In a game design course in 2013, Alex and his classmates decided to push the boundaries of how we think about the Microsoft Kinect. The end result: an entirely new interface. Umbra: Beyond Shadows uses 2 Kinects, 2 projectors, and a semi-transparent screen to create a physical game environment akin to a volleyball court: 2 teams on 2 sides of a flat surface. In the case of Umbra, the rear-mounted projectors created intentional shadows on the screen, standing in for player avatars. The game leveraged extensive research into the relationship between how realistic avatars are and cross-player experience. Umbra succeeded in making players feel uncomfortable expressing outwardly antagonistic behavior toward their highly realistic avatar opponent.
Umbra: Beyond Shadows was a finalist in the CHI 2013 Student Game Design Competition under the category of Innovative Interface. Read the 2 page paper here.