Introduction: Dogscotch - a Hopscotch Game for Dogs and Humans

About: I am interested in the relationships between humans, animals, and technology.

For the Global Game Jam 2014, together with Alex Camilleri, we made a digitally augmented variant of the folk game hopscotch that can be played together with a dog. In the activity of play, humans can form complex abstractions and embrace structured rules to experience games. We often use our imagination while playing games; dogs mostly perceive the environment the way it is. These two opposing perceptions come together in this game, created in 48 hours inspired by the theme of the game jam: “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”

For this game we used a projector mounted on the ceiling that projects on the floor and we created a prototype of the game using Gamemaker Studio software. In order to play the game you will need one human player, one dog player, a dog toy, some dog treats, and a human assistant with a mouse

During the game, the players jump from one tile to the next as fast as possible and on each tile a small challenge appears that they have to carry out together before they can jump to the next tile. These challenges include for example balancing a dog treat on your feet, letting the dog fetch a toy, throwing a treat on a specific tile, or avoiding virtual fire-balls that appear on the floor. Each challenge is visually supported on the projection and the human assistant assesses if the challenge has been completed so that the next tile can be opened

Step 1: Set Up the Space

The set up is simple: you will need a projector that is mounted on the ceiling and projects on the floor. Next, you need a computer connected to the laptop to run the game and connected to some speakers for the sound. You also need a human assistant with a mouse, so that each time the players complete a challenge successfully, the assistant can click to open a new challenge.

Then you'll need a human player and a dog player, some dog treats, and your dog's favorite toy.

Step 2: Open the Game and Play

I attached both the executable file of the game as well as the Gamemaker Studio project. So if you just want to play the game, you can run the executable, but if you want to make changes in the project or experiment with the code, you can open the project in Gamemaker. Enjoy!