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Brief Published: 10 Jan 2020

Draw Your Own Video Games Combine Digital & Physical Play


Games are fusing digital play with analogue interactions, to transform screen time into a creative activity that is appealing to kids, parents and teachers. Here, DoodleMatic from US game-maker Tink Digital enables users to transform drawings into interactive playscapes and design their own video games.

The game comes with activity books and a series of coloured markers. It is through the associated mobile app, however, where the gaming fun takes place. Users draw out their imagined gaming scenes, with avatars, obstacles and background decorations onto paper. Once the design is complete, they can take a photo of their design through the app, which translates their illustrations into controllable digital objects that can be played as a video game. 

The game assigns fixed meanings to different colours so that users can easily determine the function of each object and the objective of the game. Green indicates the game’s avatar, blue is the end goal, red is the hazard, purple is for moving objects and black depicts static background features. While the game comes with markers, this feature enables users to employ other materials in these colours as playable elements, allowing users to design their world with paint, playdough and toys.

DoodleMatic offers a behind the scenes look into game creation, teaching early STEM skills, such as strategy and problem solving. Furthermore, an educational edition allows for teachers to create virtual playrooms that resonate with lesson plans and track students’ results.

This DIY element is a quickly growing trend set to dominate within the game space. For another example, see also Digital Console Lets Kids Design Their Own Board Games.

DoodleMatic was launched at this year’s CES (January 7-10). Look for our complete coverage of the tech fair, publishing January 20.

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