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Before Your Eyes Devs Invent a New Kind of Controller

Author : lightnear
Publish Date : 2021-04-06 13:15:40
Before Your Eyes Devs Invent a New Kind of Controller

Video game controls and controllers have certainly evolved over the years, and now, players have many different options at their fingertips. Traditional controllers from Xbox and PlayStation have stayed true to the core of their original designs, but have been deepened as technology advances. Nintendo has always been a pioneer of innovative controllers and was the first to release a console that emphasized motion control: the Nintendo Wii in 2006. Microsoft responded with the Xbox Kinect motion control system in 2010, which advertised a controller-free gaming experience.

Touch screens have also revolutionized the way gamers can interact with content, and now the gaming industry is seeing mobile games become more and more advanced. At the same time, virtual reality is becoming increasingly accessible and providing a level of immersion that used to be impossible. Now, indie developer GoodbyeWorld Games talks with Game Rant regarding making its own unique contribution to the constantly evolving industry with its immersive debut title, Before Your Eyes.

There is no shortage of innovation in the video game industry when it comes to inventing new ways to interact with games, but indie developer GoodbyeWorld Games is bringing something new to the table. Its first title, Before Your Eyes, is a hands-free experience operated entirely by physically blinking.

The idea came to Will Hellwarth, GoodbyeWorld Games' founder and studio director, when working on his senior college thesis. A decade later, it has finally become a fully realized reality. The game's premise is inspired by that age-old idea of seeing " your life flash before your eyes," so blink detection makes perfect sense. However, implementing this technology into a narrative video game is easier said than done.

Richard Beare came on board as the lead engineer when the game was still in the beginning stages. It had already won Developer's Choice at IndieCade and had a successful Kickstarter campaign, but there was still a long way to go in perfecting the blink detection. Facial recognition and tracking technology has been around for a while and is easily accessible in things like Snapchat filters, but using blink detection as a core mechanic for a video game hasn't been done before and proved to be a unique challenge.

Early in development, there were a lot of variables that had to be accounted for and it was important that the blink detection worked for everyone who wanted to play. Not every gamer is going to play in a perfectly lit room with a perfectly placed camera. It was a long process collecting feedback and getting to the root cause of the issues players were having. Beare told Game Rant that,

The blink detection in Before Your Eyes is frequently referred to as a mechanic, but Bela Messex, the lead designer, ultimately realized that it wasn't a mechanic at all. Instead, blinking is an input that controls the game and advances the story. The team realized that they were actually designing a controller and a game to be played with that controller, so much of the development process was going back to basics.

Even though controllers have evolved and become more innovative and advanced over time, most video game inputs still involve pushing a button. Developers know how to make that kind of input satisfying for the player. Blinking, however, is completely different. People blink thousands of times in one day, and for the most part, it's completely involuntary. Using blinks as the primary method of controlling the game meant that GoodbyeWorld Games had to figure out how to make the input fun and satisfying.

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Category : entertainment

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