The Sightlence Game: Designing a Haptic Computer Game Interface


The haptic modality is currently underutilized and poorly understood as a design material in game design. There are few computer games to draw on for inspiration during design explorations. This design case study explores how to use the haptic modality as a design material for computer game interfaces that requires neither graphics nor audio. The idea behind the case study is that a better understanding of haptic computer game interfaces can increase interface innovation and accessibility by giving game designers a third modality to work with together with graphics and audio. The design problem was approached through design explorations, development of an interface translation method, iterative game development of a haptic translation of Pong, and playtests with 34 people comprised of game design students and professors, adults with and without deafblindness, and children with deafblindness and congenital cognitive disabilities. The results show that computer games can be designed with haptic interfaces that only require standard gamepad¬s rather than expensive or custom-made hardware. This also holds for computer games with time-critical features and complex interfaces with concurrent haptic signals.