Hazuki is a game inspired by "quick time events" (QTEs) experienced in games such as Dragon’s Lair, Shenmue, Resident Evil 4, and Metal Gear Rising. It’s a neat mechanic, easy to pick up, nerve-wracking, and endlessly frustrating when you mess up. Originally created by James as a standalone game, Hazuki was transformed into Hazuki Knit in this collaboration with Gemma, marking the beginning oour exploration of craft games.
Exploring the crossovers between the development of skill through repetitive game play and the habitual making practices of traditional craft, Hazuki Knit is a game controlled by a hand-powered knitting machine. The speed of the knitting controlled by player 1, determines the speed at which game prompts appear on screen for player 2 to respond with arcade-style buttons. Whilst testing your reaction speed through button pressing, the game tests your ability to remain focused and keep rhythm whilst knitting consistently.
During the 2018 London Games Festival, James and Gemma first collaborated with knit artists and Sam Meech and Marie Jones to further explore the potential of knit production through game play. We setup Hazuki at the Guildhall gallery, and throughout the festival, scores from every round were automatically uploaded to an online database. This data was then used to 'remix' images from the gallery (a kind of knitted high-score table).
Outputs were inspired by the Gallery’s Seen and Heard: Victorian Children in the Frame exhibition, which tells the story of a period when the concept of a carefree childhood was born, and where children were individualised for the first time.