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I was first introduced to video games when I was 5 years old. My father brought home a (now vintage) 3rd generation console along with the classic games. As soon as I felt the controller in my hands, I was hooked. I loved how I could manipulate, create, and move within the worlds of fantasy before me. From that day forward, video games were my passion.
As I grew older, I wanted to recreate my original experience of awe, using various mediums. In high school, I began taking 3D modeling classes and Math for Games through the local Running Start College program. After high school, I attended University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona where I received a 2-year Multimedia & Design degree. Returning home with an interest in the art of video game design, I decided to continue my education at Digipen in Redmond, Washington. Here I enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Production Animation Program that I attended for the next 5 years. During that time, an idea for a new type of controller began to manifest. I wanted something that could take gaming to a new level. My breakthrough concept was to have two extra inputs on the XYZ plane. To develop this idea, I needed to teach myself programming, PCB design, 3D printing and more. With the help of GameDevelopment.tv, I learned programming. I then researched and taught myself how to design electrical circuit boards and hardware code.
My project began in 2010, when I started learning all the skill sets needed to create this controller. During this time, I worked part-time jobs which allowed me to buy supplies and have the time I needed to transform my vision and design until it has developed into what I have now: a working prototype. As a one-man operation, lots of trial and error went into this! I tailored the body of my controllers ergonomically with knowledge I gained through Anatomical Animation and martial art classes. The controllers fit into the hands comfortably without putting pressure on wrist/hand ligaments and nerves. As the current generation of games can be played using just my right-hand or left-hand controller it provides accessibility to individuals who have a limitation preventing them from operating a two-handed controller. I believe the controllers provide two near-term market benefits for gamers. One is enhanced play experience due to the advanced ergonomic design. The second is accessibility provided by the utility to play current generation games with one hand. The controllers also provide a next-gen challenge to developers/programmers. How would you incorporate the additional inputs into your next-gen game?