Beat Beat Samurai

Beat Beat Samurai was a six week project for a course in Experimental Game Interactions at Malmö University. The goal was to create a theatrical experience similar to samurai films and fighting games in a way that makes it not only fun to play but to watch as well. As the video explains, the drum beat changes depending on the action and audio and visual effects give feedback to sword hits and clashes to enhance the experience for the fighters.

Role: I pitched the original concept and led the group through a fairly experimental and exploratory design process which took us through several concepts and iterations before settling on the final prototype. As for the final prototype I co-programmed the arduinos and did all the programming for the app that controlled the sounds and visuals.

Starting with a concept around blind samurais, our group began to brainstorm different game ideas and we quickly realized that bodystorming would be the most effective method in exploring our options.

One of the comments that came up a few times during our meetings with the supervising teachers was “Juicy Feedback”. This got us thinking about Fruit Ninja which consequently led to the following exploration of what makes fruit fun to slice.

Once we arrived at a concept we could proceed with given the scope of the project, we quickly made a video prototype to demonstrate it and.

The concept went through some iteration.

At this point the concept was ready to move from bodystorming and videos to actual prototyping we set to the task and developed a prototype that had swords and armor equipped with sensors and a digital environment that enhances the fight with visual and sound effects. Several playtests were conducted with team members and outside testers to gather feedback.

All video editing credit goes to Jonathan Hansson.