By Ethan Gach
The 2016 IndieCade Festival is going on right now in Los Angeles, which means there’s a lot of weird, cool stuff being shown-off, including a video game console called DOBOTONE.
The party game uses a combination of two-button controllers and a single Game Remixer that lets one player manipulate different variables with knobs while the other four people use their limited inputs to cope. This asymmetry is than played out across a number of different mini-games, similar to something like WarioWare.
— Rusty Moyher (@rustym) October 15, 2016
As its creators explain, the game is meant not only to augment the group dynamic of a party, but to feed off it,
“We designed DOBOTONE as a system specially designed for parties and the needs that arise from them. A system players can easily relate to (even when they’re drunk), choose games as fast as they can and have the possibility of fooling around with the console itself, by tweaking some of the core variables. We decided to establish a set of rules for the games that totally relayed on intuitiveness, as we wanted the players to instantly understand what each game was about. No time for tutorials. No time to realize who is who. Just press the buttons and play. Narrowing part of the core variables of the design, such as the two-button controller’s limits, allowed other areas of the gameplay to grow in unexpected ways.”
While one group of players competes with one another to complete a stage or even just survive, the fifth player is able to alter the game’s speed, manipulate gravity, and induce visual glitching, among other things. Because the games can be remixed at any time by anyone, the creators say DOBOTONE is a device obsessed with being present, “We wanted the players to relate to it in a more active way than with modern consoles,” they say in the description of the game.
DOBOTONE is a collaboration between Máximo Balestrini and Hernán Sáez. You can watch a full demo of the game and how it works below.