This is a neat piece showing some of the process and iteration behind the Google design team’s work on the controller for their new gaming service, Stadia.
Olsson says the team went through “hundreds” of prototypes, some of which were more successful than others. One of the first steps included giving test subjects sculpting clay and letting them shape it to their tastes. The company then 3D scanned and photographed the models, most of which were, at Olsson puts it, “not so successful.”
Another prototype included a controller with a grid-shaped pattern on the front that allowed users to place elements like the thumbsticks wherever they found them most comfortable. Even the angle of the protruding hand grips got the full scrutiny of the design team. A clear acrylic prototype with rotating handles and a built-in protractor helped track player hand positions for analysis.
I’m looking forward to trying out this service. The idea of having access to games without any new hardware or up-front investment is interesting. I’d give it a try.