Zombie Yoga

“Zombie Yoga” is a third-person, single player Kinect game for emotional empowerment. Equipped with a lightball (an external manifestation of one’s inner light), the player enters a metaphorical gamespace – the mind of burnt-out dancer Aya – and embarks on a journey into the soul, to heal and liberate Aya’s inner child.

Directing the lightball with Yoga poses (e.g. Warrior I sends it up, Warrior II forward, variations of Goddess pose send it to either side and Tree pose calls it back) one fights an inner darkness by illuminating the gamespace and diffusing Zombies (representations of inner fears) into black smoke.

The journey takes the form of a downward leading spiral path that leads from the present to the main character’s childhood. On the way, the player faces three challenges from Aya’s past: her struggle to accept her grandpa’s death; individuation from an overbearing mother and recovery her authentic, playful sense. These challenges are presented as stations on the spiral path and contain (e)motion puzzles.

At the bottom of the spiral, the inner child is trapped in a black bone cage. Completing each station opens up the bone cage until the inner child is liberated. The game banks on the emotional and mental potential of the Yoga poses themselves to empower the players, as well as on visualizing one’s “inner light” as the light ball and giving the player agency over it.


Gameplay proof of concept for Zombie Yoga



Final version of Zombie Yoga being played at CDM, DePaul University



Early tech demo of Zombie Yoga



Installation Instructions

Here are the links to download the software. They need to be installed in this exact order:

  1. Windows SDK and .NET framework 4.0
  2. Kinect SDK here

Lastly, here is the build with the keyboard shortcuts: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B7grmzDIfwVkRkcyRkp3TjQ2OFU&usp=sharing. Both the .exe and folder need to sit inside the same directory. When hitting “1″ on the keyboard during the game, it takes you to the beginning of the first hallway, “2″ takes you to beginning of the second hallway, and “3″ takes you to the beginning of the third hallway.

Here are some idiosyncrasies that we found:

  • Make sure the Kinect you are using actually works first and the red light is on (try it out with another game to make sure)
  • Run the build using the “fast” or “fastest” mode
  • It needs a space with little distractions to function best
  • If someone walks in front of the Kinect, it will lose track of the player. Hold your hand  to cover the sensor for a couple of seconds to reset.
  • Hold one or both hands up in the air and move them slightly until the Kinect recognizes you. It is very temperamental.


Mother Scene - Infected
Mother Scene
Hallway to Playroom
Hallway to Mother
Grandfather Scene
Zombie Yoga Screenshot

Development Team

  • David Laskey
  • Kevin Knight
  • Serguei Fedorov
  • Daniel Rose
  • Christos Lappas
  • Ricky Roberson
  • Tom Field
  • Nick Edgerton
  • Frank Lalich
  • Jorge Murillo
  • Graham Gilreath
QA / Design:
  • Brian Gabor
  • Ryan Reynolds
  • Andrew Mortega
  • Patrick Burns
Art department:
  • Trisha de Salvo
  • Justin Capitan
  • Jon Karavas
  • Eric Spafford
  • Robert Rosochacky
  • Joe Elsey
  • Mike Langley
  • Ron Bailey
  • Laura Wargo

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