Kinect hacked to work with Garry’s Mod means endless hours of virtual fun


[John B] is a software engineer and had some spare time on his hands, so he started messing around with his Kinect which had been sitting unused for awhile. He wanted to see what he could create if he was able to get Kinect data into a virtual environment that supported real-world physics. The first idea that popped into his head was to interface the Kinect with Garry’s Mod.

If you are not familiar with Garry’s Mod, it is a sandbox environment built on top of Valve’s Source engine. The environment supports real-world physics, but beyond that, it pretty much lets you do or build anything you want. [John] found that there was no good way to get Kinect data into the software, so he built his own.

He used OpenNI to gather skeletal coordinate data from Kinect, which was then passed to some custom code that packages those coordinates inside UDP packets. Those packets are then sent to a custom Lua script that is interpreted by Garry’s Mod.

The result is just plain awesome as you can see in the video below. Instead of simply playing some random game with the Kinect, you get to design the entire experience from the ground up. The project is still in its infancy, but it’s pretty certain that we’ll see some cool stuff in short order. All of the code is available on github, so give it a shot and share your videos with us.


  1. Ian C says:

    I’ve been waiting for this for YEARS!

  2. Gigawatts says:

    That is amazing! Looks like I’ll be needing to pick up a Kinect soon…

  3. andrew says:

    Hmm. I’m trying to install OpenNI to play with skeleton tracking — given the video it just looks “ok.” It seems to think his elbows are much higher than they appear in the video.

  4. zool says:

    wow, endless lulz

  5. Drake says:

    Must … add … input … filtering ….

  6. msc says:

    I wonder what the bottom of that avatar’s shoe looks like.

  7. UltimateJim says:

    Omg. Amazing!

  8. Alex says:

    This + LCD goggles and a large room = The Matrix.

  9. h_2_o says:

    now i gotta find a kinect to buy for no reason except silly drunk fun.

  10. kojac says:

    Thay should change the music to this:

    That song is on every Garry’s Mod video.

  11. dbear says:

    I agree with Alex
    VG goggles and this = primitive Holodeck
    Just need some way to make your feet hurt when you kick the boxes.

  12. dbear says:

    oops VR goggles

  13. Grayda says:

    Right, that’s it. Next payday, I’m picking up a Kinect.

  14. adamziegler says:

    I have the joy of being able to utilize one of these environments on a semi-regular basis:

    Seems this would be fun to play with in the environment….

  15. TheEngy says:

    Oooooh. This+internet=virtual fight club. Yeeeesss. =]

  16. Maave says:

    That is insanely awesome. Like people said before, this+VR goggles.

  17. therian says:

    now wait for porn industry to hold on this technology

  18. Bobmonkey07 says:

    this could make the various fighting games interesting.

  19. chango says:

    kojac: Kinect is having a wonderful time

  20. willy says:

    Wow, just wow.

  21. Jim says:

    Win with awesome-sauce on top.

  22. Nam says:

    The screenshot made me think that he did a flying kick .. This project may teach kids learning martial Art in the future .. lol

  23. merrick says:

    Crowd-sourced zombie movie – GO!

  24. Annie Moose says:

    …yeah, I’m sold. I want a Kinect now.

  25. techartisan says:

    Hmm…kinect…garys mod….plus

    might want it a little bigger in diameter….maybe with some curve to get some wrap at the top?

    on top of one of these….

  26. techartisan says:

    oops got my links flipped….sorry

  27. Drackar says:

    This, that treadmill.

    Now we just need to cover sensation, somehow. And smell. Hearing and vision we can do any number of ways…but touch and smell? Not so much.

  28. Tony says:


  29. Drake says:

    is this only for osx?!?

  30. Grant says:

    Yeah it is only for osx.e Dont worry though, kinect’s tracking on computers isn’t very good, quite buggy.

  31. Drake says:

    Grr. I love re-writing code for other platforms. I love re-writing code for other platforms. I love re-writing code for other platforms. I love re-writing code for other platforms. I love re-writing code for other platforms.

    Maybe If i say it enough I will like it.

    If I do get it going on 7 I will post in forums k?

  32. Drake says:

    Well. Got the server running on a separate computer communicating to gmod bit on the laggy side but works …

  33. Mario World says:

    That’s amazing. Just need some goggles and it would be like virtual reality.

  34. Filthma says:

    Excellent! now, how do i acctually download openNl… hmm

  35. chuck says:

    my friend con figured his kniect to zombie panic source ;)

  36. Kevin says:

    I NEED THIS KINECT! i already have a xbox 360, so i can use other hacks 2.

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