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!

Tracking Feet with Luke's Wiimote trick for a dance instructor game

From the Stanford lab I will be visiting:

The Dance Instructor - Final Demo from Troy Brant on Vimeo.