Installation game played in a public hedge maze, made for the 2014 w00t Play Festival.
My role: Prototyping, HTML/CSS, UI design
How it works
To start, players load a URL on their mobile device's built-in browser to a fairly basic web service built on Node.js and Socket.io to let its visitors link up in pairs of two on one unique, random team ID, and assume the roles as either Avatar (smartphone) or Pilot (tablet).
The mobile devices connect via a web server
After they connect to a Pilot, the Avatar equips a blindfold, a pair of (noise-cancelling) headphones connected to their smartphone, which they pocket and wait at an entrance to the maze / physical play area for further commands from their pilot.
Pilots take remote command of their Avatar co-player via their tablet and the on-screen Avatar Controller: A d-pad and 4 action commands, which trigger a robotic text-to-speech sounding audio clip in their Avatar's headphones when pressed.
Tapping a button on the Avatar Controller triggers an audio cue on the connected Avatar device.
The game's fairly basic technical implementation deceive its gameplay's incredibly weird—but also how weirdly amazing—sensation of remote embodiment, that the near-instant quiet response that a command press on the Avatar Controller have of another person's body in physical space.
It's a key part of what elevates the experience of playing Human Avatar Controller to more than the sum of its parts.
Avatars battle in the hedge maze game are(n)a
Pilots' control over their Avatar is limited to the d-pad and only 4 verbs —
(Five if you count the d-pad's "Stop" command).
Once combat begins between the remotely piloted avatars in the Maze, the Pilots must first spot Avatar weapons spread inside the Maze from afar, navigate their blind avatar to it and attack other avatars before someone manages to do the same towards you.
If an Avatar is hit by a Maze weapon they are down and must leave the maze and disconnect from their Pilot. The game ends when only 1 Avatar remains inside the Maze.
Spectators get to cheer for their favorite avatar.