If you learned how to type on a keyboard without looking while in elementary school, you might have used a popular program called Mavis Beacon. Now, a company called ControllerTraining.com is looking to do the same thing for the complicated joypads for modern consoles.
ControllerTraining.com is planning to release a new app on Dec. 6 that will run people through a series of training sessions. These minigames help players explore an Xbox 360 or PlayStation DualShock 3 controller using simple mechanics. The idea is to familiarize people with the controllers so that they don’t need to look down in the middle of games.
Tim Chheda came up with the idea for the software after trying to play games with his wife, Alice. Now, the couple are working together to help out others.
“When [my husband] Tim tried to get me into his hobby, something we always try to do with each other — I got him into cooking — we realized the controller was a barrier to entry to enjoyment of the medium,” Alice Chheda told GamesBeat. “The only solution was to practice on simple games, but even those all presuppose a high level of experience with the controller. Think of being asked to be a touch typist the very first time you look at a keyboard.”
The Chhedas’ first concept for ControllerTraining.com was to help couples in their situation, but by talking with people during development, they realized it could help a lot of different kinds of potential gamers.
“We realized this product is for all new gamers, young and old,” said Alice. “After all, if the latest game ad appears on prime-time TV, won’t a wide variety of people be interested?”
One of the lessons has asteroids attacking the player, and the only way to get rid of them is to press the corresponding button hovering above the asteroid. It’s a simple concept, but that’s the idea. ControllerTraining.com is all about helping people who are too intimidated by for the average game.
I tried it out, and as expected, it was very basic stuff.
For now, the game only supports the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 controllers, but the Chhedas plan to add support for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 joypads by Christmas.