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Rec All – A puzzling universe of (multitouch) creatures


Created by Romain Cazier at ECALRec All is a personal interpretation of the geometrical style puzzle games, widely popular on mobile. Taking some of this genre’s features, Romain designed a singular universe, where strange creatures with a cyclic behaviour are generated from a simple gesture.

The game, created in Cinder, is comprised of two parts: an “arcade” mode with different levels the player must resolve, and a “sandbox” mode where one can generate creatures at will.  The project began with a very simple app where the user could create lines and animate them through time (video below). Romain wanted to question multitouch interfaces and standardised gestures. Here, to create a line, you had to first make the two touches cross each other and then pull them apart which is basically a pinch-to-zoom but considered like what you would do with clay to do a line (spread the clay with two fingers). It was an interesting result because the fact that the animation was “finger-made” gave it a somehow “organic” feeling, despite the fact it was just composed of lines.

The second prototype was an attempt to contextualise the first one by putting physical attributes to the lines (eyes, mouth and tails). But at this point, even though it was really appealing, it was really hard for Romain to find a concrete application of the principle, as it was still too abstract. The process followed with strictly defined shapes that were influenced/determined by the number of fingers one was using. The last prototype and what we see in the video below led Romain to turn his app into a game by thinking of levels and ways to get the user to use the right number of fingers (and make the right gestures) to get all the collectibles. As each creature has specific abilities, the main game mechanic (along with the looping animation) is the multitouch part, which close the loop with his first prototype.

↑ A lot of the “sketching” and prototyping interaction was done with Processing before Cinder implementation.

The project draws inspiration from Sketchpad by Ivan Sutherland, Stop Drawing Dead Fish by Victor Bret, As-Rigid-As-Possible Shape Manipulation by Takeo Igarashi, Vib Ribbon by NanaOn-Sha, Yellowtail by Golan Levin, Blek by Kunabi Brothers and Flow by ThatGameCompany.

Romain Cazier

Project by ECAL/Romain Cazier
Tutors: Alain Bellet, Cyril Diagne, Gael Hugo, Christophe Guignard, Vincent Jacquier
Assistants : Matthieu Minguet, Laura Perrenoud, Tibor Udvari
ECAL / University of Art and Design, Lausanne Switzerland