Created by: Josh Contreras, Ben Casey, Alex Wagner, Russ Ball, and David Swift
Intention: Designing a controller for a person who only has the use of one hand in John Seitz's Game Usability course at Full Sail University.
The main purpose of our design was to create a controller that could be used by a player who only has the use of one hand. To solve this problem, we split the Triplay controller into three parts, one for the hand, and two for the feet. This allows players with only one hand a way to quickly and easily access all of the controls. After deciding on the design concept and polishing the design, a prototype model was made.
After it's completion, the prototype was tested using the Think-Aloud method. The test subject was a male hardcore gamer, age 28, who was instructed to try out the controls as if he was actually playing a game from the Flight Simulation, FPS and Platformer genres.
The Triplay is a controller designed for gamers that only have use of one hand. It is split into three components, thus the "tri" in Triplay. The left foot controls the left analog stick, the right foot controls the "A" "B" "X" "Y" buttons, and the available hand controls the joystick or right analog stick and its triggers and buttons. The hand also controls the directional pad, start, select, and home buttons that are located on the platform holding the joystick.
Our design purpose was to divide up the workload on each limb in an efficient and easy manner. By giving each limb only a few actions to control the player will be able to learn how to play games with the Triplay quickly and easily.
Balance boards that are commonly used in exercising were our inspiration for the left foot controls. After initially thinking an oversized joystick would have been good, we realized that a balance board style controller was easier to use and required less movement to use. It would also build up their stabilizer muscles in their leg and it would become easier to use over time. (Tang n.d.)
The Dance Dance Revolution pad was our inspiration for the ABXY button control. "DDR is based on a game controller which comprises a simple set of foot switches arranged in a 3 × 3 matrix on a pad that is approximately 0.8 m × 0.8 m in size".(Thin, Brown &Meenan, 2013). The idea behind our pad was similar except ours is intended to be used with one foot and only control the ABXY buttons.
The Atari joystick was our inspiration for our joystick design. Modern controllers have reduced the size of the joysticks down to thumb sticks yet they still remain crucial in video games today (Goss, 2009). We figured if we replaced the thumb stick with a joystick it would be easier for one-handed players to manipulate. It also allowed for us to add the trigger and shoulder buttons.
Our design method was fairly simple. We first started discussing possible ideas. Once we agreed on dividing the controller we drew up our first draft. We analyzed each component by judging its ease of use and comfort. After we came up with more ideas and agreed on changes we drew up the next draft. We continued this process until we all agreed that our idea was solid and then moved onto building a prototype.
Our initial idea was to use a motion controller as a way of replacing one an analog stick. After determining that a motion controller would put to much strain on a user's hand, we scrapped the idea. Our second idea was to use a large analog stick with a second, much smaller one on top.
After some discussion, we realized that it would be awkward to use both analog sticks at the same time if they needed to be moved in opposite directions. If the analog stick and buttons were the problem, we decided that we would need to remove a few. Our solution was to move several buttons and one of the analog sticks to a controller that could be moved with the user's feet.
Our first draft had an oversized analog stick to be used by the left foot, and a floor pad with four buttons to be pressed with the right foot. After analyzing the stick we determined it wasn't the best choice. We decided to replace it with a balance board style control. The reason for this is that it wouldn't fatigue the leg and it also requires less movement to operate. The joystick required the player to move their leg in order to move, the balance board simply requires the player to move their foot.