Physical Computing, Interactive Installation
Victor, the loser
A test machine that gets annoyed when the tester performs too well.
My role in this project
Victor, the Loser is an old-school intelligence test machine that sabotages the tester's progress by altering the display and pushing buttons. This project was selected and demoed at GDC 2017 and babycastles, NYC.
Seemingly an old-school intelligence test machine, Victor the Loser reveals its true colors when it feels threatened by the player’s imminent victory, at which point it tries to sabotage the player’s progress and mock their destined failure. Victor is a bad loser.
The participant answers 10 multiple choice questions displayed on the screen, one question at a time, by pressing buttons on the black box. When the participant answers more than half of the questions correctly, Victor interrupts by making the text blurry and changes screen colors to make reading difficult. If that doesn't work, he cheats and pushes the wrong buttons for the participant to avoid losing.
User Journey Map
Prototyping & Testing
The game came from a discussion about playing games with children and the use of positive reinforcement to keep them engaged. Sometimes pretending to lose to protect their blossoming egos. Eventually, we wondered if a game controller can exhibit these traits.
Originally we were playing with that idea as our main concept. Sabotage sounded fun and we wanted to take the control away from the side that is seemingly always in control and change roles in a sense. Later we began creating a controller that exhibited more childlike qualities.
Victor complicates the gameplay process and makes you question the goal. What are you really trying to accomplish with Victor? It is redefining what it means to win because Victor only cheats when you are winning. Can you find a way to out-cheat the cheater? It puts an emphasis on being just ok at playing a game. Victor provides a different experience that is focused on the journey versus the result, a journey that is unexpected and becomes a negotiation of sorts.
Text by Chuck Kuan