Duel de mages

This prototype was made during a school workshop: we were asked to design an alt game for cognitively impaired players.

It was a difficult but very enriching exercise to imagine what would be fun for people whose abilities can vary greatly from an individual to the other. We needed to take into account important guidelines in our design, from avoiding challenge based on speed or physical skills to making sure the rules were easy to comprehend. We decided to design a game that would make use of the color association and the memorising abilities, which we were told were stimulating for the cognitively impaired. Playing on a physical board is more engaging for these players, and it helps them focus and visualise what is happening. The buttons to press, the big figurines to manipulate, as well as the colourful light feedback and animations make for a joyful experience.

We were delighted to watch our playtesters build an emotional bond with the controller, addressing it respectfully as “Magic Table” when they were validating their spellcasting. Could that have happen on a computer screen?

We submitted the project to the alt.ctrl.GDC. It is a prototype, but if it were selected, we would bring an enhanced version as we are still improving the table in order to eventually give it to a local association (L’Enfant Soleil) taking care of disabled people.

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