ALT.CTRL.GDC Showcase: Pat Pat Please!

The 2020 Sport Builders Convention will function an exhibition referred to as Alt.Ctrl.GDC devoted to video games that use selection regulate schemes and interactions. Gamasutra will probably be speaking to the builders of every of the video games which were decided on for the exhibit.

Pat Pat Please! provides gamers an opulent pet to take care of, asking them to like, pat, and communicate to it to earn its affection.

The builders of this lovable canine patting recreation spoke with Gamasutra about growing gameplay out of taking good care of a pet, what paintings they did in making a controller than inspired empathy, and their ideas in growing a contest in kindness.

Hello! We’re the devs at the back of Pat Pat Please! (André Ruiz, Letícia de Vicq, and Lucas Lima). We’re all from Brazil, the place we met at our college, PUC-Rio. Even though all of us give a contribution in each and every a part of the venture, we most commonly concerned about those spaces of manufacturing:

Ruiz: Labored totally on recreation design, making improvements to varieties of interplay on display and out, considering of latest choices for recreation modes, and balancing the sport again and again!

de Vicq: Labored totally on artwork and design inside and outside of the display, making the visible design of the canines, and coming up with tactics to make the interplay paintings at the plushie.

Lima: Labored essentially at the programming and electronics, additionally made the song and sound design, specializing in turning in the joys and light-weight, but additionally full of life, tone of the sport.

We had been all a part of an educational gamedev crew referred to as Rio PUC Video games (one among our individuals if truth be told gave a speak about our crew at GDC final yr) the place all of us met and made numerous video games with different scholars. As virtual media design scholars, we don’t all the time have the option to make video games in a category surroundings, so this crew used to be created so we will have an area to experiment with video games in a staff surroundings. Rather than that, all of us have other reviews in and out of doors of the gang. Andre has made a number of board video games and hybrid video games, Lucas has made experimental and artwork video games for some time, and Leticia has made artwork and design for a couple of video games and labored on animation.


After we pitch our recreation to a brand new particular person, it’s beautiful simple to know as a rule. Petting a canine is a well-known factor to most of the people, and that’s what our recreation is set. We all the time attempt to funny story round somewhat whilst pitching, explaining that the sport’s instructions are if truth be told Lulu’s (that’s our first prototype canine’s title) favourite technique to be petted and cuddled with and so forth. Maximum gamers finally end up engaged within the roleplay of taking good care of the canine, forgetting concerning the technical aspect of the controller and treating it as a personality by itself.   

With the preliminary prototype, we had been required at school to make use of Processing and Arduino, because it used to be a newbie programming elegance. So, we did the first actual prototype with those equipment. Later, we made up our minds to port the sport to Team spirit as it used to be extra acquainted to us and lets extra simply iterate on it.

For the canine controller, we used gabardine for the material, artificial filling, plastic craft eyes, arduino, microphone, accelerometer, and lots of cables and solder. Lately, we’re the usage of a capacitive contact sensor, however we’re experimenting with drive and different sensors to nice music the interplay and taking into account including vibration for tactile comments.   

We began this venture as a last project in our design college’s elegance on microcontrollers that we had been all taking. All that we had been required to do used to be to create a venture the usage of an Arduino and a few form of sensor. Leticia were to GDC 2019 and used to be impressed through the Alt.Ctrl show off, and after taking a look at some previous Alt.Ctrl initiatives, we made up our minds on making another regulate recreation. We got here up with some concepts, and Pat Pat Please! felt adore it will be the most exciting to observe other people play.

It began out purely as a easy recreation the place the participant patted the canine at the head and were given issues for it. Alongside the advance, we began enforcing extra interactions, just like the drowsing and babytalk(the place the participant has to talk to the canine with a child voice) and experimenting with other recreation modes, like a struggle between two gamers with two plushies, 4 gamers with one plush, time assaults, and so forth.

We had been fascinated about what kind of interactions are already amusing within the “actual international” that lets use to make a amusing revel in in a recreation. As canine fanatics, we had been slightly biased. 

Beginning off, all of us sought after to make one thing relatable for each and every canine proprietor, so we concerned about the right way to carry easy interactions that an individual has with their puppy to a recreation. After settling on many of the movements, we began growing recreation modes that are compatible smartly with the dynamic we created, organising a aggressive (or co-op) recreation the place other people compete through executing those movements in a restricted time to find who’s the most productive canine petter. 

For the technical aspect, we had to to find other sensors to check with our movements, so there’s an accelerometer for the drowsing movement, a capacitive contact sensor for the pinnacle petting, and a microphone, liable for shooting our favourite function, child communicate. All of those movements are captured with the Arduino and despatched to a pc with a bluetooth module in order that it may be processed into the sport.

It had to elicit a direct nurturing intuition so, after all, it needed to be lovable. We opted to magnify its options and move with totally unnatural, however soothing and amusing, colours. The material used at the plushie used to be crucial phase, because it needed to be cushy to the touch, but additionally proof against consistent interplay.    

We spotted that, because the canine has an excessively tactile, lovable interface, the plushie on it’s personal already elicits a response. At fairs, other people was affectionate to it beautiful rapid, hugging it even ahead of they pressed play. Additionally, the motion of petting a canine could be very acquainted, so it doesn’t want a lot educating to play the sport. In a controller, you need to be informed the conventions, like, you most often soar with the X or A button.  We aimed to expand the sport round interactions that the participant used to be already familiar with do, and now not introduce overcomplicated mechanics. 

Our preliminary thought used to be to create a kind of festival the place successful used to be inherently connected to taking good care of the canine, so as to overwhelm the contest, you simply needed to be actually great. There used to be additionally the side of enjoying with a toy – an excessively cuddly one – in a public surroundings as adults and making an area during which other people may just return to that child-like position of play.

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