Emotion control gameplay

The Act by Cecropia is a coin-op “filmgame” about emotion, controlled by a single knob.

This animated cartoon built by ex-Disney animators is a kind of non-violent romantic comedie starring 2D characters whose feelings and state of mind are visible in every frame. “The Act will expand the demographic for videogames to include soccer moms, teenage girls, and everyone else who enjoys a good romantic comedy,” said Cecropia president and CEO Ann-Marie Bland.


After some introductory footage, the game becomes interactive. Players have to help Edgar to get Sylvia’s attention and persuade her to dance with him. By turning the knob, you control how direct Edgar’s approach is. Go too far, and Edgar will pounce on Sylvia, causing her to walk off in disgust. Be too timid, and Sylvia gets bored and leaves. Use a delicate touch, and she responds well. Since time keeps moving forward, it requires a good sense of control and timing.

The Act isn’t all about flirting, Edgar goes through a series of adventures, each requiring the player to control Edgar’s responses to emotionally tricky situations.

The knob behaves differently in different acts of the game. Sometimes you’re manipulating Edgar’s courage, sometimes his sense of humor, etc. Even within a single act, the way the characters respond to turning the knob varies depending on how they’re feeling at that precise moment.

The Act has no words, everything is done with images and music, and even the music is interactive, so the player gets audible as well as visual feedback.

Via Interactive Media Division Gamasutra.