Fidget spinner and a cat

Fidgetly CTRL hype

Quick update: The Fidgetly guys got back to me last week and we chatted a bit. They have a great product that anyone can understand, plus an enormous base of potential customers.

I’ve decided to set aside a week or two to develop a game prototype that would utilize the fidget spinner controller well.

Idea 1: Vocabulary Builder

One of my first ideas was an educational word game, where you spin around a password/letter lock thing:


Five-letter password combination lock

You start spinning for the first letter, and you only have a few seconds before your choice locks in. Suppose you chose A.

Then you start spinning for the second letter, and so on. The possible letters for each spin are not all 26; rather, they are narrowed down a bit to “nudge” you towards actual words in the dictionary. You can hit a “submit” button any time to lock in (heh) your word, and then you get points. Otherwise, the spinning stops when you make a “nonsense” word, at which point you fail and lose points.

The educational aspect comes in via bonus points whenever you successfully enter a word from a predetermined word bank (e.g. a grade 3 standard reading level vocabulary list). So it’s feasible to play the game indefinitely making words like “and” and “art”, but if you’re at a grade 5 reading level, you won’t get the best score unless you start entering words like “aggressive.”

Of course, you can swap in a combat system instead of points (slay a monster if you enter higher-level words, or take damage if you submitted a non-words), etc. Or, instead of starting from scratch, the game could prompt you with an incomplete sentence, Mad Libs-style, like “The dog became very ____, barking louder and louder as I walked by.”

The main problem with this idea is that it doesn’t utilize the controller that well. You could probably achieve this effect with just swipes on a mobile device.

Idea 2: Shuriken Training

Terry had an idea that would use both the fidget spinner’s rotation speed and orientation for gameplay purposes. What if you had to throw a ninja star, and skillfully tilt it to navigate it around obstacles before hitting a target?

It seemed simple enough, and I began working on a prototype.

Here’s a still image of the ninja star mid-flight:

I’ll be adding some more to this very soon, so stay tuned!

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