw” target=”_blank”] Scarce Queen

 artstation.com/eceseyrekhasdogan

Hi! My name is Ece. I am a 24 years old game artist, and designer. I have bachelors of Graphic Design from Bilkent University in Turkey. Currently I am doing a MA in Independent Games and Playable Experience Design at Goldsmiths University which is one of the United Kingdom’s top ranked universities for Arts & Humanities Rankings in 2018. I did multiple game design projects, including Global Game Jams that I have been joining for the last four years.

What I am passionate about? What are my interests and skills?

I am very interested in environment design, concept art, character design, lighting, User Interface Design, modelling, illustration, animation, game design, graphic design, typography, psychology of user/ player in virtual environments. I am quite familiar with Adobe series like Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator as well as Autodesk Maya, Spine, MagicaVoxel, interface of Unity. Currently I am improving my skills on Zbrush, Blender, and Substance Painter.

I did a VR game with two more people for my senior project during my bachelors. The VR game we developed called “Vertigo”, has been awarded as the winner for the exhibitions contest judged by a jury of ten. You can find more information, and the trailer of “Vertigo” here.

This year, I did multiple game projects in Independent Games and Playable Experience Design MA at Goldsmiths University. My major intention on choosing this course was to get a broader understanding on the subject, and have a chance to work with other enthusiastic designers, programmers, narrative writers, and sound designers. Currently, I can see the benefits of this course as sheer amount of games, and products we have made. I already worked on two VR projects, one spacial game using the Raspberry Pi and the PC, two 3D PC games, one physical game using the Arduino, one exhibition piece using the Arduino as well, one projection mapping installation using openFrameworks, and one narrative project made in Twine. All of these were really polished group projects that went through lots of iterations depending on feedback we got from instructors and playtesting. Other then that we had lots of small projects to aid us on making these bigger pieces. Below, you can find more informations about the process of some of the projects I did in this MA.

Chronofold

Normal for Norman VR

Arduino Puzzle Grid

Mobile Arcade

My major roles in this game project “Mobile Arcade” were doing the character design and being responsible for the art direction. After modelling, animating the characters, I also contributed on the design of the environment.

 

Process of “Mobile Arcade”:

The original idea was inspired by a series of research and development projects Hugh assisted with a few years ago, which used a similar “captive portal” technique to provide simple interfaces through mobile phones. Instead of a game controller, the phones’ sensors were used to turn into a pointing device for interactive displays and installations.

It’s still not a commonly-seen technique, and we wanted to see how it could be adapted to be used in games!

We then identified team roles, gameplay elements, visual design choices, and made a quick initial prototype with lots of play-testing, rapidly iterating on our design.

 

We did the environment design with an iterative process as well. Although we added lots of environmental details in the background, we used pastel colors and fog to ensure the background wasn’t distracting attention more than the actual play area and the characters. Because the game graphics are low-poly, pastel colored, and cartoonish, we used simple, flat design for the controllers’ UI with again pastel colors that match the players’ character color.

 

building the cabinet prototype…

 

We then did our first public playtesting at Server, Loading Bar in alt.ctrl.party.  We met lots of amazing people in there, and got chance to have lots of beneficial feedback.

  

After alt.ctrl.party, we fixed some bugs, polished the game and the cabinet some more, and then exhibited our game “Mobile Arcade” at Goldsmiths University for the end of term exhibition “Playful Experiences”.

You can find out more about Mobile Arcade and its development process by visiting us at behance.net or artstation.com.

You can also check out our game preview video on Youtube

We cannot wait to see what Hugh, Tommy, Doruk and Ece work on next and don’t forget to check out next weeks Indie Developer Showcase to see what other games/developers we have to showcase for you.


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