Swarm

A game designed to be an audio-visual and organic experience. Players control a group of particles with their hand movements and try to keep the swarm alive. A minimalistic and repetitive soundscape emphasizes the game‘s dark visuals.

  • Year 2017
  • Context Course project, Malmö University
  • My Role
    • Ideation
    • Interaction Design
    • Game Design
    • Visual Design
    • Development

Challenge

The task was to design a game with an innovative and intuitive interaction concept. In addition, we set ourselves the goal to create a natural and organic feeling gameplay experience.

Design Process

This project was developed during a game design course at the University of Malmö.
We developed several diverging game concepts during an initial research and ideation phase. The idea of a physical and contactless interaction based on body movements seemed to be the most interesting one for us. In addition, we decided to use a group of particles to form a shape the player can interact with. Based on this setting, we sketched several possible game concepts.
These laid the base for the further development, during which we created a low-fidelity and a high-fidelity game prototype. We conducted user-testing sessions to ensure the prototypes playability and quality.

The game was developed with Processing, the motion tracking is done using a Microsoft Kinect sensor.

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User testing

Result

In our game, the player controls a group of little particles (the »swarm«) with continuous hand movements. The swarm has his own physics and its individuals are influenced by each other’s activity.
The swarm’s individuals also have a specific lifespan. As this comes to an end, the particles get slower and fade out. The player’s goal is to keep the swarm alive by winning enough new individuals before all the old ones are gone. New particles can be gained by collecting items that appear on the screen.

The game starts with a short introduction in which the player learns how to control the swarm with some basic hand gestures. Afterwards, the free play starts. New items appear on the screen from time to time and the player needs to collect them to keep his swarm alive. The difficulty level increases over time as the swarm physics change gradually.

The visual design is held in dark shades, the swarm is highlighted by its brightness. The game is accompanied by a minimalistic and repetitive soundscape that emphasizes the visual feeling.

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In-game screenshots

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