Kinect Sports 2 'pushing speech a hell of a lot' - Rare

Develop 2011: Studio's next game entirely navigable with voice; golf to have more than 300 voice command phrases.

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There are "over 300 phrases" in the voice controls for golf in Kinect Sports Season Two, says Nick Burton of Kinect Sports studio Rare. In a session at UK-based industry conference Develop, "incubation director" Burton discussed the particular challenges in producing Kinect control schemes for the Kinect Sports sequel.

If only golf balls would heed voice commands as well.

The first Kinect Sports focused on games that could be mirrored and mimed most literally, said Burton, since Rare thought there were some sports "we just couldn't do," since they "couldn't figure them out from a design perspective or a technical perspective." In the Kinect Sports follow-up, though, Rare is including "most of the sports we thought we couldn't," apparently having overcome the design and technical difficulties. Kinect Sports Season Two features skiing, American football, golf, darts, tennis, and baseball.

Burton called golf "a particularly interesting [challenge]," in that players properly mirroring real golfers would have to look down at a pretend gold ball rather than at the screen, "which is kind of a problem if you're playing a game." Similarly, Burton said, there's an issue with positioning and turning: if you turn your body to turn your avatar, you wind up not facing the screen head-on any more. "You can't just mime golf," he said.

Instead, Kinect Sports Season Two's golf has players step left and right parallel to the screen in order to pivot their avatar left or right. Rare also turned to voice commands in place of a real golfer's caddy to supply the player with clubs and to avoid forcing players out of the golf experience into a menu to pick new ones. Besides selecting clubs with spoken phrases, players will call "practice shot" to have the Kinect give them a practice swing, and so on.

"We've got over 300 phrases you can use," Burton said, noting that the next largest implementation of voice controls in a Kinect game, Kinectimals, is an order of magnitude smaller, with just 30 voice phrases. The game's entire user interface will also be navigable by voice. Rare is "pushing speech a hell of a lot with Season Two," he said. At the E3 demo of Kinect Sports Season Two, stage demonstrators shouted calls in the title's Kinect-enabled football game.

On the topic of advancements in the Kinect's voice detection, Burton said: "The really neat thing about voice is that we're starting to be able to tell who's actually talking with skeletal tracking…Imagine side-by-side multiplayer [with two-player voice control]."

Kinect Sports Season Two is out on October 25 in North America.

Discussion

41 comments
GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

I'm still hoping they'll make a port of their Arcade edition of BattleToads with 3 player online/local co-op support. And release it to xboxlive arcade. C'mon RARE its time just that game alone as DLC could help them stay a float a bit longer.

noturfangirl
noturfangirl

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

cbb1018
cbb1018

I loved the first one but it got boring maybe this one will keep me a little more entertained

slonekb05
slonekb05

"do a perfect swing and make a hole in 1." game over

tisoyboy2
tisoyboy2

Then don't buy Kinect games. Really simple. Microsoft pushed the new hardware so they want to keep supporting it by having devs include Kinect compatibility. How can it be neglected or seen as a fail when so many were sold? I didn't like most of the first string of Kinect games. But there is a future for it. I think it will be interesting having the ability to give verbal commands in Mass Effect 3. Not sure about being pistol pete with my finger in Ghost Recon Future Soldier though. Better to have then not have and wish you did. And as long as we have the choice to use it or not then I don't see why there would be an issue for people.

Ronnie_Rim
Ronnie_Rim

Microsoft should just ditch the Kinect and go make something actually good for once.

dstv
dstv

Good games have become a rare treasure at this company

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Rare should just sell off all their properties, because they obviously have NO interest in making new titles for ANY of them anymore. :'(

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

So much hope for a new KI, Rare is just embarrassing these days.

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

Umm... "Ball go in hole!".... "Ball go into hole!".... "Ball roll into cup!" Dang, I forgot the phrase. Time to get my controller... :P

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Kinect Sports 2 Sure why not Sports games seem to work with motion controls. Kinect voice control do know how well that will catch on with the general public. Talking to the Television is not cool. (even if you are supposed to do it to play this game)

LegionsAssassin
LegionsAssassin

@ monson21502 Man you can turn kinect off...you don't have to unplug it! lmao

monson21502
monson21502

that picture looks like a true next gen hot shots golf game

monson21502
monson21502

i hope they fix kinect.... i hate to keep unplugging my kinect when i watch netflix. but kinect keeps fast fowarding or stopping the movie!! hate to be playing a game and it do that ied be so pissed

SilverSignal
SilverSignal

Please Rare, just shut up about Kinect and start making good games again. Thanks.

VensInferno
VensInferno

Whats the point? Chances of someone saying "42!!!!" "63!!!" "94!!!!!!!!!!!!!" "HIKEE!!!" in front of their tv is slim. Sure, sometimes I talk to myself, but I'm not going to scream at my self.......

mtait01
mtait01

what is the point in speech recognition when it is easier just to press the controller to command that action?

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

But what about the people who cant speak properly? Well this is swell.

Holoogamooga_
Holoogamooga_

So now instead of using motion controls with their cool camera, they're putting gamers back on the couch so they can control everything by voice. At least a controller gets you to move a /little/ bit. Of course, I may be misunderstanding the article...

Evenios
Evenios

some people like me have speech impediments or do not feel like yelling at the the console if they have people sleeping in the room or nearby so these games should not make too much use of speach it should be an option not a requirement.

thetravman
thetravman

Old Rare and New Rare. There's a huge difference.

DAMSOG
DAMSOG

How much did they buy Rare for again?...just to make this?....Mr Gates give me a ring and I will put you in contact with a good accountant.

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

Is this idiotic casual/social gamer craze over yet? No? Damn. Come find me when it is. I'll be playing Witcher 2.

zaiwen
zaiwen

So if i say "hole in one" the game will obey me? ROFLMAO

WllDan7
WllDan7

I remember in the 90's when Rare made these games that made me feel real happy I had a N64 over the playstation. But now Rare is the main reason I don't have a 360. I thought that they were going to make a game that had a feel like their old games but I just is not happening.

daabulls23
daabulls23

"...and to avoid forcing players out of the golf experience into a menu to pick new ones." Because the golf experience in my living room is so immersive...

zzamaro
zzamaro

next year, Kinect Sports: Season Three by RARE. I missed those days when RARE used to make great and addictive games.

inferno394
inferno394

meh..................where is my Killer Instinct 3? Why do companies have to make things so f-ing complicated?

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

For those of you who say Microsoft is becoming Nintendo. Kinect is an addition to the Xbox. They aren't taking away anything at all, you still have the same xbox, the same controller, the same xbox live service that you've had all along and will continue to allow you to play the latest 'hardcore' games as well. Where Nintendo was based off of the Wii/wireless remote, Microsoft has built an awesome hardcore gaming console and is now adding additional gaming options to it, enhancing the player experience and increasing the potential playerbase.

GAMERALL
GAMERALL

I miss Rare's rare games!

AvatarMan96
AvatarMan96

@lifemeister Voice recognition features like those mentioned are interesting, but Microsoft has made me hate Kinect because they screwed it up

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

Microsoft is backtracking into were Nintendo is trying to get out. I knew it a year ago after the presentation of Kinect, Microsoft will become like Nintendo and sure enough a year later, well just look at this years Microsoft's E3 presentation.

lifemeister
lifemeister

@AvatarMan96 You hate it, but it's pretty cool? Uh?

Rocker6
Rocker6

Yay,great,another boring mini game collection.Just what Kinect needs!

KC-alpha-14
KC-alpha-14

What has Microsoft done to you rare!? :(

AvatarMan96
AvatarMan96

As much as I hate Kinect, that's pretty cool