Zombie Yoga - Subjective Game Design

Doris Rusch


This paper discusses the design process of "Zombie Yoga", a metaphorical, third-person, single-player Kinect game in which the player does Yoga poses to overcome emotional issues. The focus lies on the two main iterations the game underwent from its conception and initial design in the winter of 2010 to its completion in the summer of 2012. These iterations reflect a shift from a more objective, outward oriented approach to a subjective design approach that draws on personal life experiences and is informed by my own meaningful play with the game's main themes: loss, individuation and recovering playfulness. It explores how embracing subjectivity was the key to opening up the game's emotional range, increasing gameplay opportunities and facilitated the development of an uncompromisingly authentic and metaphorically rich experience that intends to provide meaningful play and emotional empowerment for players.