IGGI Students showcase Wavelength game at Yorkshire Games Festival
Posted 30th November 2017
During the Global Game Jam of January 2017, we started working on a small ‘dot-to-dot’ game called Wavelength. The team was comprised of Daniel Berio (Procedural Model of Graffiti Form, Goldsmiths), Tara Collingwoode-Williams (Affects of Embodiment in VR, Goldsmiths), Carlos González Díaz (ML for Enjoyable Gestures in VR, York), Janet Gibbs (Sensory Substitution for Gamers in VR, Goldsmiths), Robert Homewood (Personalised Aesthetics for Games, Goldsmiths) and Sam Hughes (Emotion using Immersive Sound in VR, York).
As with many game jam projects, by the end of the (sleepless) weekend we had created a basic prototype that was flawed but functional. We even managed to win the Best Art Prize in our jam site, as well as honourable mentions for Best Audio, Best Concept and Best Overall Entry.
Although the game jam was over, a few of us (Sam, Carlos, and Robert) felt that we were not done yet with developing Wavelength. We continued to work on the game introducing refined gameplay, more immersive sound / visuals, and virtual reality support.
Later in the year, Wavelength got accepted to the 2017 Game Republic Student Showcase at the University of Leeds. We were happily surprised when we won an honourable mention in the Best Game Design category, awarded by games company Sumo Digital.
In November we were lucky enough to be invited to showcase Wavelength at the Yorkshire Games Festival in Bradford, Yorkshire. The festival was a chance to both generate some publicity, as well as a great opportunity to expose the game to a large audience and get some valuable feedback on our progress.
We’ve had so many great ideas for new features to improve Wavelength, however we are all developing the game in our spare time (we are all full time PhD students), and have not yet had time to implement many of them. As a result, we were a little bit nervous about what the response would be. Fortunately, our fears were ungrounded as the response we received from players was overwhelmingly positive!
Over the course of the weekend, we had a large and diverse range of people try out the game and the vast majority of these players seemed to really love the experience. We were slightly baffled by this at first as the features that we thought would be most interesting were still not present in the game, however it turned out that it was the simplicity and the zen like quality of play that people of all ages seemed to really enjoy.
We had on exhibit two laptops, a tablet, and a mobile VR version of the game running and it was a rare moment to find at least one or two of these devices not in use at any time. In actual fact, it was more common to see a large huddle of people surrounding the booth awaiting their turn to play Wavelength.
For a game that is designed to last about two to three minutes, we had players staying much longer than we expected, with one young player managing to last 36 minutes in a single session. We believe the highlight of the weekend for us was when a six year old boy declared loudly that it was ‘better than Minecraft!’. We are not sure that this is a terribly accurate depiction of the game, but the fact that it inspired this kind of passion from a child of that age certainly made us feel quite proud of the work we have done and inspires us to continue to develop Wavelength further.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook!