Media Choice Award, IndieCade 2015
A MAZE Awards 2016
A portable installation designed to mix physical movement with teamwork, communication and problem-solving.
One physical space, four big buttons and codes to be cracked! The game uses four custom-made buttons, designed so that the game can fit into any environment.
Players must use clues scattered around the room to uncover a sequence of button presses, and run around to bash the buttons in the right order.
You may have to flip through maps, pick apart circuit diagrams or rifle through a book of spy photos, but one thing’s for certain: the best codebreakers work as a team!
On permanent display at the National Videogame Arcade since 2015
"Dash & Bash has become one of the signature pieces of the National Videogame Arcade. It’s a brilliant, fun, intoxicating introduction to what we’re about and for most people it’s the first thing they play when they come in.
Lots of our visitors haven’t played a lot of games before and think they’re not for them. After five minutes on Dash & Bash, they're out of breath, laughing and suddenly awake to the possibilities of what videogames can be."
Iain Simons - CEO, The National Video Game Foundation
Dash & Bash was originally developed for GameCity Nottingham in 2014, where it was installed as a playable room within the venue.
An updated version was created for the National Videogame Arcade, and was one of the first installations in the museum when it opened in 2015.
Each player is given a picture card to find, which will appear on one of four wall-mounted screens. Players must dash to the screen with their card and bash the big button beneath it to score!
The game is designed to get players moving around each other as physical obstancles, and to find imaginitive ways to cheat by getting in each other's paths.
On display at the Game Science Center in Berlin since 2015
Pocket Gamer Very Big Indie Pitch 2014
EGX Leftfield Collection 2014
Tap Happy Sabotage! is a party game for up to 52 players on one giant touchscreen.
Divided into a series of fast-and-furious minigames, each round gives the player a new way to move around the screen, a new excuse to get in each other's way and a new way to cheat and sabotage each other!
New & Noteworthy in the App Store in 61 countries
Nominee: Best Sports/Driving Game, Pocket Gamer Awards 2014
A multiplayer game of phsyical jostling and foul play for iPad.
Slamjet Stadium is the football of the future: played on hoverbikes, with crazy powerups, deadly traps, and where any team can steal their opponent's players.
A physics game for up to 4 players, players must fling their players across the screen to bash the ball into the goal. It's fast-paced havoc and hugely physical, and leaves it up to the players to decide what rules to break!
Finalist: Eurogamer Expo Indie Games Arcade 2011
A puzzle game of cheating and stealing for iPad.
Beat your friends in action-packed puzzle battles! Steal and cheat by grabbing your opponent's jewels. Or take on a gauntlet of AI-driven opponents to become the world's richest financier!
Group like-coloured gems together to make them bigger and more valuable. Cash them in for incredible rewards! Avoid falling rubble, detonate bombs, and chase off sneaky robbers.
A puzzle game of quick-thinking strategy against the clock for iPhone.
A fiendish mix of fast-paced money-making action, strategy and forward-planning. Making a million is a maddening test of wits and skill!
Greedy Bankers was Alistair's first commercially-released game. Developed upon graduating from university, it formed the groundwork of his career as an independent game developer.
Spirit of the Festival Award
GameCity Nottingham 2016
Jury Choice Award
A 1-hour interactive stage show where everybody in the room gets to be a part of the action.
Each show comprises of multiple games custom-made for the stage or with specially-made custom controllers. Games that have featured in the show include:
As well as creating all the games seen in the show, Alistair also dons a ringmaster's outfit to become The Incredible Playable Host.
With the humour of the shown driven by the audience's creative interpretation of the rules, it takes influence from clowning and improv comedy.
The Incredible Playable Show has been performed across the UK and Europe, at venues including:
Four morphsuit-clad Power Rangers are the human controllers for this playable improvised experience!
A volunteer from the audience must fight off giant monsters by pressing coloured buttons. However, each coloured button is attached to a Ranger of the same colour.
Meanwhile, the Rangers are performing tasks of their own, on the orders of a deep-voiced computer overlord!
Go! Power Team! draws upon very simple objectives, stage and costume as contexts, and rules that cannot be policed. It designed to get players to perform and make each other laugh, and to interact with a whole crowd of participants.
The game explores how games can be a springboard for independent creative play, rather than as an end in themselves.
It was first performed at JOIN 2015 in Berlin and has also been shown at PLAY 2016 in Hamburg.
The projects in the following section are unfinished prototypes which give a glimpse into the kind of areas Alistair has been exploring recently.
A modification of the open-source GenesisPlus emulator, as an extension of the OpenEmu project.
The emulator was modified to allow the user to write scripts that alter an emulated Mega Drive's RAM during play. For example, triggers can be set up to randomise areas of VRAM during a game of Sonic 2 whenever Sonic collects a ring.
The emulator has also been extended to allow glitches to triggered by input from a network, or from external sources such as a microphone or barcode scanner.
The emulator is used in some performances of The Incredible Playable Show, for audience-led plays of Sonic the Hedgehog.
An attempt to complete the entirety of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - where every time Sonic collects a ring it scrambles the level layout - was filmed in early 2017.
A custom controller built for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive consoles. It plugs into the console's controller port and mimics the actions of four buttons.
One button is randomly assigned to each of the four players. Every 30 seconds the actions switch around, so players need to communicate to figure out who has what, and to operate the game.
An attempt to use the device to complete the entirety of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was filmed in early 2017.
An extended write-up of the design and development is available on my blog.
Created at iGam4er in the Cité des Sciences in Paris, this was an experimental project made in collaboration with local developers Dox Vico and Rémi LeBlanc.
The game was created to make use of muscle stimulation hardware developed by Pedro Lopes.
Using the mouse the player must guide a laser around a representation of their own brain, to destroy tumor-like growths.
Cutting through virtual nerve endings would send random muscle stimulation signals, in the form of electrical shocks, to the player's arm.
Rather than using electrical shocks as a punishment, we wanted to challenge players to resist the involuntary spasms.
As a result of this, we made it necessary for players to pass through nerve endings in order to navigate the brain.
Created at Lyst Summit 2017 with the other participants of the game jam.
Homunculus is played using a single volunteer in a morphsuit. The volunteer is the "Homunculus" and must remain silent during the process. One player selects a body part to be the homunculus' pleasure point. A second player must find that point by touching the homunculus' body in different parts and seeing how it responds.
The concept of having an anonomysed human being as a component in a video game is something Alistair is keen to explore further. As well as allowing the human performer to lend their own personality to the experience, it is also an uncomfortable experience for players. This offers a chance to question the human element behind the games and technology we consume.
A complete write-up of the project is on Alistair's development blog.
Created at Lyst Summit 2017 with performance artist Maya Magnat from Tel Aviv, and audio designer Anders Børup from Copenhagen.
Being There is an audio-driven performance for two participants. Each one takes a set of headphones where a narrator tells them the story of their relationship, from first date to break-up.
The two audio tracks are slightly different between the two participants, reflecting the two partners seeing the same relationship through different lenses. It is up to the players to decide how reliable their narrator is, or if they notice the cues that show the other participant does not feel the same way as them. After taking part the participants get to discuss their responses to the experiences.
A complete write-up of the project is on Alistair's development blog.