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