Programmers / Creators: Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath, Jenna Gavin, Matthew Martin
Shadow Showdown is a game first constructed in 2012 and later developed in 2013 in XnA, Visual Studio. It works by taking a person’s silhouette using the Kinect (V1) depth sensor and comparing it to a shape on screen. Player objective is to manoeuvre their body into a form that represents the digital shape on screen, with or without the aid of team members. The better they fill in the shape the higher the score. Obviously it is easier to fill in the shapes with more people playing, advocating cooperation will generate a better score.
The idea behind this game was to encourage players to interact in a more physical manner for a video game and push boundaries on social engagement. While most video games today are about hand-eye coordination, Shadow Showdown focuses on physical movement and social acts among players as they perform together into unnatural figures.
Points are awarded for how much is covered inside the shape and deducted for how much falls outside the area of the shape. There are two game modes for both collaborative and competitive play: campaign or quick game. There are up to 15 different shapes to fill in including high scores and selective names for bragging rights. Any number of people can play at a time and at any age level.
Shadow Showdown has been involved in a number of conferences over the past few years allowing for international exposure.
IE 2012 – Playing the System
The 8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment held in Auckland, New Zealand. The game showcased as a demonstration. It was an early prototype of the game, produced using Processing and a web camera. It was able to determine the difference between players and the environment by comparing a “background’ screenshot with a screenshot including the players.
ACM Creativity & Cognition 2013
Shadow Showdown was one of the demonstrations in the demo and posters session of C&C 2013 in Sydney, Australia. The current version of the game was completed and on display during the session. It grabbed the attention of many academic international speakers and developers who worked with similar technology and concepts.