06-05-2009 08:23 AM #1
Kinect (Natal), headed in the right direction. (Gaming scenarios interview)
Well, all the haters can finally cool down it looks like Microsoft doesn't intend on replacing/axing your gameplay. Looks like someones been reading some of our ideas for Natal game play.
Eurogamer: How does Project Natal work with Burnout?
Alex Kipman: Essentially we do a 3D body scan of you. We graph 48 joints in your body and then those 48 joints are tracked in real-time, at 30 frames per second. So several for your head, shoulders, elbows, hands, feet...
Say I'm tracking a wrist, which is what I do for Burnout. I can look at that on a single frame and I can see what direction, acceleration and confidence I have for that joint. Why is that interesting? Because it allows me to not only know where you are, but to know where you're going to be. This is how we do the directing and the predictive behaviour.
If you think about swinging a baseball bat, by the time you're halfway done with the swing, I know not only where you're going to end but when you're going to end. There are very precise and predictable ways so you can have that immediate payoff of my baseball bat hitting the baseball.
Eurogamer: So this technology isn't just for use with Arcade titles or specially designed games like Milo & Kate? It could be used to play regular games?
Alex Kipman: Absolutely. We see there being three types of game. We love the [existing] controller, it's not going anywhere and there will continue to be games that are specifically made to only work with a controller. We'll have games that are specifically designed to work only with Natal - not just arcadey games, but real, hardcore, triple-A titles.
Then you'll have some games that are essentially a hybrid - games that work both with the controller and with Natal. Why is that interesting? Think about a first-person shooter where I'm using the controller but I'm doing facial tracking by just moving around and looking round corners.
Or you could have a hardcore gamer like me playing a game with a controller, while a non-hardcore person sitting next to me enjoys the experience by playing with Natal. I could be having my Halo experience with the controller and the friend next to me, who's not a hardcore gamer, could be throwing grenades or driving the Warthog or doing any number of things with Natal.
We can track up to four players in the same way we track controllers. Each individual player will be able to choose - do I want to bind with a controller, or do I want to bind with my body, or do I want to bind with both?
The sensor itself has a lot of magic built in. It wouldn't be interesting for us to go to our developers and say, 'Hey, you can create all these brand new, awesome experiences but you need to do a lot of processing outside of the game.'
So we have a custom chip that we put in the sensor itself. The chip we designed with Microsoft will be doing the majority of the processing for you, so as a game designer you can think about the sensor as a normal input device - something that's relatively free for you as a game designer.
Designers have 100 per cent of the resources of the console and this device is just another input device they can use. It's a fancy, cool, awesome device, but essentially you can just treat it from a free-to-platform perspective, because all of the magic - all of the processing - happens sensor-side.
Eurogamer: A lot of the time, when you're playing a racing game you're holding down the A button to make the car go. So with Project Natal, you're sticking your leg out to make the car accelerate instead. But what if you're playing, say, Tomb Raider? Could you use the camera to play that?
Alex Kipman: Burnout is almost a bad example because it's an old game that wasn't designed for Natal. I would say Tomb Raider would need to be designed for Natal from the get-go. I've presented this to most of our third-party developers and from the creator's perspective you start thinking of brand new game mechanics, brand new ways of interacting with the game.
So the Tomb Raider team would come up with all of their different game mechanics and represent them with different Natal experiences. Lara does a lot of headstands, and I wouldn't expect people in their living room to be doing headstands. As a game designer you'd have to come up with a natural gesture to go mounting into headstands.
How can I make a user in their living rooms feel like Lara Croft without being as fit as Lara Croft? Because none of us are! This is the thing that really excites the game designers we've been talking to, both first-party as well as third-parties. They look at this as a brand new set of paint colours and paintbrushes they can use to paint brand new experiences.
Eurogamer: What if you're lazy? Could you play this Burnout demo sitting down?
Alex Kipman: Game designers will have to come up with what is natural. I can tell you several different options I can think of. You could say, hey, do this to accelerate [mimes pushing a steering wheel forwards] or this [pushes his shoulders forwards] or this to brake [pulls backwards].
And remember I'm tracking 48 joints individually, so there are so many combinations. I just gave you a few I thought of off the top of my head, but game designers could come up with anything. For all I care you could use your head to go forward - it's not very natural, but you could use any number of things as a game designer.
We're not making any predictions about the gestures; we think that's very constraining for game designers. We're saying, we're tracking 48 joints per frame in real time - use the combination of those things to create a rich vocabulary of gestures that allows you to create brand new experiences.
By the way, our system is able to understand these compound gestures in real-time, so you can really live up to this whole "all you need is life experience" idea. You teach the machine to understand the users as opposed to teaching the users to understand the machine.
You do that because there is no single gesture for any action - there will be several gestures for a single action, and as game designers you can manage all of these things and essentially graft them all onto your new experience as game mechanics. So you can have really simple, fun, "jump in" experiences.
No Banjo Kazooie at E3? No Viva Pinata? Blame Project Natal.
We've been looking for Rare at E3. Microsoft's Shane Kim, corporate v. p. at Microsoft for Xbox 360 strategy and business development, didn't exactly tell us where they are, but he did tell us what they're up to.
"Rare is intimately involved with Project Natal in a number of different dimensions," Kim said, referring to Microsoft's controller-free game control set-up that's been the buzz of E3. "They're doing an awful lot of work, even outside the traditional game space, I would say. Unfortunately I can't go into a lot of detail about that. Rare is alive and well and really having a broader impact on the entire Xbox world than just doing the games they traditionally have in the past."
Rare's most recent publicly shown projects were last year's Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts and Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise. Rare also created the Avatar system launched last last year across all Xbox 360s.
Rare is head deep in Natal projects that's why they didn't show up at E3. Question is will Killer Instinct be one of their titles? stay tuned..
Last edited by Wulf; 06-13-2010 at 08:59 PM.“The wolf has come down from the north and your fat little town is safe no longer!” Dr. Charles Henry Moffet. Airwolf. Oct. 6, 1984.
06-05-2009 08:52 AM #2
06-05-2009 08:56 AM #3
Be funny if it caught people masturbating or drunk driving!"I'm not about sales. I'm about stopping deceptions".
06-05-2009 09:19 AM #4Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
- Louisville, KY
And we thought WellInformed was a shill...+32in Sanyo Vizon
+: 24 (Now Playing: Various)
+: 7 (Now Playing: )
+PSP: 9 (Now playing: )
+PSN/XBL: Radant128 (When you add me, lemme know you're from HDD)
06-05-2009 09:37 AM #5Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
So as suspected, for games like Tomb Raider, instead of replacing button mashing with waggling like the Wii does, it'll replace button mashing with air gestures.
I'd prefer to stick with the controller.
As cool as it looks, I just simply don't see much actual game application that would interest me in the slightest.
(Equally skeptical of Sony's waggle controller for different reasons).
06-05-2009 09:38 AM #6Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
eh? how does that example work for burnout?
and the facial tracking for looking around corners? surely if you have to face away from the tv to turn your head you may as well give up on looking around corners
and they say burnout is a old game, yes, but its a driving game and its seems the options being promoted is some kind of mariokart fun
but anyhow hope i'm wrong
06-05-2009 10:04 AM #7
06-05-2009 10:17 AM #8
Here's an interesting comment from Cnet:
Project Natal, the Xbox 360's motion-sensing camera add-on, certainly has potential, but the promo video for it Microsoft showed off was purely a work of science fiction. In it, a happy family enjoys multimedia content, chats with friends, and plays complex interactive games without a controller, just using their bodies. The actual playable demos were a few generations behind that, more reminiscent of the Sony Eye Toy accessory for the PS2--the main example was a simple game where players bat a ball back at the screen by swatting at the air, with just enough lag to be annoying. We're very excited about the potential of this new motion-sensing, face-and-voice-recognizing, camera add-on, but for now the gulf between the reality and prerendered video is sizable.
Any joke you've got about Milo the virtual boy--we've heard it 10 times already this week.
A much-hyped software package that uses the Project Natal hardware, Milo was presented as a virtual onscreen boy who could recognize you and carry on an intelligent conversation. The demo video was impressive, but obviously shot in a tightly controlled environment with clearly scripted responses. Talking to several people who got a chance to try out talking to Milo in person behind closed doors, the responses were uniformly disappointed, describing the supposedly realistic Milo similar to a Tamagotchi virtual pet, with only very basic interactivity. Milo was created by Peter Molyneux, a game designer infamous for over-promising and under-delivering, with ambitious but flawed projects such as Fable and Black & White.
I do think MS over promised on this "vision", and I think Wulf will be disappointed that this doesn't come out looking like the demos. AI is a long way off, facial recognition to the point of telling emotions, controls with massive processing required but no lag...Blood from a stone, etc.
06-05-2009 10:22 AM #9
i'm just waiting for them to create the thing where i can just think what i need to do, screw jumping around like an idiot
06-05-2009 10:40 AM #10
06-05-2009 10:56 AM #11
Why lie about something that 3rd party developers will soon be talking about? O it's Viewsonic making this rebuttal.....
Another thing some of you keep ignoring is the ease of setup process. The person just walks up to the thing and it's already detecting your details. How impressive is that? How about the voice software it appears to be working during the Press interviews. This hardware isn't just scanning you, it listen's for any voices and separates them from user to user. Yea the hardware is early but, Sony's is too. This hardware is showing more promise in multiple areas. Sony's is about detection and input only, atleast that's what I've gathered from the conference.
Last edited by Wulf; 06-05-2009 at 11:32 AM.“The wolf has come down from the north and your fat little town is safe no longer!” Dr. Charles Henry Moffet. Airwolf. Oct. 6, 1984.
06-05-2009 11:10 AM #12
48 joints huh? Predictive motion algorithims? No hit to game processing...pretty cool. Did they mention how MS will circumvent the fatigue of holding my arms out in empty space grasping an imaginary steering wheel for extended amounts of time or even worse, mimicking every blow or strike in a fighting game like Soul Calibur or action game like Asassasins Creed? Motion control as it is in Natal, Sony motion and the Wii will always be a niche product and not the lynchpin of a console experience. Everyone on this site seems to have accepted that, why a few others seem to think this is what will propel MS to make up a several million unit defecit to the first place spot I'll never underestand.
06-05-2009 11:15 AM #13
06-05-2009 11:30 AM #14“The wolf has come down from the north and your fat little town is safe no longer!” Dr. Charles Henry Moffet. Airwolf. Oct. 6, 1984.
06-05-2009 11:35 AM #15
But yes, feel free to rant and rave and assume everyone is a rabid fanboy if it helps bring clarity to your world.
Bringing you all the best reviews of high definition entertainment.
Founded in April 2006, High-Def Digest is the ultimate guide for High-Def enthusiasts who demand only the best that money can buy. Updated daily and in real-time, we track all high-def disc news and release dates, and review the latest disc titles.
Copyright © 2012 Internet Brands, Inc. All rights reserved.