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iPhone: Guru Meditation

05-21-2009, 11:47 AM
#1
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,799
Guru Meditation

I stumbled across this "game" last night. Marks for originality, at least. If you have noisy kids, you could do us all a favor on the bus and get them hooked on "playing" this.

Quote:
*** Some iPhone 3G & iPod Touch 2G users may experience oversensitivity. A Motion Sensitivity option has been added and is in Apple review ***

"Achieve Mobile Enlightenment With Guru Meditation"
--G4 TV

"If you want to relax but just canít seem to break away from your iPhone, Guru Meditation could be just the app you need."
--Weekly App Store Pick, the Apple Blog

"The lines between handheld, retro and next-gen gaming have never been so blurred, and hats must go off to Ian for accomplishing such an unusual and ambitious project as Guru Meditation."
--iPhone Otaku

Guru Meditation is a relaxation game. Unlike most videogames, it is played through a lack of interaction rather than an abundance of it.

The game is an iPhone port of my Atari 2600 game of the same name, itself an homage to the folkloric game played by Amiga OS developers on a Joyboard peripheral, circa 1982.

(A numbered limited edition of 10 for Atari is also available, with Atari console, Joyboard and yoga mat -- see website below.)

To start, tap the bouncing iPhone icon on the title screen. The game requires that you hold your iPhone or iPod Touch as still as possible. A screen will help you orient your device: place your thumbs on the bottom corners of the display, hold the device parallel to the floor, and insure that the noise level around you is kept to a minimum (microphone input on iPhone only).

Once the input requirements are met, a yogi will appear. The yogi slowly rises if you remain properly situated. After a few moments, he will float gently and the timer will start. Remain calm and focused.

Time passes subtly during the game. Clouds move. The time of day changes, roughly every hour, from day to dusk to night to dawn. You can select a different starting time of day by waiting to choose a starting point on the title screen.

If you move or a sound disrupts you, the yogi will fall and the game will end. Touch the screen to see your recorded time for this session, as well as your average meditation time across all sessions. You might consider setting a meditation target for yourself each day, and using the average score display as a way to track your goals.










As a side note, the developer is also offering a limited (autographed) Atari edition for diehard videyogis, which includes;

Quote:
Guru Meditation cartridge, for use on the Atari VCS (2600)

Original Atari VCS (2600), with controllers and modern television hookups

Original Amiga Joyboard controller, for use with this game or any other Atari game

Custom-printed yoga mat with Atari sprite-styled "Om"

Printed game instruction card


 /l、
(゚、 。 7
 l、 ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ
05-21-2009, 11:50 AM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,680
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Wow, i have to admit, this looks really appealing for the individual who wants to meditate but does not have the discipline to get into it.

Artist | Designer
@PixelDogmeat

05-23-2009, 04:48 AM
#3
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,799
Just updated to v1.1:

Quote:
Originally Posted by What's New
Added Motion Sensitivity slider option in iPhone Settings app.

If you had problems with oversensitivity on your device, this update will allow you to correct for it.
Also (I hope the dev doesn't mind me posting this) I asked how much the Atari bundle is. The answer is $2000. Makes the iPhone port seem like a steal for 99 cents. I just thought mentioning this might raise the stakes and create some interest in discussion. As it is, this thread would totally win the game (or "anti-game" if you prefer.)
05-23-2009, 04:56 AM
#4
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,023
being a massive retro fan i grabbed this a couple weeks ago and gave it a spin.

its a very failthful port of the original atari 'game' but i had some problems getting anywhere.

have sat very still for 10 mins, holding the device still and with no background noise, best i can get is to the screen with the buddah trying to float. my score never increased

guess im not very zen!

Currently playing: Joe Dever's Lone Wolf and FM2014
05-23-2009, 04:59 AM
#5
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acidbottle View Post
being a massive retro fan i grabbed this a couple weeks ago and gave it a spin.

its a very failthful port of the original atari 'game' but i had some problems getting anywhere.

have sat very still for 10 mins, holding the device still and with no background noise, best i can get is to the screen with the buddah trying to float. my score never increased

guess im not very zen!
It took me a while to figure out that the device needs to be parallel to the floor. If either motion or sound is the problem, that will be indicated by the icons in the upper left portion of the screen.
05-23-2009, 05:08 AM
#6
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 686
Nice idea but having to hold in parallel to the floor means that it is dictating my posture (not good because I'll determine my most comfortable position) and should I decide to get into that I will inevitably disturb it should I want to take a look at the screen - which I have to do to see what has been put there.

There is also a time and a place for faithful graphics (Boulderdash) and this isn't really it.

A 'game' like this would be great but this seems flawed for the above.
05-23-2009, 05:15 AM
#7
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,799
I have invited the developer to join the discussion. Maybe he will take your suggestion. I would agree that stipulating the orientation of the phone is a seemingly unnecessary restriction. I guess he was expecting everyone to play like this:

05-23-2009, 09:17 AM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: U.K.
Posts: 1,395
Having studie, practised and taught meditation for many years, I would suggest to adopt a position similar to that of the picture, as much as that is comfortable for you. The idea is that by aligning the spine in this way, the whole upper body and head are supported by the skeletal structure allowing the muscles to relax. The practice of Yoga exercises can be used to undo any discomfort or tensions such a posture would cause for any of us unfamiliar with it.

As for the game, and meditation itself, the best results would be obtained by holding the game perfectly horizontal either with your hands (but this would not allow you to relax your hands and fingers fully) or preferably by placing the idevice on the floor or on a table in front of you. This should also generate the best scores. Best results are obtained through daily practice morning and evening, trying to keep the induced state of mind and awareness throughout the rest of the day.

Playing: Solipskier, Edge, Ground Effect, Bobble Surfer, Minigore, 2012 Zombies vs Aliens, iSR, Pocket God, Slotz, Zen Bound 2, Crazy Snowboard, Vector Tank, ...
05-23-2009, 10:50 AM
#9
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acidbottle View Post
have sat very still for 10 mins, holding the device still and with no background noise, best i can get is to the screen with the buddah trying to float. my score never increased
As the posts above note, make sure you're holding the device horizontally, as show in the image. You might also grab the 1.1 update in case you need to adjust the motion sensitivity. It turns out that the accelerometer calibration varies, even within the same model. Thank you Apple :/
05-23-2009, 10:54 AM
#10
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by starjimstar View Post
I have invited the developer to join the discussion. Maybe he will take your suggestion. I would agree that stipulating the orientation of the phone is a seemingly unnecessary restriction. I guess he was expecting everyone to play like this:
I'm here Thanks for inviting me.

The orientation is intentional, and I suspect if you are having trouble with it you may want to grab the 1.1 update and ratchet down the sensitivity. There is meant to be some play in the orientation, such that you don't have to be perfectly still, can look at the screen obliquely, etc.

But as 'Jeep notes, the enforcement of what is essentially a Sukhasana yoga position was intentional. Of course, the touch requirements mean that you do have to hold the device, something I thought was necessary to make it a game.