Party games are games that are played at social gatherings to facilitate interaction and provide entertainment and recreation. Nowadays, there are more and more digital party games on PC and consoles. As a new input device, it is quite natural to think about using Tap as the game controller.
On the official website of Tap, it is clearly stated that Tap could be used as the controller for games. There are several videos about using Tap with games like League of Legends. We would like to see how it really works with game controlling. On the other hand, we find it is pretty immersive to tap fast for a while, which is kind of like an exertion game. So we think it might be interesting to make some exertion party games controlled by Tap.
The idea behind this game is that we can use the finger tapping to mimic the feeling of running with two legs. A user will tap continuously and intermittently with two fingers to run (currently there are just two cubes.) Only index and middle fingers can be used and they have to be tapped in turns. The faster you can type, the faster you can run. And the first player crossing the finish line wins.
In this game, we want to create a feeling of riding a bicycle. This is also a multiplayer game. The players need to use Tap to balance the bike. We have tried several different control schemes:
- Use the mouse to control direction, use tapping to accelerate.
- Doesn’t work. The sensitiveness of the mouse is too bad.
- Use middle finger tapping as acceleration and index/ring finger for balance.
- Worked, but a little bit difficult.
- Use index and middle fingers for balance, but they can also provide acceleration.
Based on the test, the third one works best. There will also be random winds to unbalance the bike so the players have to continuously balance the bike until they reach the finish line. We also change the acceleration rate according to the rotation of the bike.
The API for Tap is rather simple. Sometimes we find it may be a little bit inconvenient to use and we may want more functionality. But for most of the time, when only the touchdown events are needed, it is actually pretty easy to use due to the very clean interfaces.
These two demos are two of the most popular demos we have made during the first half of the semester. People really enjoy the party games played with Tap. In general, wearable devices are more immersive than normal game controllers and keyboards.
However, the latency of the device again become a problem. The latency is rather noticeable which make it basically impossible to do the accurate controls. For example, in the biking game, we have to give the control quite a huge time window to make it usable.
Another big problem we realized is that it is extremely hard for all the people to have the device at the same time. It is quite unlikely that five people all have Tap at the same time. Maybe in the future, when similar functions are integrated into the devices everyone has, like mobile phones. At that time, it would be a better idea to develop party game like these.