More than Human Centred Design


Playing With Shadows: An Exploration of Calm Game Interaction

  • Stijn Langendries, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Xuezhi Yan, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Zijun Yin, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Chen Zhang, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Yifeng Zhang, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Kathrin Gerling, Department of Computer Science, e-Media Research Lab, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Luc Geurts, e-Media Lab, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Kymeng Tang, EMedia Lab, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Bert Vandenberghe, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • Corresponding email(s): kathrin.gerling@kuleuven.be
  • Research group webpage
  • ACM DL Link: Extended Abstract

Shadventures is a cooperative game that focuses on calm game interaction. Both players need to work together to help the avatar progress through the game. We wanted to create an experience that invites players to carefully explore, coordinate with each other, and reach the end of the game together, peacefully and in a fashion that's more quiet than many other games. One player interacts with the game through a box in which they insert their hands, and where movement is recorded to be transmitted to the game. This player's hands form part of the game environment, and can sometimes be used to interact with it. The other player uses traditional keyboard input to control the avatar.

Who is the target audience and why design for them? Anyone who is curious to explore and connect with other people is the target audience of our system. We hope that we can speak to people who play games and those who don't play them (yet) alike.

What were the challenges or limitations encountered in this project? One of the biggest challenges throughout development was making sure that hand tracking was responsive and intuitive. Let us know your thoughts!

What are the opportunities and next steps for this project? More generally, we hope that our project encourages reflection on the current state of the art in game input, and how we can build games that facilitate quiet, careful, and calm player interaction. In the future, we are curious to find out how this paradigm can be applied to different types of games.

To the Demo Visitors: We would like to know how our demo makes you feel: do you think that you would be stressed, would you find the experience relaxing, or is there another word that you would use to describe your anticipated experience? Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!