Hanging off a Bar is a game that plays with the idea of hanging over a wild river, projected underneath the player. The goal is to hang on for as long as you can.
Hanging off a Bar tires one out on the hands, arms and stomach quite quickly, even without any movement involved! Luckily, from time to time, there is a raft in the form of a set of logs coming by in the river. The player can jump on these rafts to rest and recover, but not for too long, because the raft disappears in the waterfall behind, and the player has to jump back up. There is a timer in front of the player in the form of seconds that shows the player how well she/he is doing. The longer the player is able to hang on, the less frequent the rafts become. They also become shorter and shorter, so there is less time for the player to recover, and they also arrive slower and slower, hence the player can see the raft approaching, but it just takes seemingly ‘forever’.
Technical implementation is very easy, a weight-sensitive platform detects whether or not the player is up in the air, and sends this data to the game engine.
Computer Gaming to Increase Exertion
This game shows how fantasy game elements, here animated rafts, can engage players to invest physical effort just a bit longer, as the player sees the raft arriving, being enticed to make it ‘just to the next one’. The game also helps us explore how different game elements have an effect on the player.
This work was supported by an HCSNet grant. Many thanks go to Bert Bongers at UTS, and Jos and Frank in the Interactivation Lab. The project was later recreated in the Exertion Games Lab with the help of Chad Toprak, Andrew Lewis, Jonathan Marquez, Dylan Sterland, Cheung Yi Kai, Eberhard Graether, Kyhil Duggan and Rhys van der Waerden. The idea originated from Luke Sayers in the Exertion Games class.