Digital games represent an asynchronous dialogue between the game's designer and its players. This dialogue is constrained by the rules and settings the designer has programmed into the game. For example, the Grand Theft Auto series of games is praised for its open-ended "sandbox" gameplay, but if a player wishes to run for mayor or open a grocery store, he cannot, because no program code has been provided to support these actions.
An emerging approach, which we term game orchestration, allows game design to continue into the actual play of the game. An orchestrator manipulates gameplay in real time, in response to player’s actions. The orchestrator's role is to create and manipulate game experiences, opening far broader possibilities than with traditional game design. Game orchestration draws inspiration from pen and paper role playing games where a game master guides players through an interactive adventure.
Game orchestration relies on rapid and rich interaction with the game world. We are exploring the benefits of tangible interaction techniques based on multitouch interaction with surface computers.
The goals of this project are:
Enable the rapid orchestration of game experiences using a tabletop surface
Evaluate the practicality of game orchestration using a digital surface
Additional information can be found at http://equis.cs.queensu.ca/?page_id=949.