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How About a Round of Applause For the alt.ctrl.GDC 2016 Finalists?

alt.ctrl.gdc 2016

Those looking to play a bunch of games with a clever, original, maybe even crazy twist, would do well to stop by next year’s GDC. Or more specifically, the on-site alt.ctrl.GDC showcase, which will feature a grand total of twenty finalists – migrate birds, vacuum, or become a switchboard operator, and much more. Ah, creativity. Or crazy? Likely a bit of both.

Whatever the case, ‘awesome’ is how I’d describe this lineup for sure, as the lot – picked from over a hundred different submissions – looks both varied and entertaining. Participants will even be able to play the part of a satellite operator (because what could possibly go wrong there?), as well as… something something embroidery machines. Yeah. Embroidery. Yup.

alt.ctrl.GDC is a new exhibit by Indie Fund developer scout and Media Indie Exchange co-creator John Polson that highlights the outer fringe of exciting alternative control methods for games.

Dates are as follows: alt.ctrl.GDC will be open from March 16th-18th in the North Hall of the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, as part of GDC (March 14th-18th). Questions? Feel free to poke its organizer, John Polson. No really. Go ahead. As for the actual lineup – well, scroll down!

  • Wiz (Minds N Hands [Toi Ngee Tan, Yuichiro Katsumoto, Kesaku Kawauichi, and Liew Feng Ming])
  • Described as the world’s first transformable controller, the folks behind Wiz will be demonstrating the bendable, twistable, swingable controller with a selection of games.
  • Crank Tank (Henry Lam, Andrew Genualdi, Jaeseong Yi)
  • Crank Tank is a multiplayer arcade game utilizing two custom built crank-controllers which players must use to drive their tanks and destroy the enemy base.
  • Little Book (CNAM-ENJMIN)
  • Little Book is a highly immersive game who works with an Oculus Rift and a real book to offer unique feelings.
  • Ziff (Alejandra Molina [with illustrations by Line Birgitte and music by Nifflas])
  • Ziff is best described as a game that blurs the lines between toys and screens, as players explore a virtual world by building and reconfiguring a physical toy.
  • Disruption (Spooky Elephant, Hull University, UK)
  • Two familiar games with a novel symbiotic interaction through a custom built, customisable controller.
  • Hello, Operator! (Mike Lazer-Walker)
  • Hello, Operator! is a game about being a telephone switchboard operator in the 1930s, played by connecting calls with patch cables on a physical reproduction of a manual telephone exchange.
  • The Von Neumann Personality Test (Matt Hudgins)
  • Over the phone, discover your true self with the help of a deranged automated psychiatrist.
  • DOBOTONE (Maximo Balestrini and Hernan Saez [Videogamo])
  • DOBOTONE is a 4-player video game console by Videogamo, specially designed for parties, in which each player has only a two-button controller with no joystick, and the possibility of choosing between different built-in party games, selecting playing modes and modifying gameplay by using the console’s physical control board’s features, such as speed, gravity and glitching, among others.
  • Operator (Killigan Industies)
  • Operator is a fully accurate simulation of the typical working day for a Killigan Industries Orbital Extermination Satellite operator.
  • Suck My Rainbow (Triband)
  • A colourful vacuuming experience!
  • Planet Licker (Azuria Sky, Frank DeMarco, Otis Denner-Kenny and Mouth Arcade)
  • Planet Licker is an action game played by licking flavored ice pops in real life on a USB-connected controller.
  • Petitwo (Steph Caskenette)
  • Petitwo is a collaborative game in which players take turns controlling an electronic zoetrope to lead a flock of migrating birds across North America, with each playthrough advancing the overall journey home.
  • Disc Jockey Jockey (Mildmojo)
  • Disc Jockey Jockey is an audio game about listening to a handful of radio DJs and keeping them on-air after massive equipment failure.
  • Please Stand By (Jerry Belich and Victor Thompson)
  • Please Stand By is an interactive story about the past, using the body of a vintage 1951 Capehart television and its dozen-plus controls as an expressive medium, including adjusting the rabbit ears and physically striking the device.
  • ROTATOR (Robin Baumgarten and Petri Autio)
  • A multi-purpose force-feedback controller of three concentric wheels.
  • Threadsteading (Gillian Smith, April Grow, Chenxi Liu, Lea Albaugh, Jen Mankoff, and Jim McCann)
  • A single-line, two-player, territory-control game for quilting and embroidery machines.
  • Palimpseste (Le Chant du Cygne)
  • Palimpseste is a first person exploration game played with a custom FR (filtered reality) helmet that enables players to change the color filter through which they look at the screen.
  • Fabulous Beasts (Sensible Object)
  • Fabulous Beasts is a mixture of physical tabletop game and digital game; build a tower on your tabletop out of beast-shaped pieces, then see them pop into a fabulous world on the screen of a connected device.
  • Slap Friends! Dispute Resolution Simulator (Pretty Fox Games)
  • Put on a custom “Wear-A-Buddy” fashionable-hat-friend-cuddly-game-controller, and compete in our virtual slap fight simulator!
  • OCTOBO (Yuting Su)
  • OCTOBO is an interactive storytelling plush octopus companion that will respond to storybook cues and player interactions.

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