The project was inspired by Golan Levin's interactive installations and I wanted to create interfaces that go beyond the laptop and phone screen. The project features a very simple and familiar game, Pong and engages the players in a battle among themselves, in blocking the ball with bars. This installation also helps in creating a social environment which enables people to interact with each other and have fun. Gesture based systems can be very useful in creating motion games that provide a more natural environment for game interactions. These systems are also becoming popular as ways of getting people to perform physical exercises and making the whole process more game like and interesting.
The game was designed to be controlled by hand movements, keeping in mind the optimum position of the player with respect to the camera. The players should score 10 points to win. The speed of the ball increases with time until someone scores. The visual feedback include lighting up of bars when they come in contact with the ball, sparks on the wall when the ball touches it and patterns containing dots and lines are generated in the background corresponding to the level of sound in the room. The players are highlighted with purple and pink colors and the program trains them to get their hand movements right. Finally, when a player wins, its is visually represented by genrating patterns around that player.
The application was created using Processing and Kinect Library. A canvas was used to draw the elements on the screen and control them using keyboard input and postion of the hand. A depth image was created using Kinect and the position of objects(hand) in a given range was identified. This position was then mapped to the height of the screen to determine the postition of the bar.
The application was tested with the students of New York University to obtain feedback regarding ease of use, extra features that could be incorporated, emotions while playing the game and most importantly if it was fun!