Designs for Arm & Hand Rehabilitation after Stroke

As a Game Designer at HoloMoves, the most fun challenge is always creating a realistic usable product for patients. Where, with a regular target group, there can already be large differences in their interests, knowledge and skills. Are generally the motor and psychological competencies roughly the same. For the game “Table Ball,” precisely this was the big challenge.

How can you make a game that motivates to use the affected side when everyone’s competencies are so drastically different?

We could solve this challenge in several ways:

  • For example by considering the game more as a toolset for the therapists to work with, unfortunately this creates too high a threshold and does not provide cost savings either. Therapists even need to spend more time in therapy, first to familiarize themselves with the toolset.
  • Another way is to introduce fierce adjustability through a dashboard. The disadvantage of this is again, the high threshold for the therapist, on top of which it costs a large investment in cloud development.

We were finally able to solve this design challenge using the “Dynamic Difficulty” system.

Dynamic Difficulty (or Dynamic Sequence) determines which subsequent game mechanics to introduce based on what the patient does. The more the patient plays, the more TafelBal connects to the patient’s competencies within the play session.

With a clear manual, we give therapists information on how the game does adjustability for you. That way the therapist does not have to be as involved in the game. If you still want to influence then, you can do so very simply through the clear visual elaboration. Thus, in the color of an object and what object it is, hides what therapy purpose is behind it. The therapist can give the patient intermittent tasks to train specifically on one goal.

For example, “try only the pink marbles.”

The Dynamic Difficulty system notices from the patient’s behavior that he or she is pursuing a particular therapy goal and will respond accordingly in the rest of the potty.

This is a brief explanation of one of the underlying systems on which TableBall is built but it does paint a picture of how we at HoloMoves solve complex design challenges in our products with innovative solutions.

Yamir, Game Designer