DOBOTONE is a 5-player video game console specially designed for parties. Four players compete in a variety of built-in party games using two-button controllers, while a fifth person takes on the role of a powerful Game Remixer who can change the variables of the games in real time through the console's special knobs and buttons, turning the challenge (and the party) up.
Máximo Balestrini: programming, electronics, hardware and game design
Hernán Sáez: graphics, sound, hardware and game design
We designed DOBOTONE as a system specially designed for parties and the needs that arise from them. A system players can easily relate to (even when they're drunk), choose games as fast as they can and have the possibility of fooling around with the console itself, by tweaking some of the core variables. We decided to establish a set of rules for the games that totally relayed on intuitiveness, as we wanted the players to instantly understand what each game was about. No time for tutorials. No time to realize who is who. Just press the buttons and play. Narrowing part of the core variables of the design, such as the two-button controller’s limits, allowed other areas of the gameplay to grow in unexpected ways.
We also wanted the console to be a very present device, as we wanted the players to relate to it in a more active way than with modern consoles. The central control board, allows them to play with many variables, such as speed, gravity, zoom, visual glitching and, of course, sound fx and music volumes, without having to get into any in-game menu that could interfere with the desired experience. We also added two special arrow buttons to navigate through the games without any kind of loading times and four personal buttons to turn each player on and off in no time. You can also play one game repeatedly or select "random" which automatically selects one random game after the other.
With all these decisions we are suggesting the players not only to enjoy the games in a traditional way but also to kind of "hack" gameplay, and because everyone has access to that, even people who are not actively using the console, to add a sense of anarchy to the whole thing.