The 2019\u00a0Game Developer's Conference\u00a0will feature an exhibition called\u00a0Alt.Ctrl.GDC\u00a0dedicated to\u00a0games that use alternative control schemes and interactions.\n\nGamasutra will be talking to the developers of each of the games that have been selected for the showcase.\n\nPl\u00fcnge\u00a0will have players putting their toilet-plunging skills to work, playing through multiplayer minigames that require they plunge as fast and hard as possible with some real plungers.\n\nGamasutra had a talk with Sebastian Scaini, lead designer and programmer for\u00a0Pl\u00fcnge, as well as\u00a0the rest of the\u00a0development team, to talk about the inherent silliness of plunger controllers, and how they designed their games around the taxing act of plunging.\n\nThe draw of the plunge\n\nScaini:\u00a0The controller functions the same as a traditional household toilet plunger. You can make a plunging motion by pressing down on the plunger in order to interface with the games. It\u2019s easy to pick up and play for\u00a0anyone unfortunate enough to have unclogged a toilet before.\n\nThe simplicity of Pl\u00fcnge makes the game a lot easier to pick up and play without instruction. Players see a plunger and naturally understand what to do to play the game. Because the only input the game takes is the plunging motion, players don\u2019t need to think as much, letting them enjoy the play experience.\n\nPlunging is funny, at least to me and the rest of the team. Sure it\u2019s an unsavory task when applied to real life, but the act and motions of plunging can be quite comical. So we thought, \u201cHey, why not make it into a controller?\u201d Some people have called our controller crappy, but I say they need to unclog their minds and open them to the possibilities of the Pl\u00fcnge controller.\n\n\n\nChallenges of playing with plungers\u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0\u00a0\n\nScaini:\u00a0One button design is something difficult but interesting to design around. Keeping the limited interaction entertaining and fresh was key to making Pl\u00fcnge the interesting experience that it is. We quickly realized that with just one button we wouldn\u2019t be able to make one big or long game, so we opted to make many small and short ones that could be played easily in short sessions. Coming up with these games, we designed 12 that we thought might be fun and then I quickly prototyped them all. We cut down all the ones that weren\u2019t fun to play as greyboxes and carried on making the ones we did like.\n\nThere are actually a couple of\u00a0minigames that didn\u2019t make the original cut that we\u2019ve since reworked and will be patching into the game in time for the Alt.Ctrl.GDC\u00a0showcase.\n\n\n\nDesigning around taxing, aggressive movements\n\nScaini:\u00a0The controller itself is fairly simply built and this simplicity allows it to stay durable even under heavy use. That said, the aggressive movements required to use the controller definitely tires people out quickly, which is why we made the games short and easy to walk away from. The quick pick-up-and-play style sessions\u00a0allow people passing by to jump in for a round or two and then leave without missing any of the action. This aspect also makes it perfect as an installation game, as it shows really well in crowded settings.\n\nSilliness is better with a friend\n\nScaini:\u00a0Pl\u00fcnge benefits greatly from the silliness of its gameplay and themes, and in order to make that even stronger, we opted to make it multiplayer. We took extra time to construct two\u00a0Pl\u00fcnge controllers specifically because it\u2019s a lot more fun to share the silly experience with a friend (or complete stranger). The multiplayer dynamic makes Pl\u00fcnge a lot goofier, and almost always leaves players laughing as they try to plunge better than their opponent.\n\nThe Pl\u00fcnge controller takes a simple one button concept and elevates it with the atmosphere it creates in the room. It\u2019s a social experience meant to make players feel silly and tired while also being entertaining in short bursts. The controller keeps the activity of pressing a single button fresh, and the competitive nature of the minigames engages the players in a way no single player plunging experience ever could.\n\nOn how they created a plunger-controller game\n\nScaini:\u00a0We used Unity to make the digital games for\u00a0Pl\u00fcnge. For art, the team used Photoshop and Maya and we did sound implementation in FMOD.\n\nLanaus:\u00a0The materials that were used in the construction were: oak for the main base, a maple top to add a nicer finish, and rubber feet to allow the controller to safely rest on the table. The inside was made with about 1.5 feet for cable to connect the base contact pad to the Makey Makey. Inside the plunger, a spring was soldered to an alligator clip and glued into the handle to allow for a flexible and durable contact end to complete a circuit and activate the button.\n\n\n\nThe people behind the plungers\n\nFeniquito:\u00a0My name is Darryl Feniquito, and my main role was designing 2D and 3D assets for our game,\u00a0Pl\u00fcnge. Most of my work you will see in the \u201cWizards\u201d minigame mode. I also contributed in managing a small section of the project.\n\nI am currently a second-year game design student attending Sheridan College. My main focus and passion is character design. My favorite part of making games is going through the process of creating something to be implemented into the final game and seeing people enjoy what I\u2019ve worked hard on. It\u2019s a good feeling to know that I was a part of something that makes someone happy. Pl\u00fcnge is the first game that I\u2019ve been a part of that has been accepted into GDC.\n\nNelson:\u00a0My name is Gavin Nelson, and I helped with both controller design and all art assets for the \u201cDraw\u201d minigame.\n\nMaking games is something that is pretty new to me. I started about a year and a half ago when I started building a Dungeons & Dragons campaign for some of my friends. After seeing them interact with what I had created, I decided I wanted to start creating games. Pl\u00fcnge is the first digital game that I have been part of, but since then I have made a 3-5 player strategy\/war board game and a single player bullet hell game where you get to protect the world from hordes of demons. My favorite part of making games is coming up with interesting mechanics and seeing how they interact together.\n\nLanaus:\u00a0I\u2019m Jackson Lanaus. I was the main controller builder for this project.\n\nScaini:\u00a0I\u2019m Sebastian Scaini. I was the lead designer and programmer on the game.\n\nI\u2019ve been making games since I was a kid. I\u2019ve had the opportunity to work on a couple of commercial projects at Sinking Ship Interactive, and have since started making a small name for myself making weird freeware games online. I\u2019ve released over 80 small games in the last couple of years and have no intention\u00a0of slowing down! You\u2019ll often see my work submitted to jams like Ludum Dare and Alakajam, so be sure to keep an eye out for what I\u2019m making!\n\nSolujic:\u00a0My name is Vuk Solujic, and I was tasked in drawing some of the assets for some of the Pl\u00fcnge minigames.\n\nI had a dream of designing video games when I was fourteen and started exploring some well-known programs used to make games, including Maya, Adobe Photoshop, and the Unity game engine. I touched more on Photoshop and other drawing programs, and found myself more versatile in the game art\u00a0and design game department. However, I want to make another attempt in Maya and Unity to become a more versatile designer. I'm only a first-year student, so I still have a lot of time and work to put into.\n\nZhang:\u00a0My name is Xin Zhang, but most people just call me 'Shin' or sometimes 'Shane'. My role on Pl\u00fcnge was primarily as a creative designer and asset creator.\n\nI\u2019m a first-year student in Sheridan College's Bachelor of Game Design program, but ever since I was little, I loved to make games to play with others. For now, I have skills in asset development (2D assets, 3D modeling, rigging\/animation), and conceptual design skills. However, I still believe I\u2019m far from being able to stand toe-to-toe in the professional industry, but I hope I will be able to polish and make my skills shine before graduation. I have big aspirations to become a project lead or a game\u2019s director, as I love to understand how everything works\u00a0and dabble in a bit of everything. When all the parts of a game come together and work in harmony, to me, that is true art.