Beneath the Surface is a multi-touch based game inspired by the concept of assisting patients with serious injuries of the arm, shoulder and wrist in the rehabilitative process. It attempts to accomplish this goal in two ways. Firstly It is designed to alleviate the tedium that many patients may experience while completing the repetitive aspects of their physical therapy through its interactive mechanics. Secondly, these mechanics employ a series or assigned gestures to help to exercise the the arm in multiple directions.
Gameplay consists of juggling a few different mechanics simultaneously in order to maximize the speed with which the game’s health meter reaches 100% time. The goal is to attain 100% health in the shortest time possible. The player must touch the screen to rehabilitate muscles, cure wounds and destroy pathogens to facilitate the healing process in the game. The challenges are designed so as to give rise to a diverse array of movements across the screen. The gestures that the prototype include a swipe, rubbing back and forth, striking through and circling.
The theme of Beneath the Surface was developed around the literal idea of the body’s healing processes. The level design is organized around the internal view of an abstracted body part; it references various corporeal structures in its presentation. The dangers take the form of wounds and invading pathogens that threaten to infect the injured muscle. The game asks the player to participate by taking on the role of the body’s restorative mechanisms to heal the game environment while inviting them to contemplate their own therapy. The game aims to perform on this layer of concentration/meditation while simultaneously helping to rehabilitate the player physically. It communicates the health of the environment and its structures both through the GUI and diegetically.
In order to achieve our goal of having the theme built around assisting in physiological rehabilitation of the hand muscles we had built the game keeping the Microsoft’s surface pad platform in mind as the screen size of the surface pad is quite enormous and thus playing this multi-touch enabled game would allow for maximum movement of the hand and thus exercising all the hand muscles together and the most. However it can be easily played on any touch device achieving the same result, however of course for lesser number of muscles. Moreover it is a fun game so it is not restricted to the primary population(rehab patients) we initially aimed for while building it. It can even be played on non-touch desktops with a mouse. So in all, I am really proud of this project that we developed.
In game screenshots:
The initial dark color represents the muscles at 0% health. The color brightens up as you heal them more and more giving a sense of muscles getting healthier and healthier as their better care is taken.
Note the red color getting brighter and making the screen look healthier. Sparkles on the screen represent the touch location. To give a nice visual, as you swipe across the screen a nice fading trail of sparkles is left behind the touch.
(Game Developed by: Ankit Deliwala, Kushagra Gupta, Matthew Mundell, Robert Lumsden)