Thursday, April 15, 2010

Demo night!!! Exertion Games that make the players physically exhausted

Tonight was demo night, and we saw many new computer game inventions that require players to invest physical effort (think of all the health benefits!) way beyond what Wii offers!
Who would have thought that working out could be so much fun?

Three hours of pure play! I hope you all had a
great time and exerted yourself. Congratulations to all of you for
making this night such a success!
In the comments you have the chance to congratulate those who you
didn't get a chance yet to tell what a great job they did!

Thanks also to our guests from Future JourneysExergaming Australia, 2nd years, and everyone else who helped making this a great night.

Please add your game's video here and make sure your webpage has a full description of your game for everyone to see. I would like to create a slideshow of all your games (like last year), so please add a promotional picture about your project here (either login yourself here or send me the URL).
Also, if you have not done so yet, please email me a picture of your dots (we had two late visitors who gave all their dots to Nick because he sticked around, so well done Nick!)

I was very impressed by the fact how you took the things you learned into your games: you looked at how people use their bodies and analyzed what makes bodily movements fun (see Kane's observations of 15-year-olds playing DDR) and how you expanded the magic circle socially (I am not sure if Luke would have "designed for an audience" (as he said) before he started this class) and environmentally (see escalator game).
You also focused on the game experience more than on the technology, even though you had some very clever implementation (you-have-to-run-for-the-music game, bubble-pop gloves) ideas which hopefully made you aware that you now can design anything you ever wanted!
And you all learned how to present your game idea in a busy, intense, and fast-paced environment, perfect for your future game pitches in industry!

Here are some individual comments about your games, as some of you asked me how they can improve. Here is what I saw (I am making up names for them based on what comes to my head first to show you what 'sticked'):

Balloon outdoor running game: I really like the idea of putting the exertion outside. Very similar to the other running games though. The video could have been even more convincing if it would have been 'real' people playing it, as in random people of the street. Nice use of phones!

Bubble popping: great fun, excellent use of social bodily interaction! Awesome simple game implementation. Next time make sure the room is really empty. Needs more audio effects (but not much else). you probably noticed that everyone who played it loved it, so kudos. But some people were reluctant to join in the first place, why? Are you getting in the paper?

music-running-music game: great idea of making people run based on sound (scream). wonderful simple implementation idea. You can make it more stable using an arduino and an accelerometer. Can't wait to try it out against another people.

bike: wonderful video. all you have to do is implement it, so I can play it! Is GPS going to be good enough? You could also combine it with an idea I had for a bike-version of Jogging over a Distance, but never implemented: Your cyclists should know _while_ cycling how far ahead their opponent is, not just at the end, at home in front of the computer. They cannot look at their mobile all the time for status updates, BUT they could have an attachment on their bike that has a laser pointer that is attached to a servo-motor that indicates how far ahead the other person is: the laser dot moves further or closer ahead of you on the street, controlled by the motor that moves the laser pointer up or down, indicating where the other cyclist is in relation to you (a little bit like the laser bike lane, but interactive). I have all the hardware for this, talk to me if you want to implement this.

bar game: great idea, I've said it before! Nice social add-on. Make it happen and bring the bar in so that people can try it! Get it connected with the Sydney lab! Good idea to involve hand-slapping as well.

Swimming: great idea of making swimming a 'spectacle', nice contrast to traditional swimming. Also nice consideration of social aspect. Well designed for the audience as well through glasses and body style. you obviously tried out many different movements and found one that is very exhausting very quickly. screen and game was a little bit 'conventional'. Great use of combining various body movements: swimming and turning.

Hunter: wonderful video, great editing. would have been even better if 'real' people would have been recorded (with permission) (see above). You can easily implement that on an iphone and give it to people. Well done on sticking around and demoing it to people.

punch willy: great combination of cognitive and bodily skills. wonderful clever implementation. needs projection and scoring system (processing with ess?). Did you think about social aspects? Can you put it int people's canteens as stress-relief?

Nymphora: great idea of 2 unequal participators: one runs, the other directs. would have liked to play it with others, and seen use of the punching video stuff. Would be great fun outdoors running around breaking the magic circle.

Escalator: great idea, very exhausting. nice example of designing for a specific target group: anarchists :-). Great video and logo. as mentioned, game device could easily give audio feedback and be wireless with wiimote. Think how computers could enhance it further: what could they do beyond counting rounds (which you can do in your head?). can you expand magic circle further by including by-standers? what about unaware participants? Great idea to get people away from classroom-style games.

Water bomb: nice idea of "fluid movement" combined with cooling down, which is important for exertion. How could computers improve this further? Why do you like _computer_ games? Can you get the 'cooling' and 'fluid movement' effect together with the advantages of computer gaming? Video with subtitles would look great on youtube.

Fencing: great job in considering the people and fantasy factor, adding a costume turned the game into a spectacle for the audience to enjoy also. For the code, you could just use the code the escalator guys have! It would be great if you could think of other advantages the technology offers: could, for example, a kid play with his dad/mum equally? Nice job in letting me win!

Achieve task in time and document with mobile: nice idea of challenging people with different capabilities and preferences. Already discussed ways to automate it, through making task recording colours, for example, and then analyzing them pro grammatically. Someone said she was not exerting much though?! How can technology facilitate that more? Think about hard fun & people factor!

Ball throwing: Lots of people loved it! Very exhausting. Nice job on going back to the basics: what is fun? nice video documenting how you tried out several approaches. Good idea having black and video targets. How could computers enhance the interaction? Could the lights go out after a certain while? Could people play in different time zones? Great website on documenting it! Can't wait for the video.

PS: All location-based games: Check this out:

Ok, that's from me, let me know if you need more feedback, can't wait to see your second games!


  1. Thanks to everyone for a great time tonight. I was really impressed by what everyone has done. There were many great ideas and everything seemed really fun. For me the most stand out things were the bubble popper game and the throwing balls at lights game, sadly I had run out of stickers when I got to theirs. You guys get an internet sticker from me!
    What made these games really great for me was how intuitive they were to play. No one had to explain the rules for me to grasp the object of the game and once I started playing the games were addictive because of their simplicity and competitiveness.

    The exreme swimming game looked really good but it was disappointing that their tech didn't work. Once they gave up on the tech they didn't really show anyone anything else. I for one didn't get to see the game working properly at all.
    I thought snuggie fencing was awesome but would have been better if the connection between the outfits and laptops had been wireless to allow more freedom of movement. Was it a keyboard that was in the suits?
    I wanted to hear more on how different groups had implemented their games but either people didn't talk much about it or I just moved between games too quickly to hear it, not sure which.
    Thanks to everyone that watched my group's video and who gave us a sticker. I hope you guys all got your lollies.

  2. Lots of great games tonight! I'm sorry that I didn't get round to play many games, but I did hover around to see others playing.

    I especially liked the shouting game, I think it really takes advantage of the people factor.I don't think I'd play that game alone, but in a big group, it's extremely fun.

    I also, like the concept of the escalator game. It's something I've always wanted to do! (I know I'm not alone on this!) It was a pity their technology wasn't working, but it was fun just doing it! I'd give you a star but they were all on my jacket which I left behind. When I came back, all stars were gone! Whoever who nicked them, you know who you are! :(

    Also, big big thanks for the guys who played our ball-throwing game so enthusiastically! Sorry that the balls split open after about 2 hours - we didn't expect so much pent-up violence from you guys :P And to those who continued playing with rubber half-spheres - you guys are awesome!

    Hope everyone enjoyed the free batteries and candy :)

    Good job to everyone tonight!

  3. An impressive collection of games were presented tonight, all seemed like great ideas! It's a shame so many people ran out of stickers so the people at the end of the night didn't get as much credit... and the technical side of some of the games wasn't working, such as our groups boxing bag game. Despite this, it was still heaps of fun, and thanks to everyone who still interacted with our game and watched our flash video!
    It was great to see so many different ideas being produced, i particularly liked the Snuggie idea, but as mentioned above it could be a lot better if it was wireless.
    Overall I'm not sure i saw everyone's game sadly, but from what i did see all the games looked great! Cant wait for the final presentations!

  4. There were some pretty awesome games on display tonight, it was probably the most fun I've had in the course so far.
    that bubble popping game seemed quite well executed on the technical front, but it could have benefited from some sort of end goal.
    I think I had the most fun playing the "tennis-ball + button-light" game, it was so addictive.
    It's a shame that some groups ran into trouble with their equipment, do we get to do another session like this towards the end of the semester?

  5. Like the others have said it was great to see everyone's games in action. My highlights were the Bubble popping (I know, going with the mob heh) and Balloon Kart. The idea of running around somewhere like Albert Park with balloons on my back chasing madly after others is something I could really get into. It's all the fun of Mario Kart with real life consequences, so kudos to you guys!

    Technical faults were seen all around so I guess we could all use a little work there.

  6. Candy in response to your criticism we took a half an hour break after it failed to get the laptop going again. We then show cased our game in single played for about an hour and a half. We didn't give up at all; we just needed a break to get everything working again. So we thought that would be a good time to check out other peoples games.
    Apologies to anyone else who didn't get a chance to see our swim game, we had 6 computer crashes in a row and allot of random complications due to calibration of 4 pieces of Wii-hardware off blue tooth. As I said we did get a single player version running for today for the second hour and a half if anyone didn't get to check that out let us know and we would be happy to set it up again at some point.
    Okay now onto my experiences, I was super impressed by everyone's ideas, my personal favourite was defiantly the escalator game because it was the only game that made me lose my breath and sweat let a mo fo! (“Sorry for writing mo fo on the blog Floyd but it’s the way it was”)
    I think the use of your environment and the way have implicated your tech part is fantastic, you could possibly even make one person play at RMIT and someone play else were on some other set of escalators, that would be really cool seeing the two feeds.
    I could also defiantly see the potential in other games such “Hunter and Prey” to make me very tired from running around the city.
    The Snuggie fencing was also another personal favourite even though I didn't get a chance to play it, the simplicity combined with those awesome outfits made for a great game. I think if you guys just get a basic score counter going your game would be set, and you could add like as many players as you could find keyboards and Snuggies.
    Also special thanks to the game were you threw balls at lights, that thing defiantly works as stress release after a few hours of dealing with dodgy hardware.
    and an extra special thanks to Paco for playing the yelling game and getting told of by the lecture next door, made my day....
    Amazing work by all! That was such a great atmosphere on floor 13 XD

  7. Hi Floyd, here's a better video of our game:

    It'd be great if you could post that instead, thanks! :D

  8. Hi Floyd, this is our flash presentation for team k's boxing bag.


  9. Amy, can you youtube it or something so that I can embed it?

  10. *I wrote it yesterday n found out that Floyd removed the entry when I was about to post it. So pls just pretend all "this night"s were "last night"=P

    it was so awesome this night! every group did a really good job on presenting their game ideas except some tech issue. it was shame that some groups cant run their games properly tho i do appreciated their ideas. will play the final version by the end of this semester anyway. So cheers up and continue to go for it!
    the most impressive game i have to congratulate again here is the bubble game. The rule is incredibly simple n apparently everyone went into your room just couldn't help getting into it so fast. N thank u guys explained the methods to me. I will download that program asap, just can't wait any more to c whether it can help to polish our own game=D
    meanwhile , I do appreciate the game of throwing balls upon the lights. It was quite simple as well but did attracted lots boys to play and made them crazy about it=P not to mention those poor broken lights u guys smashed tonight... next time mayb u group could build a protect cover or something to make it looks more organized.
    The group right beside ours which involves heart-rates was pretty cool. Sorry forget the name tho=P well done with that hat! U r very smart on working out that idea to make players keep running just by always pushing the dish on the hat backward.
    Our game is the yelling game which run quite satisfyingly this time.
    in short , lots of brilliant ideas were presented today n I was really got impressed on most of those! will go on to polish ours and thank all of those who have tested our game tonight!

  11. Momo,
    Didn't see your post nor removed it last night (I would never dare :-), maybe because I was uploading pictures at the same time blogspot got confused....

  12. Haha man that was a really fun night and despite our games technical difficulties watching Floyd play it with everyone gathered around makes it all worth while :)

    First off, excellent job everyone, the videos were great and informative and the games were very unique and interesting.

    Running through my top 3 games real quick:

    Fencing: I loved the this game and just seeing people having fun is a testament to how good it is, well done to that team for using the simplicity of a hidden keyboard to get character input. It also has a load of potential! Would have loved if different areas u hit gave you a score and sounds played when you hit people...I would personally suggest flash as you could just code the keys to do what you want. I was honestly jealous that I didn't think of this idea...

    Bubble Pop: Amazing job! Fantastic fun, super simple but making a great social fun game which spectators could also enjoy as I remember myself and someone else yelling out to Christian that he had bubbles on his back :) Tech was great and the gloves were simple but really easy to use. Would have loved a score but still awesome...

    Escalator Game: Physical exertion to the max, its free and you can play it in heaps of places and after a couple of plays you are absolutely the simplicity, great job.

    Great night and again thanks to everyone for making it so awesome.

  13. What an awesome night of games tonight. I had an absolute blast.
    I wish I had more stickers to give around to all the games.
    I think everyone had interesting games. They were games I would have never thought of.
    I got attached to on particular game the whole night, which was the tennis ball button light game. I have to agree with Rhyl, I found this game very addictive.. I couldn’t stop until I got all the lights on and then kept going until I got the lights off… and it just went on.

    I cant wait to see everyone’s second game ideas!!!

  14. Team F's video:

    I couldn't fix the aspect ratio, I tried though.

    Anyway, although I was completely wrecked after having slept only one hour the night before, I enjoyed the night. Loved the escalator game because it meant I had an excuse to run up escalators the wrong way, annoying the hell out of the people riding the escalator normally. Bubble pop game was great with the combination of jumping and ducking needed to get all the bubbles. I didn't have a problem with the scoring system, mainly because I won.

    I didn't see a dud game anywhere, each had its issues but there was always some interesting idea or twist which made it worthwile.

  15. Hey guys! Awesome job last night! I'm really glad we had this demo night because it really pushed our team to hurry up and think of a solid idea. I'm really happy to hear that a lot of people like the idea of the escalator game- I think games which allow you to mess with people and do something you can't ordinarily due is really appealing, especially for younger people. With this mentatlity in mind I thought that the two ladies from Future Journeys (?) wouldn't find the game that appealing but one of them even played it! They gave it really positive feedback, I was stoked.

    The game I liked most was actually the fencing game. I really like physcial fighting or *play* fighting- me and my older brother used to do it all the time. I thought the scoring system was simplistic which was good and that it really does rely on your ability to dodge and block- it doesn't really matter how strong you are. Although, Paco still beat me : P I was thinking maybe if you wanted to take it further you could implement some kind of blocking button on the shoulder of the player or something that players would have to hit to disable the keyboard momentarily... This would make it feel more like a typical fighting video game. Either way though, I like it as is :) *And cute costumes!*
    The next game I liked was Bubble Bopper because it was really interactive and encompassed what I would look for in an 'exertion' game... I can imagine it being played on a really really wide big screen with lots of people. That would be awesome. Chaos! >:D
    Like Candy said the game with the lights was great because it was very intuitive. You didn't have to wait around for anyone to explain it to you, you just knew you had to throw the balls hit the light and make it turn on. Simple and fun! That's always good.
    Also I liked the scavenger game, I thought you thought of a great way to incorporate technology... We were playing around with a scavenger hunt idea too but were kind of stuck when it came to the implentation.. So when I saw yours I was like *Duh!* Why the fudge didn't I think of that >.> Haha! I think it would be a really fun game for big events because you can always change the themes ie. If played at Manifest all the "things to find" would be anime related? etc
    Oh yeah I loved the Mariokart balloon game too! That looked like awesome fun XD

  16. *please excuse typos ;_;

  17. Excellent demonstrations/demos everyone! I was so impressed with the scope of our imaginations and the boundries we were all willing to reach in order to make unique ideas for exertion games =] aspiring game designers yes?

    It was really helpful to recieve feedback from all our peers. As part of the group who designed 'HUNTER' I was delighted to recieve all the support and excitement everyone shared with our game idea. Criticsm was also very reasonable and understanding, and our group most certainly took that up for our benefit.

    A special shout out to the bubble popping game! I really second what everyone has said already about it. Simply amazing and an ideal exertion game that I can truly see people playing in a hectic multiplayer mode. That is all; the rest speaks for itself.

  18. awesome nightttt
    a lot or great games ...

    i m very interested with shouting game it looks so fun unfortunately when i was going to play that ,they already gone -_-...

  19. @Floyd
    yea, that could b the reason--blogspot got confused=S

  20. From Vangelis via the exertioninterfaces mailinglist:

    Hello Floyd, and team,

    I really enjoyed the videos! Such nice ideas. Actually I felt a bit jealous as watching is not really enough... I would love to participate!
    To be honest I sometimes find academia sooooo boring but that is definitely not the case in your approach. Although the majority of the interactive projects employ sophisticated cognitive interactions it seems that the real success lies on immersion and play. Before even think how to react within the digital setup the body takes action. Such flawless interaction with minimal effort in terms of digital design and sharp physical design is an absolute success!
    It is exciting to prove that technology doesn't necessarily need to be complex in order to serve the aim of interaction.
    Well done people...

    Kind regards

    Vangelis Lympouridis
    PhD Candidate
    AHRC funded
    School of Arts, Culture and Environment &
    School of Informatics
    University of Edinburgh

  21. Hey guys.

    Thanks to everyone who voted for Bubble Popper. The other members of Team Gorilla and I were overwhelmed by the positive response on the night, and overall, it was a very encouraging experience.

    Unfortunately, I was so busy with our own demonstration - and then lugging film equipment around afterwards - that I was unable to play absolutely everyone's exertion game. I was extremely miffed about this, but I still did my best to play as many other games as I could, and I apologise to those groups that I didn't get to see.

    Overall though, the games I did manage to play were fantastic. I thought everyone did a great job, and I find it exciting to know I am studying with so many talented and enthusiastic individuals.

    If anyone is interested, our Team G(orilla) blog is now open to the public, and a video of the Bubble Popper demonstration is on its way. So, tune on in!

    Til next time.


  22. Was a really great night, trying out and talking to people about their games was extremely fun and inspiring.

  23. Not only was Thursday a great night in teams of playing everyone's games and experiencing all the great ideas, but it was also great to mix with other people and get to know the others in our course better - had so much fun!
    As for our shouting game, sorry we had to pack it away, the lady holding a small lecture next door to ours told us off. :P

  24. I agree with Luke... its fantastic to be sharing a course with all of you, the innovation and creativity I saw amongst the projects was great for fostering respect for one another.

    I really must say I was very impressed with all the projects and really look forward to seeing what comes out next

  25. Last Thursdays lecture was insane! Congratulations to everyone for their demonstrations, there wasn’t one game that I didn’t like and if I had have had enough stickers you all would have got one. Each game was unique and it is encouraging to see that I am working with such a talented bunch of individuals.

    I don’t really have a favourite game because unfortunately I was unable to play all of them however I did really enjoy playing the Junkfooder’s game. It was a simple idea that kept me playing for ages and I found that every time I walked passed I just had to have another go at trying to hit those lights, great job guys!!! Another game I found interesting was the “Yell to Exhaustion” game, although I did not play it myself I had a ball watching others screaming into the microphone.

    Due to some technical difficulties our game (Hard Core Swimming) got off to a very rocky start. As Kane explained we experienced some complications with the calibration of our hardware and by the end of the first hour the team was well and truly ready to destroy my laptop lol. On the verge of giving up we managed to get the single player mode working correctly and successfully demoed our game for the remainder of the night. Seeing you guys enjoying our game made all the stress worth while and I personally want to thank the team, Kane, Alex, Christian and Amber, for all their hard work and dedication towards the project.

    Again great job everyone!! I can’t wait to see your games at the next demo night.

  26. Out of all games, I could not stop playing the tennis balls one, it was so much fun!

    The screaming ballon was a lot of fun too, the fact that you have to keep screaming to send that ballon up was so funny! It wasent funny anymore when I got the atencion of one of the lecture's and she told me off :( LOL :D

    I think the videos are excelent as well. Very good editing guys!

  27. I was very entertained from everyones exhertion games. They were clever and a lot of fun! I seriously couldn't decide who to give stickers. But in the end I made my choice.

    It was an honour to recieve many feedbacks, and stickers for my groups game. :D I applaud our video editing person (Cynthia) from my group, she did an excelent job on our video!

    Great job to everyone. I can't wait to see everyones games polished up next time. :D

  28. For all those of you who are interested, our Bubble Popper video is up. Either check it out on the Team G(orilla) blog, or on YouTube here:

    Hope you like it!

  29. All the games were very inspiring.
    I thought level of exhaustion needed to be very high, so that the players become tired after playing.
    But, maybe a game does not have to be tiring to be immersible.

  30. everyone hav great games n idea.. too bad that some of them closed so early and hav technical problem, so I cant try all the games..
    but it was very exiting night.. :D

  31. Most of all, the class was exciting as always! Through this demo of our individual exertion games, we were able to share substantial amount of knowledge regarding the implementation of technology into our games. I also have visited every single team (i believe i did visit them all..) and participated to their sample runs in order to know to what extent they are completed and actually fit the definition of exertion game. I was very amused throughout the whole time while i was playing them; moreover, some of the games were already at the stage of completion! I was inspired once again and did enjoy simultaneously :D

  32. The games everyone demo'd that night were awesome, like impossibly cool to the point where the biggest issue of the night was that I had nowhere near as many stickers as I needed. Bubble popper was a highlight because I was instantly comfortable with the game even though I had never played it before. There's something about games which use skills everyone already has which makes them so readily enjoyed. This also goes for extreme swimming, the Junkfooders game (throwing balls at the lights) or basically any of the games, now that I think about it. Also, the escalator game was awesome and has heaps of epic potantial so I'm definately hanging out to see where the rainbow rambo's take it. I was also really impressed with how all these games were brought together so quickly and effectivelt with the right people at the right time, good form everyone.

  33. I enjoyed the demo night very much. The best game of the whole night would have to be the swimming game with the Wii balance board. That game could be made for the Wii in a month or two and released as a real product. You guys should seriously talk to somebody at Nintendo about your idea.

    It was interesting to see the breadth of the ideas that were presented. We all had the same simple brief, yet the games we came up with are all quite different

  34. Should've posted here sooner :S

    The demo night was a pretty huge help to us at Team M. Thanks to it, we completely changed our idea because we realised that the tech would be running us up quite a lot. On the upside, as long as we can switch idea for the next project, it was a good learning experience.

    The bubble pop game was awesome. Simple but fun and a good implementation of tech, not to mention it didn't seem to have run them up much of a tab.

    Thanks to everyone of their feedback as well, it was really helpful and I think that because of this demo night we're on the right track.

  35. The demo night was wicked fun!

    It showed so many groups diverse ideas on exhertion games.

    I especially like the creativity of the balloon popping game, where the player was required to were a party hat with a pin at the top and pop as many balloons as he could before his appoint could. it was a lot of effort but a fun game.

    I also spent a long time running back and forth in the hall turning on a light. i still hold the longeset lap time :D

    Big thanks to everyone that took the time to view our games Idea, it could have been a reality with the right tech support, but we pulled off an enjoyable game anyway, one that we played our self's, and by showing you just how it could have worked.

    Great night, great games! (Web site) (Blog)

    I have no Internet.