Kinect-Controlled Tetris

Within my workplace, we have a window that we have filled with a flash-based game. Previously it received a lot of attention when you could dial in with your phone and play the game using your phone’s key pad.

Since then it has fallen in and out of repair. We are very busy with client projects so it happens very easily. During a down moment, I decided it would be great if we could modernize system. Mostly, I wanted a chance to play with the Kinect. I had one and enjoyed seeing the hacks people made with it.

I didn’t know where to start so I tried installing the stardard NIOpen kit and NITE and so one. Man, I was digging myself into a hole. I decided to search around so more and found the answers to my problem: I really just needed a mouse replacement. KinEmote to the rescue.

After successfully making an install of KinEmote, I tested it out. It worked well. I tested it outside in the window and it worked but that was during the infinite rain storm we were experiencing.

I moved onto the Adobe Flash modifications I needed to make. First, I did not know any Flash or action script. I determined I needed to alter the action scripts to continue to take in mouse movements and convert them into direction presses. I needed to update the game flow and some graphic screens. I should point out that I am not a great graphic artist. My stick figure drawing make children cry.

It was easy to make a new instructional screen and animate it. It was harder to indicate when you have made a sufficient gesture to move or rotate the game piece. This is where I prototyped a lot of UX ideas and tested them on my coworkers. Once we found something that worked, I tidied it up. I was ready to deploy.

For the first we weeks, it was ok. The occasional bar goer would come and play. Then the sun finally came back and the Kinect could no longer see anyone or anything during most of the day. *Sigh*

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