I am just too damn lazy for Kinect. Having conversations with kinect? That just sounds exhausting.
Waving my arms around? Too much like work. Ill admit it, my barrier is laziness.
Ive gotten drunk and played dance central a couple of times, and that is great with friends. Do I really want to make the same effort to play a game by myself? Not really.
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I am just too damn lazy for Kinect. Having conversations with kinect? That just sounds exhausting.
oh hey I was mentioned on the Gamepro liveblog, neat =P
zegolf I’ll definitely say this, the best way to integrate Kinect into hardcore items is to have a passive voice recognition active. The reason for this is because it’s an *Additional* control, rather then replacing your hands, which are (I hope) the most dexterous objects on your body, or giving everything to voice command (like that one old game where you guided that one girl, I forget its name -_-) have it as a suppliment, particularly to key particular AI or predesignated routines is a brilliant idea, that only requires decent voice recognition to work
This could also be amazing for a 2 player co-op experience, with a detailed enough minimap or perhaps streaming to some other controller/display device (Iphone/android?) You could be a soldier on the ground while your buddy controls AI movements and squads in a sort of battlefield commander role.
Could be good times!
Ya know, as the resident “I only pop on here when I’ve got something to say that nobody is going to read anyway, and also to advertise something that nobody really pays attention to, or to just say “Great show”” guy on this squawkbox, allow me to be the first to defend Microsoft and say that, except for that stupid Star Wars game which NOBODY wants, I was actually a bit impressed with their showing, especially with Kinect.
As someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to play games anymore, things like Kinect Fun Labs are a great way for me to convince my “better half” that what I’m doing ISN’T really a time waster, and that she, too, can have fun with video games. This allows me to give her a better understanding of what it is I’m fascinated with, and gives me more time to play things like L.A. Noire.
Getting drunk on a Friday night? There aren’t a lot of things more fun than having friends over and dicking around with something like Dance Central. Sure, you look like an ass, but so does everyone else, and that’s the fun of it.
I’m really jazzed up about Mass Effect 3’s integration of Kinect, even if it does seem a bit added-on, and won’t really make a big difference in gameplay, but ask yourself this:
How many times have you sat on your couch, yelling at Tali to flank right? How many times has Garrus retreated, when you wanted him to charge head-long into the thick of battle?
Game developers have to do SOMETHING with this new technology, lest it go the way of Playstation Move and the Wii. So they use the camera and voice recognition a bit more, and stay away from motion controls.
As for me? My inner redneck can’t wait to load up Ghost Recon and just say “Random Gun” a few thousand times, just to see what combinations I can get, seeing as I’ll never get the chance to actually play with something like that.
I know the Squad prides itself on being smart gamers, and intellectuals, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some stupid fun now and again. I mean, really, what is the video game world offering us in terms of innovation? Each one of the Big 3 is at fault for giving us the same shit-content again and again, so good on Microsoft for stepping outside of the box with some of there stuff and trying something new.
And when all else fails, at least we can shoot shit.
/end fanboi rant.
@RocGaude I really enjoyed Darksiders. Probably my sleeper pick of the year. I worried, going into it, that the rumors of it being a Zelda clone were going to ruin the experience.
It is a Zelda clone, and that’s awesome. The item collection is great, back-tracking (which I was worried about) is pretty fun and the boss fights are epic. The game, in true metal fashion, goes over-the-top on every aspect. It’s the metal game that Brutal Legend was hoping to be.
Also (and I’ve already been judged by @feenwager) I picked Kinect this weekend. Say what you will about it being a Wii clone, or flash-in-the-pan, or gimmicky, it’s a lot of God damned fun. My gal and I played for about 3 hours on Sunday after we picked it up and enjoyed making asses of ourselves. We grabbed Dance Central along with Kinect Adventures.
Let me preface this by saying that my genetic code somehow neglected to gain any ounce of rhythm. I still had a blast dancing, learning the dances and generally having a good time. I want to believe in the tech, and I felt that the best way to support it was to buy it. Now that I’m in 100%, I have no choice but to enjoy it.
@bigdaddygamebot thanks for the thoughts.
Not gonna lie, there’s a tech-nerd-early-adopter in me that wants to run out and buy thie thing based on the tech alone. That said, it ain’t happening until there’s a game worth playing. Something tells me it’s gonna be a while.
@bigdaddygamebot Thanks for that.
I watched the Giant Bomb quick looks of the Kinect games (funny as hell…especially the Action Sports one) and got pretty bummed about my lack of required space when I saw Dance Central. Seriously, I’m into that shit something fierce. Dance Masters, however…woof.
Alright…so I picked up kinect yesterday and I can say right now…zero buyer’s remorse. Which is entirely odd. I felt some when I bought a 360. I felt much when I bought a Wii. I would have felt a great deal had I not won my PS3. So not feeling any when I buy Kinect, when I am definitely not the target demographic and definitely not the “guy” who wants to “interact” with his games; it’s all quite surprising.
Let’s get the negative things out of the way.
Voice commands. I’m in Canada so there isn’t a whole lot of functionality for us beyond “playing games” so there really isn’t much of a reason to use it beyond, “Hey, look what I can do with my Xbox!” It’s bulletproof though. It worked flawlessly and there was zero calibration involved. The one function I want…power on and power off, isn’t there. I’m sure there’s a reason (most likely a lame one as opposed to something compelling), but coming into the room and saying “Xbox…Power On” is totally sexy and completely worth the price of admission…at least I think so.
Sunlight. I set up Kinect upstairs first where there was more room and I wasn’t blown away by the “Kinect” experience. It wasn’t until I took it downstairs to my man-cave and set it up, that everything started working great and I realized that sunlight somehow screws up the IR sensor of the Kinect bar. Then when I was setting up Kinect ID (Kinect recognizes you and loads your profile automatically), it actually clued me in about the sunlight thing. (Could have read the manual I guess?)
Space. You will need it. You won’t need as much as what some people on the interblag are saying but…you want about an 8′ by 4′ space. It’s still a bit tight and I found I was a bit cramped with some more advanced Dance Central moves.
Profile confusion – This might just be me because I’m an achievement whore but for those of you that have played any 360 multiplayer games on one t.v. has experience profile confusion. Who is signed in, who isn’t, who is controlling the options, etc. Not a terrible thing, just confusing.
Kinect Hub – There isn’t a way to get out of the hub and back to the vanilla hub short of picking up the controller which may or may not be nearby. Once again, not terrible but the transition from Kinect back to controller isn’t as seamless as I would like, but most likely others are fine with it.
So…yeah…those five things. None of them terrible. Not even the sum of their parts is enough to make the entire experience a bad one. You will best know if you have the space for it or the proper lighting conditions and those don’t make Kinect “bad tech”. It just makes Kinect bad for YOU, if you dig?
Good things…it’s sexy tech and it worked IMMEDIATELY. It’s not particularly confusing to use and I didn’t notice any real “lag” like some guys on GAF complain about. I certainly enjoy using Kinect more than a Wii Mote and that might just be the gaming snob in me, but who knows? The microphone works great on it and I don’t have to use a headset anymore in party chat which is nice.
I have Kinect Adventures, Kinectimals and Dance Central.
As revolutionary as it was, the first time I brought home Guitar Hero a couple years back, Dance Central captures that again. By the time I hit the third song in this game, I was in over my head but it’s actually pretty clever. You really need to follow through with every motion and it really just takes practice. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m “dancing” at the easy levels, but more posing and looking like a huge nob but moving up to medium definitely starts bringing the dance moves together. I think this thing is going to be huge. (I hope this is going to be huge). It’s ridiculously fun and Dance Central alone makes Kinect worth buying…and I suck at it…
Kinect Adventures is much better than I had expected and has better production values than I would have though a first generation launch title for new hardware would be. It’s polished. It’s fun. It shows off the functionality of Kinect quite well, and people joining in and playing with you is seamless (especially if you have Kinect ID hooked up with person joining in.). My four year old daughter LOVES it and she can play it although she thought I was crazy when I said you don’t play with a controller. She couldn’t wrap her brain around it at first.
Kinectimals – Cute, seemingly well put together but I don’t have any real grasp of the depth of gameplay. hope to try more of it this weekend.
I certainly am not encouraging everyone to go out and get Kinect and the way it works, I really don’t see how a game can come out that uses Kinect that becomes a “Day One Mutha Fucka!” purchase for me. It’s really, REALLY sexy tech and it’s pretty damn cool, and so far, zero glitches. I’m really impressed with it.
I’ve made it no big secret that I’m pre-ordering Kinect (I’m a sucker for punishment). Just got finished watching Petey M’s talk from TED on Milo. You can’t deny that this isn’t promising as far as future development goes…
And judge me all you want…
…I’m pre-ordering Kinect when I get home from work tonight. I want to believe.
@beige: I should stand corrected on the Kinect issue, I was a little outspoken about it the other day. Apologies to @scribl and @Shinogu 🙂 Though Microsoft haven’t actually confirmed whether or not you can sit down while playing it. They claim to be “working on it”.
The issue is supposedly that it can’t work out where your skeleton is while you’re sitting down. Perhaps it thinks you suddenly got really short or something.
It’ll be interesting to see if Ubi’s variation on Kinect’s technology, which claims to track a million points instead of sixteen, will fare any better. That said, most of Ubi’s Kinect games will require standing, as they’re fitness or dancing games.
I couldn’t have expressed my feelings about gameplay any better then @iscariot83. Well said, man…and so glad that you’re back chatting with us. 🙂
I’m with you guys on the toy aspect of games. I don’t have a lot of free time, but if I want to do something that’s fun, engaging, stretches my brain a little, and gives me a sense of creative problem solving, I’m going to bust out a sketch pad, not a control pad. And yes I know we’re technically talking about a control system that doesn’t involve a physical controller at all, but I couldn’t resist the cheesy sketch/control-pad parallel wordplay thing.
The point is, I’m not looking for a fun way to kill a few hours. I have a lot of stuff I can do with my time that will be just as enjoyable as a video game, and most of those options give me something to show for my effort. If a game doesn’t give me something that lasts beyond the time I sit on the couch, it doesn’t seem worthwhile.
I’m not necessarily looking for a great story or narrative, but I want to be emotionally or engaged by video games…usually that means characters and plots, but it could also be some other sort of other ‘aesthetic experience’ like Rez or Flower.
Of course, there’s exceptions like multiplayer games with friends and family, but I already have Rock Band, Mario Games, a Wii, etc…I don’t really feel like I need to purchase another piece of hardware that I may only use 2 or 3 times per year.
If those things were possible, and I could spin around replays, and zoom in, etc. I’d be all about it. I think I’d rather it be built into the tv instead of needing a game system with an additional dealybobber, but I like the concept.
I want to like Kinect, I really do.
I’m conflicted, as A) I wish there were more games I could dig into and B) I’m tired of “core” gamers whining when somebody doesn’t make something for them.
I’d be persuaded to get it if Kinectimals, Adventures and Sports were all bundled and it was under a hundred bucks; if nothing else than my kids really liked the trailers. Anything less may be a death sentence for it.
@mjpilon My fiancee is getting ready to finish up her DPT, and you mentioning that does put an interesting spin on things. I never considered that they could be considering rehabbers as a demographic. I’ll have to get her opinion on things…
Good luck with your schooling. She does nothing but talk about all of the work, so I’m guessing it’s difficult. That’s why I was a business major!
@angryjedi As a physical therapy student, I would agree that there can be great usage for Kinatic/Move as rehab tools just like Wii has been so far.
The ability to allow the patients to interact with something and eliminate much of the abstract nature of rehabbing and regaining basic functional abilities is a great tool that my future profession and others (mostly occupational therapy to be honest) can utilize.
Note that there are still issues with using these game consoles for this purposes. The accuracy of these systems leaves to be desired so far (I’m still somewhat skeptical on Move/Kinatic until we get more reports or some hands-on). If the systems are unaccurate, the system’s feedback can’t properly cue the patient to work in the right patterns and thus, can lead to the “waving” we often see with Wii games and the healthy population because the patient will be motivate to succeed at the “game” and thus do whatever they have to to succeed. Thus, we are really only working general mobility and function, and in some respects, cardio instead of the precise movements and coordination which should be the real goals with such a system.
I’m with @feenwager on this one. I started out on a 2600 (so I’m not QUITE as old) and have, for the longest time, thought that the concept of controller+system+tv was a.o.k with me. You throw in a whole new concept of motion control, and it seems as though you’re taking away that which is the most basic and pure about games. I think, at the root of it, I’m just afraid of change. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to see things come into existence that I didn’t understand because I was getting too old for them. I don’t want that to happen to my precious games. If it gets to the point that I can no longer play a game because I have have to worry about slipping a disc or whether or not I’m going to be sore the next day, that creeps me out a bit. I have a Wii, and I thought it was great with the whole motion control concept. In reality, it fell short for a lot of games and the only ones I play now have a brief hint of waggle, and then I’m turning the controller right back to the NES style grip.
That’s borderline moot point, though, because I realize that I’m quickly approaching the cut-off for key demographics and that I’m going to have to accept that one day. Getting old sucks.
In all actuality, I think my major problem with Kinect and Move is that we’ve only thus far seen copycat games associated with the devices. I’m not going to quote the major news blogs, but I don’t think we’d disagree that we’re getting another batch of Wii Fits, Just Dances and Wii Sports Resorts. I got into an argument with someone one twitter (real mature, right?) about how I thought Kinect was going to sell like gangbusters right out of the gate and be collecting dust in 6-12 months without a triple A title to go along with it. The only thing we’ve seen so far is a mock-up of a lightsaber game (admittedly bad ass if it actually worked) that wasn’t even legitimate. He argued that I “just had to give it time” and I should stop hating on it. I strongly disagree with that. If you want me to accept change and welcome it with open arms, don’t give me a pee-trickle stream of games out of the gate and expect me to stick around and wait for the good stuff.
Those of you that know me, know I have strong negative emotions towards Apple devices,. However, companies could learn a few things from them, no matter what business they’re in. Apple devices work and make truckloads of money because they take the time to make sure they debut a new device with some bang-up software behind it. The iPhone’s success doesn’t ride entirely on the mobile device, because let’s be honest, it hasn’t changed much over iterations. It’s big seller is the plethora of apps and games and what-have-you that back it up (although the device isn’t THAT bad itself). If M$ could have got Clifford B to do something like @George said, and sneak in a few Kinect moments into Gears 3, I’d be the first in line for buying it, but I’m not paying $150 to jump a raft down a river and kick a soccer ball at some little kid. I can do that for free in the neighborhood park.
I can see where you’re coming from A.J., because your optimism with this device is astounding, but I can only drink the kool-aid so much before I start wondering if it’ll finally be the death of me.
I WANT Kinect to work. I want total immersion in my gaming experience. I just don’t want my gaming experience to be dancing to Lady Gaga while rafting down an imaginary river.
Hey George. I knew getting @MimiK on board would get you to show your face over here finally 🙂
I like your idea. I remember the first time I played MGS and the moments you described happened. They were awesome. To be truly effective, though, they need to be unexpected. Knowing that you require a Kinect for use “at some point” during the game would be a bit of a giveaway. Although it could fuck with you and pretend it was watching when it actually wasn’t, I guess.
I’m thinking games like Heavy Rain would particularly benefit from what you describe. Heavy Rain already makes good (and sparing) use of the SixAxis by limiting violent, motion-sensitive movements to when you’re doing violent or “sudden” moves. The fight scenes are hugely satisfying by nature of the fact that you know you’re delivering a big-ass punch if you have to slam the controller into their face.
The Squawkbox lives!
Re: motion controls, I’m not sure I’d ever feel compelled to play a game that revolved entirely around the kind of motion that Microsoft thinks we want. BUT, you bet your ass I’d make a game that used one or two isolated incidents of motion control to shock or surprise the player, in the fashion of Metal Gear Solid’s “back of the box” codec moment, Psycho Mantis’ mind reading, or the hidden voice responses in Manhunt 2 (plug a headset into your PS2 and the game can hear you breathing).
Imagine a traditional action game played with a controller, but in a climactic moment during the final struggle your partner, squadmate or (cough) romantic interest (what?) is thrown to the edge of a cliff, and the game says “Quick! Don’t let her fall!” In the grip of a properly orchestrated dramatic moment, you lunge forward, grab her hand and pull her up to continue the fight. And that would be the only moment in the entire game when motion controls are used. Would I develop, manufacture and market motion controls just to do that? No. But if someone else is already building them, I’ll gladly take advantage of anything that broadens my opportunities for messing with a player’s mind. 😛
And speaking of disabilities, someone tell the people making 3D movies and games that somewhere around 17% of us are physiologically unable to see their fancy new eye candy and would rather not be left out in the cold, thanks.
@angryjedi I read back over my post and saw no “big words”. D: I should probably worry about myself. I did, however, say ‘very much’, er, ‘very much’, ignore me. Got too enthusiastic, hehe. 😀
I agree – the wider the medium, the more people will get involved – but, not only that, we’ll also have a wider range of games and game-like experiences available to us all. This can only mean that games will just pervade our lives even more, and complement the kinds of experiences (meaningful, and otherwise) that we’re used to getting from other media. Ultimately, I think games, and play have so much left to teach us about what it is to be human.
Anyway, enough of the hopeless idealism.
Re: accessibility for those with disabilities, yes, this march towards body-centred interaction is definitely a problem, and I tried lecturing a class once on the topic! I think the key here is good, redundant design. Devs need to think about these issues up front, and even where motion-controlled gaming is concerned, ensure there is a way for those with disabilities, no matter what they are, to play too. Thinking about this stuff when a game idea is first conceived is, of course, also cheaper than trying to add it as an afterthought.
@A.J. A well considered and thoughtful piece, thanks for sharing. I think you’re absolutely right. As @MimiK said below you, gaming has undergone such a Cambrian Explosion (I’d never heard that term before, to my shame, so I’m going to use it as much as possible today) that there really is something for almost everyone now. Motion control may suck for people who aren’t interested in it, but I don’t think that necessarily removes all trace of validity from it.
Do you walk into a DVD store and think you should be able to buy any of the DVDs and enjoy it? Or do you visit a restaurant and think everything on the menu will be delicious to you? Do you like all forms of music? Do you like reading any book ever?
If the answer to any of those questions is “no”, then just think about that if you find yourself getting worried about motion control. It’s not going to be a replacement. It’s going to be a diversification.
I hope, anyway. 🙂
Hey @MimiK, great to see you here 🙂 Also, you use lots of big words. You’ll fit right in!
I find the motion control question pretty interesting too. What’s your take on what we discussed earlier; about applications for those with disabilities or impaired mobility? I’m hoping my friend Ben who made the original comment will put in an appearance soon and give his take.
I agree with the “Cambrian Explosion” idea. This came up when Roger Ebert was shooting his mouth off a few weeks back. I read a great blog post on the subject which pointed out that it was almost silly to call games “games” any more, because they’re not just about “play”. Sometimes they’re about telling stories. Sometimes they’re competitive. Sometimes they’re a social event. Sometimes they’re a work of art. And sometimes they just… are. Over the last few years there has been such a diversification in the medium that it’s difficult to pin down one quintessential “game”. In fact, I’d say it’s impossible. I’m all for that, though. The wider the medium, the more people who will get involved.
Saying hi as requested! Ooh, this place has an interesting format. Let’s see if I get this right.
@zegolf Re: Kinect – you see, I was actually kind of looking forward to this, but yes, I really don’t think they’ve got it right at all, as clearly demonstrated by the shenanigans last night with Cirque du Soleil. We’ll see what happens, though. The lineup of games does seem indeed poor, but I’m not at all surprised. I think motion-based games will indeed mature, but we’re not there yet.
This Kinect/Move stuff is all pretty interesting in terms of both my research interests and my general philosophy of What Games Are, actually. My PhD work is currently looking at what happens as innovations in controller technology improve, how we can measure this notion of player embodiment, and what this seeming march towards a cybernetic hegemony and body-centred interaction means for game design. Interestingly, I’m personally *more* interested in the idea of abstraction in games, and these are the games I primarily seek to make, but I don’t think we can ignore the other end of the spectrum either. I’m very much into the idea that the span of What Games Are will keep broadening, and that’s very much okay. I very much agree with the Wrightian idea that video games are undergoing a Cambrian Explosion.
But yes. Anyway. Rambling. Lots of Microsoft fail re: Kinect so far at E3.
@feenwager: Actually, a friend of mine raised a very good point about Kinetinatalmovewii. What about people with disabilities? They’re pretty fucked if they can’t stand up to play a game, huh? Or if their condition means that their body mobility isn’t great. Or if they tire easily.
Of course, you can’t please everyone all the time. But I can only imagine what it must be like for someone with impaired mobility to see all this stuff about “the next big thing” and think… “well, what about me? I need my controller.”
(Thanks to @MituK on Twitter)
@angryjedi Watch the second movement, when he brings his hands back into a waiting stance. The onscreen movement happens before the real-life movement happens. Same thing when he draws his lightsaber. Sadly, I think this was a bit staged 😦 Unless, of course, the Jedi onscreen was using his powers to control the live person?
Would be cooler than spit though, if this was really what was happening.
@zegolf: Yeah. Alarm bells started ringing (faintly) for me when I realised we were getting close to E3 and we’d not seen anything that was going to be released for the device. Sony have been demoing Move all over the place and the buzz is pretty positive, even from hardbitten cynics. Kinect, though? I remain unconvinced. And I still find it difficult to believe that it’s quite as 1:1 as it’s supposed to be.
Look at this: http://bit.ly/bSmxmP It’d be cool if it was that accurate, and that if you stand like a Jedi, your Jedi on screen will also stand like a Jedi, but I don’t see it actually being true, myself.
Still, we might all be surprised. You never know.