Slapstream is a video game where you have to dodge onscreen obstacles by slapping yourself in the face.

It uses a Kinect to track the position and velocity of your hands and their distance from your face. Once it detects a slap, your onscreen character will move in the direction that your face reels. A more powerful slap to the face will result in greater movement onscreen.

The idea came out of my interest in making a novel game interface, and also sort of as an experiment to see how much inconvenience people will put up with for the sake of fun or competition.

To see my initial project proposal, click here.


Current code:

The code is available on Github here. There is also some incremental update history here, but I lost tracking of some of my later development updates because my saving practices broke my Github directories. I’ll try to restore them to working order before I continue work on the program.

Current state and future plans:

When I demoed Slapstream, it was still very much a prototype – the hero and obstacles were represented by circles, debug information was visible all over the screen, and many features I wanted to implement were missing.  However, I was pleased with the actual action of slapping – it was fairly responsive, and the movement of the character onscreen did map pretty well to the direction and speed of the user’s slaps.

I’d like to implement a scoring system, make obstacles fall more quickly over time, add 2-player capability, and replace the circles with less abstract graphics.

I got started learning the process of coding with the Kinect from the book Making Things See by Greg Borenstein.

The parallax motion of the stars was just very slightly modified from the motion seen in William Smith’s sketch on OpenProcessing.

Special thanks to Dan Shiffman, Mark Kleback, Ben Smith, and Genevieve Hoffman for coding help.

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