Dane Wheaton


My roles: Design, programming, science!

Propel, composed of the minigames Supernova, Jettison, and Horizon, is a gesture-based physical therapy game developed in contract with Illinois State University.

Read the accompanying scientific paper here.


The game is also the subject of an accompanying peer-reviewed scientific research paper on the relationship between quality of movement, player engagement, and physical recovery. I was the sole programmer/developer on the project, working closely with Dr. Kristin Carlson and Kimberly Hobby, researchers in the field of technology design for movement interaction.


The game utilizes gesture detection libraries for the Kinect 2. It was exciting to see how the system’s gesture detection confidence improved as more gesture data accumulated, even while this aspect added many interesting obstacles to the testing process.

I also enjoyed working with Kristin and Kim, because of their backgrounds in academia and their work with physical therapy patients. I learned a lot from them.

They were equally excited to learn about game design, and had a knack for applying principles such as color theory, reward systems, and player feedback to their movement-based gameplay objectives. Plus, I was very happy to collaborate on a scientific research paper.

You can read the research paper here.

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