What happens when you mix one part hacker space with one part game developer community and throw in a pinch of bizarre? You get one of the most unique spaces at the Game Developers Conference, "alt.ctrl.GDC."
With wild alternative controllers that use movements, actions and some very interesting switches, visitors can play games in a whole new way. They also get to meet the developers behind the projects.
Here, two players are immersed in a game called Tied Escape: The Curse of Cortez, designed by French game-design and game-art students from Rubika Supinfogame university. Though the game has simple instructions, there are some physical constraints -- you're literally tied to a chair along with your partner.
Concept studio HNRY developed the game Continuum Bacterium, in which players must use phase-shifting techniques on a wrist-mounted controller to disinfect the entire spectrum by scanning through different frequency bands.
The creators of Plunge have built a player-versus-player party game that's based around plungers and toilets. The controllers to the pipes- and toilet-themed game are plungers, and must be worked up and down. With challenges like wizard battles, pipe tennis and a dating game... Plunge doesn't stink.
Octopad is an interesting type of controller: It's an alternative interface for the Nintendo Entertainment System that transforms classic games into new concepts with eight controllers -- each with just one button!
Instead of a single player experience, here Octopad has turned the game of Tetris into a cooperative team sport, where players must work together to achieve the game's goals.
Puzzle designer Paul Hiebowitch, better known as FLEB, has built the complex Extrareality Codebreaker. This game is a single player, two-part puzzle that requires players to use a dial to interact with a small game, then mimic that interaction outside the controller. It ends with the player constructing his or her own version of the controller to solve the puzzle.
Koo-Koo is a first-of-its-kind birdhouse game in which you control a flock of mechanical birds using a cuckoo clock. You jump from clock to clock to give commands by pulling on weights and setting the hands.
Got rhythm? Then check out Guitar Wizards from a team based in Cape Town, South Africa. The rhythm-based duel uses a modified Guitar Hero guitar controller to let players fire chords at each other across an LED board.
Alistair Aitcheson's The Book Ritual is a game player in a real world paper book! Tear pages to keep the conversation going, acting out the process of loss and transformation. He says it's an interactive art piece "about finding growth in the face of loss."