Find out which of your friends can protect you with their eyes closed in this cooperative, physical mobile game for 2–200 players
My role: UX Design, game design, playtesting, production.
Sentree is a mobile multi-device game that you play on an iPhone and iPad:
The Shooter controls the game's main character via the phone's gyroscope while Spotters overlook the game world on their tablet.
Together your goal is to survive for as long as possible by fighting off the monsters that slowly but surely come moving towards your group from all sides.
The discrepancy between information and agency in these two roles makes Sentree into a social communication game.
Spotters have perfect information about the game world and state, but no direct control over it.
The Shooter has no information about the game world, but the only one who can act within it.
Together Spotters must guide the Shooter about which direction to point and when to shoot through verbal (or other expressive) commands
This imbalance, between information and agency, makes up Sentree's core gameplay. When it all comes together, the borders between digital and physical play fall away and players engage in a hybrid experince:
One of the most interesting take-aways of playtesting and exhibiting Sentree has been to see different player groups come up with different communication strategies on their own, like:
Use 360 degrees to help the Shooter aim:
"Right Right Shoot!"
Simpler, but often more frantic
"Follow My Voice"
Because the controllers are mobile, players can use the physical space to guide the Shooter:
Sentree doesn't instruct or encourage a specific way for the Spotters to coach the Shooter, and but leaves it up to each group of players to figure out how to develop good command systems.