In 2016, I was working for an agency that had a sub-specialization in sports, which blessed me with the opportunity to work on a rogue project for the 2016 US Open: a video game, controlled using the Microsoft Kinect, inside of a booth space at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Moving into the project I had absolutely no experience developing in C#, using Visual Studio, and the Microsoft Kinect API. We had a cut-throat budget and only three months to complete the project (between June and September), and, with some dark Craigslist magic, my team and I found a seasoned coding veteran (whom I have deep admiration for) – David Gaynes –  that had done some experimentation on the Kinect.

Aside from the game, we had to design the play space within the booth, as well as decide how manage it, as well as log people into our game through a third party technology that handled check-ins, scheduling and more for the event at large.

-share concepts from beginning of game-

He had a basic demo using the Kinect v1, but it showed the ins and outs of the Kinect API and helped me get a jump start on the game.

The Kinect uses multiple cameras – an RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone, which, when used together with some fancy firmware and software, can allow your body to work as a controller.

Each axis of your body (from your head, neck, arms, hands, hips and feet) can be detected within the camera’s depth map, and can be used as triggers to create events inside of Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation – and when you render a court, tennis balls, and stick figures on top, you get a full kinect video game.

This was truly one of the best experiences in my adult life. I hope you enjoyed learning about how it was made as much as I had making it!

Check out a video of the project!

Development – what problems did I run into? what did I accomplish? Game, QR scanner, Fish API.

The Event – what I got out of it, what it was like to be there, anecdotes

What did I take away from the experience? What can I share to my readers?

Did you enjoy reading this and want to get in touch? Feel free to contact me!