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Apurv Mehra


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Background and Concept

Game experiences today are driven by the designer and the mechanics that are included by them. People sitting in groups enjoy simple card games especially with family and friends. With the current extent of technology, there is a higher chance for a group to carry phones in their pocket than a bunch of board & card games. In this research, we are trying to explore and understand how to empower users with the ability to co-design and control their user experiences in digital games.

We test our hypothesis by building open play ground games i.e. games which do not have any rules and are completely customizable. Sitting on top of the better together toolkit, we built a card playing game and interfaces that allow users to build new cards and share it with others in the card player community. Users can create new card games and play existing card games with different rules. We aim to find out how such a setup of open playground games can result in more engaging and enriching experiences to the players. Apart from this it also holds the advantage of being more accessible.

Research Questions

  1. What kind of novel interactions are possible in the digital realm which cannot be realized with physical cards?
  2. Does availability of on the fly end-user customization provide an opportunity more engaging and enriching experience?


The design of the system consists of two components :-

  1. A card builder framework to access existing cards and create new ones.
  2. A distributed offline Android phone based application which allowed playing games using natural intuitive gestures such as drag, flick etc. We have built the application on top of an opensource framework designed of collaborative use called better together.

    Card Builder Framework

    Card Builder

Better Together

Android Applications

Android application screens

Ongoing Work

We are currently conducting multiple user studies to evaluate our research questions and hypothesis.