Can you create a deep, story-based title that also functions as an exergame? In this informative piece
, DeAngelis looks at the history of exercise gaming and explains how his CMU university project Winds Of Orbis
tries to twin the RPG and exercising for kids.
Referencing Dragon Warrior
for the NES, DeAngelis notes that from the beginning, RPGs have done little to improve players' health or real-world self-esteem, despite boosting their virtual self-esteem as their video game characters progressed:
"While their pixelated hero ran countless miles across countryside and engaged in hundreds of physical battles, the actual body of the gamer just spent dozens of hours doing thumb push-ups with their rear planted firmly to the couch.
Keep in mind that there's nothing wrong with a non-active video game; video games and physical relaxation generally go hand-in-hand.
But isn't it possible that there is an untapped market that would evolve the quest genre by combining it with active play? Could there be a reality that maps the player's actual limbs to the hero's virtual ones?"
Hoping to create an exergame with more depth than game like Dance Dance Revolution
and World Class Track Meet
, DeAngelis and his team of graduate students decided to develop a PC-based project titled The Winds of Orbis: An Active-Adventure
Unlike Wii games which only potentially simulate upper-body exercise, The Winds of Orbis
uses a Wii remote, a nunchuk, and a Dance Dance Revolution
"With the foot input established and re-purposed, the floodgates opened with ideas as we were able to literally place the child in a video game hero's shoes.
To make our hero jump over a chasm while being chased by a menacing enemy, the player will jump in their living room; when our hero unleashes a three-step melee combo on an antagonist, the player will not only swing their arms with the Wii remote, but move their feet in conjunction to mimic the attack of their avatar.
The child will be actively engaged in a traditional action-adventure experience, but their mind will be focused in the flow of the gameplay and aesthetic beauty of the world, not on burning calories."
You can now read the full feature
on creating an alternative to sedentary video game experiences with an epic adventure exergame (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).