Bespoke controllers and their impact on game feel

Paul Robertson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

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This project explores the role and effect of bespoke game controllers on game feel and accessibility. The project aims to develop a range of custom controllers and associated games, designed to tightly couple the user interaction with the game execution. Player analytics will be collected to quantify, explore and improve the user experience.
Game feel encompasses a wide range of definitions including intuitive controls, physical interaction with virtual objects, and the appeal of playing. Game feel is subjective and therefore challenging to quantify, but something every player instinctively recognises. There is a growing niche of games utilising bespoke hardware to deliver a unique player experience, such as games played with Unicorn horns or by shouting, rather than the traditional controller. The project seeks to push the boundaries of games and explore how game design, user experience and accessibility are affected when the limitation of traditional input systems is removed. The project has developed four bespoke controllers, utilising creative technologies and physical sensors. The controllers are based on inputs using force sensitive sensors, flex sensors, distance sensor and orientation sensors. Prototype games have been developed for each controller designed to exploit the controllers unique form of user interaction. The next steps are to evaluate the player experience and explore how the various controllers are utilised using a data-driven approach.
The project proposes that the bespoke controller could widen engagement and improve the user experience by delivering a more intuitive interface and improving game feel. The project will provide insights and design guidelines for both of the development of the custom game controllers and how they can be linked to certain game mechanics in the associated games.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2019
EventBeyond 2019 - Assembly rooms, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Nov 201921 Nov 2019
Conference number: 2nd


ConferenceBeyond 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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