Faculty of Arts & Science

Digital Futures

Joseph Eiles


ArmOn is a game that plans to bridge the connection between toys, the player and in-game gameplay.

“Our game “ArmOn” involves the player using a custom controller, in the form of the in-game character, in addition to having a regular controller. The custom controller that we are creating is based off of Hasbro’s Mr. Potato Head’s idea of reattaching parts to a main body. The idea of Mr. Potato Head came to fruition in 1949 by inventor and designer George Lerner who thought of an idea of a toy that children could design themselves (Bellis, 2019). This idea of creating a custom controller serves as an item to enhance the player’s experience and help the player develop bonds with the character. With toy profits on the rise again thanks to fan-generated and TikTok influencer videos, the trend of buying toys will increase (PYMNTS, 2020). Toys have evolved over the years and with technology advancing, the toy industry has advanced further; however, with toys advancing, they are still material possessions and people feel attached to those objects (Diesendruck et. al, 2015). Take for example Nintendo’s Amiibo and Activision’s Skylanders, which are both toys-to-life type of games where they have a physical toy that people can interact with and players can also use them to view their character in-game. These types of toys are things that people could feel emotionally attached to, whether it be that they like the character, the franchise or style. Doing so creates physical manifestations of one’s or other’s personal identities, values, and characteristics onto those objects (Diesendruck et. al, 2015). This could then create certain emotions for the player seeing their character in-game with them by their side, creating a bond with one another. Over the course of our four-year Digital Futures program at OCAD, a common element surrounding our projects has been user immersion and experience and how it impacts the overall enjoyment of the game. In keeping with all that we have learned regarding the ultimate importance of the user experience, we wanted to continue and expand upon this integral part of video games. As we knew from the start, we wanted to create a video game. We needed to focus on creating a game with an interactive element that added to the enjoyment of the game by immersing the user more personally into it. We wanted to create a new experience for video game users. We wanted to build this game around a custom controller so that the user could have a more unique interaction between him/herself and the virtual game. We drew inspiration for our custom controller from Nintendo DS and 3DS handheld consoles. The Nintendo DS has two screens, an upper one for display purposes and a lower one for touch, which work in tandem. Being able to change your settings as you played contributed to the user’s interaction with the game and made the Nintendo DS and 3DS games more enjoyable. We also drew inspiration from the past work of Skylanders, where the user is able to place a figurine on a “portal of power” and then have that figure become a playable character within the game. By being able to select different figures during the game, it allowed the user to impact the game more intuitively, adding to the immersive experience. What we wanted to do in our game was to extend the immersive experience from what is seen on screen into the player’s hand in a form they can touch that goes beyond the digital touch display of a DS or the placement of a toy character on a portal.Our controller is modelled to look like an action figure. The figure’s arms are extended so they can be easily removed and switched with other parts that resemble weapons and tools, which then function as such within the game itself. Because of the controller’s ability to change, the user can customize their experience depending on the individual player’s play-style and the situation that the game presents the user with. Presently, with resources such as Unreal Engine, games can be extremely realistic visually; what our game does is take that advanced visual realism and blend it with the controller’s abilities, making the experience much more tangible and immersive.”

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2021, GradEx 106

Work by

Joseph Eiles

Programmer/Game Developer

“Joseph Eiles is a Game Developer/Programmer who is interested in creating immersive and story driven games and experiences for users.”