19 August 2012

The challenge

We were asked to create an interactive application that combined multiple devices using Adobe® AIR® technology. Both design and development were important in this project, which had to reflect the sum of our knowledge after three years in college. The assignment called for an easy-to-use application, well designed and bug free. Because I believe in the vision and possibilities of using your body to interact with other devices, I chose the Kinect Sensor.

All about fun

I didn't want to make an interface as my first project, so I chose to make a game instead — one that wasn't hard to play, but just fun to do with a couple of friends or your family. The number one feature in most games is to be the best. So that aspect had to come into the game, but the best in what? Since playing with the Kinect requires you to jump and move around, the games are always simple, fun, and short (Kinect is pretty tough).

About the game

The main character in the game is called Mark. Mark is a blue bird with one eye, always happy but with a major problem: He fell out of his nest.

Your challenge is to fly Mark back to his place by, yes indeed, spreading your wings (arms for the non-flying creatures among us). The faster you fly, the higher your score!

That's cool, but I knew that the fun part would be the multiplayer feature. In that part of the game you didn't fall out of your nest, but race against each other with the same movements players have to make in single-player mode.

What role AIR plays in solving the problem

AIR and AIRKinect (written by Wouter Verweirder) made it possible to develop the entire game in ActionScript® 3.0 rather than use the Kinect SDK to communicate with the Kinect Sensor. I started the project as I would start a web project; the only thing I needed was to choose a desktop project.

The final game

I asked two kids to play Mark for Kinect, and here you can see the end result.