Rare talks Kinect development

Develop 2010: Rare's Kinect development director talks about developing for physical play, prototyping motion controllers, and the studio's 25-year history.

Who was there: Rare's Nick Burton is the British studio's Kinect development director. Since checking out hardware prototypes two years ago, he has been hard at work on the upcoming Kinect Sports.

Rare is behind Kinect Sports.

What he talked about: As an in-house Microsoft development partner, Rare is one of the best developers in the world to offer an insight into Kinect development. The studio's first game for the peripheral is Kinect Sports, launching alongside the camera-based motion-sensing add-on in November. Kinect specialist Nick Burton offered today's Develop audience an insight into some of the lessons he's learned.

The main thrust of the session had to do with how challenging motion-controller development can be. To illustrate the point, Burton called three people to the stage to show how humans can move in highly variable ways. He asked the volunteers to run on the spot and jump occasionally and pointed out the different physical approaches to the task between each person. For Kinect Sports, the game has to be able to recognise each individual running style. A big part of Rare's testing process has been watching how people interpret the moves that the game asks of them.

Kinect Sports will also offer a football (soccer) game, and Burton talked about the challenges of making a motion-based take on the sport. The team toyed around with having the players automatically run forward, as well as boost whenever the player leaned in a certain direction. However, in the end, the team decided to make it as accessible as possible, eradicating the running in favour of simple passing. As a result, all you have to do in the game now is choose the direction you want to kick and then angle your foot to choose how to pass or shoot.

Despite these challenges, the Kinect developer was keen to stress that this isn't the first time Rare has developed for motion-sensitive hardware. Burton cited Super Glove Ball for Mattel's Power Glove controller as a rudimentary motion-based control system. The company has also prototyped a motion controller of its own, not entirely dissimilar to a Wii Remote or Move controller. Burton brought it with him and showed a video for a game called Soulcatcher--a Perfect Dark-style first-person shooter with a wizard-based twist. Another game that never saw the light of day was The Fast and the Furriest, which used the Xbox Live Vision camera to pick up player motion for running and curling-style athletic games.

Takeaway: Burton stressed how impressed he was with Kinect technology, as well as the possibilities it offers for the future. He quoted Arthur C. Clarke when talking about his first encounter with the tech, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." He was particularly impressed with the gadget's potential for augmented reality, saying, "The things you've seen with webcams are just the tip of the iceberg where augmented reality is concerned."

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76 comments
jimdotbeep
jimdotbeep

Is anyone PLAYING these stupid Motion Sports games? Why is Microsoft using the Greatest Gaming company in history to make stupid shit like this instead of Actual Games!?  Is this just part of they're plan to shove Kinect down our throats so instead of paying people for market research we end up paying them hundreds of dollars to be spied on by the Republic of Microsoft.

Bigmeanie1
Bigmeanie1

@paciouno I never doubted kinect , i just think that it needs a better game selection... i also would think that a lot of great games can only be played with a controller in hand, so xbox is not the perfect system the perfect system has the best veriety of games including a bit of everthing... now point made.

paciouno
paciouno

first everyone is bashing microsoft saying kinect is for the casual gamer please . kinect is revolutionary... if sony would of thought of this they would have done it . that is why microsoft patent the technology and second dont you get tired of using a controller cmon this is breathtaking and guess what ... now xbox360 is considered the perfect system .. if you think i am kidding wait until next year before making stupid comments i promise all of you who doubt kinect you will eat your words.

MasterJosh47
MasterJosh47

i dont think kinect is gonna be worth it for the price tag now there getting washed up rare to help them i know microsoft owns them but still this is gonna be too expensive and is gonna suck!

Skull-Fire
Skull-Fire

@crabapple87 and the release of Perfect Dark on Xbox Live Arcade didnt give anything away?

lock445
lock445

Rare should have made a REAL Banjo & Kazooie sequel, not the dumbed-down vehicle-building trash that was Nuts+Bolts. If the company can stay true to its AAA N64 games than the company will come back with a vengeance and a great public appeal. If they work on trash casual games like this they are done.

crabapple87
crabapple87

I didnt know this company still existed.

imaidiot
imaidiot

I am going to pick Kinect up...from the bargain bin for $20 bucks next year. I just hope they don't try to pursuade developers to make games kinect only for extra cash. I can picture it now. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3: Kinect..."Now you can look like an ass while getting noob tubed!" As long as they keep the Kinect games in the style for the market they were intended for...which is not me, then more power to them. When I want to play games, I like to sit in my chair with my feet up...when I want to exercise, I go to the gym. At least with the wii and even the move you can sit while playing...although I am passing on move also. When they find out people don't want to pay $350 for a family system, the price for kinect will drop drastically, the developers will lose faith (if they had any to begin with), and this will be another lost accessory to add to the pile...along with powerglove, r.o.b, various dance pads, plastic instruments, maracas, etc...I guess the plus is that it will work as a low quality webcam once it fails.

zideeq
zideeq

without Nintendo by their side, Rareware is DEAD....possibly the worst deal in Gaming history. The only flaw in Nintendo's life is this

Slash_out
Slash_out

As advanced as this is. In the end it's just a gadget meant for casual players, and it can never be more as long as microsoft insist on remaining with just one camera and no controler with buttons. The only way to bypass buttons would be for an apparatus that would allow a game to be controled by the user's brain, and even then, it would be a challenge, since people's thoughts tend to not stay focused on one thing, and the harder they try, the worse their thoughts will go all over the place. Sorry Microsoft, but you need something with buttons. A glove, a contoler like the Playstation move, anything that the player can use with his hands and has BUTTONS !

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

@mattcake - totally. I had friends who used to move the gamepad around in the direction their character was jumping, like the movement would make them jump further... ha ha ....The idea of motion sensing alone, or motion sensing being compulsory, just isn't for me.... however, the thought of combining the two, with the controller for most traditional expected controls, and your body for the odd intuitive gesture sounds like a lot of fun and ideal. I've been getting more and more excited about trying out Kinect at the very least.... we shall soon see if it's worth the wait.

mattcake
mattcake

I used to laugh as my non-gamer friends would "lean over" as they played games, but actually that sounds like a good subtle use of Kinect in "normal" games. The idea of playing an fps with a controller like usual, but being able to stand against a pillar and physically lean in real life to lean out and shoot ingame, or duck my head slightly to take cover in the game, perform a hand gesture to reload etc etc. actually sounds like an intuitive and immersive use of the tech without destroying the gameplay with gimmicky motion detection.

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

So another family friendly game for natal (I don't like it's other name) I would really like to see something non casual that I would play cause at the moment there's nothing even slightly tempting me to buy it

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

Rare's been dead since the original bad fur day.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I want to see a good Banjo game for this gen

RIPANTHONY8008
RIPANTHONY8008

one thing for sure is that kinect games shouldnt cost $60 thats crazy.microsoft needs to price kinect and those games more aggressively,id say $30 average.some of the more complex titles at some point in the future, maybe $40 at the most.but since their treating kinect as a system of sorts ill hold out for a year ,thats my definition of a system launch period,not the first few months as most people tend to say and when i usually decide if a system is appealing to me.

bloodyaltair
bloodyaltair

microsoft is buyingall the classics the have banjo,,perfect dark, they're is even a rumored conker title to be realesed on the xbox 360. and the xbox 360 willbe able to play dreamcast games microsofts about to take over.

Rovelius
Rovelius

I'm sticking with Ninty and Sony, kthx -_-

luniac99
luniac99

Perhaps sometime in the not so distant future of the kinect, they will develop a controller to go with it, or different types of controllers (i.e. gun peripherals for fps) sort of like the wii has, because i just would feel stupid with nothing in my hands. That said, ill probably be looking like an idiot come holiday time LOL

phillkillv2
phillkillv2

You can trust Rare. Good Graphics - Great gameplay - Excellent storylines - and easy to use games.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

The biggest problem with motion controlls is that there are too many variations of options and each person does a move differently from one person to the next. Nintendo said something similar in interviews prior to the wii's release that they had ideas for games but settled on simpler controls for the purpose of making it accessible to everyone. This makes casual games, and thus motion controls are aimed for casuals.

Benjamin_Ice
Benjamin_Ice

i wish rare would go back and make a game that people want like say i dunno, a decent sequel to perfect dark maybe? who knows? maybe they could incorporate kinect into the next perfect dark?

silverdoe
silverdoe

what is the definition of hardcore game?

link12345515
link12345515

I really wish Nintendo would see this and see how much people want Rare back with Nintendo.

Monster597
Monster597

Man I had high hopes for this, it looks like its going to fail though. There simply is nothing that would attract people to it. When they first announced it I hope it was going to be a big revolution in gaming controls. But apart from wii sport game clones I really don't see how they can use Kinect for real hardcore games.

9thedevilmaycry
9thedevilmaycry

Nintendo plese buy rare back. all those merorys with goldeneye, banjo kazooie, perfect dark and conker..all lost to microsoft:(

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

c8m dont wait get a wii lol this does look like wiisports dressed up!

mpeg3s
mpeg3s

Did they fix the lag yet?

C8M
C8M

Bowling looks awesome. I can't wait to get this into my home and introduce it to non-gamers.

andurilmat
andurilmat

@maaly81 the adaptor comes with connect so you don't need to buy anything extra - well except for the games i do think it should come bundled with a game though as its going to Cost £130, to be honest i think even if it came out at £100 thats still a bit Pricy

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@ dean0null yeah i agree they should have some kind of controller for certain game types such as shooters.

dean0null
dean0null

Maybe Rare will convince Microsoft that Kinect would be Uber 1337 if they used it as part of the package instead of the package. They need to either incorporate the Xbox 360 controller or create a motion sensing one of their own. Otherwise, they're screwed.

maaly81
maaly81

if selling point was $99 and included game (s), I'd consider. From what I hear unless you get the new xbox360, you also have to buy some sort of adapter thingy in addition to the $150 kinect sensor. Potentially a $200 deal almost

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

Bleh. Forget Kinect, Rare, and make me a Conker sequel.

-Carge-
-Carge-

Ahhh Rare, the closest thing Leicestershire has to a development company. Shame Microsoft bought them...

krytorii
krytorii

I reckon next gen there'll be a cross between kinect and Move made by either microsoft or sony, or possibly nintendo, with both motion tracker and controller. Both kinet and Move have their advantages, but I reckon those new-newfangled invention called "buttons" just tip it over the edge in opinion. Like this guy said, how do you get them to walk foward on kinect?

Flint247
Flint247

Sell Kinect for under $100 and maybe I will consider it.

Evenios
Evenios

meh the kinect i think will be a failure for people who actually love video games. its a nice idea but with pretty much zero announcements for hardcore gamers for it....i just don't see the point.

Gsai64
Gsai64

Sure, I'll buy it, if you lower the price and make decent games.

TxtBin
TxtBin

They only now feature on the PSP in very toned down styles. I'm not only talking about games for kids, but just games like the ones that featured on the PS2 which vary from a large variety of genres are no longer existing in today's next-gen market. More of the older style games need to return. I currently boycott most FPS games and only purchase products by Ubisoft or Rockstar who usually bring out third-person games which at least offer a bit of variety in comparison Killzone or something of the kind.

TxtBin
TxtBin

To be honest with all of you, although a good idea, I don't think Kinect has much value in it. It's definitely much better than the Wii but one of the reasons why the Wii fails is because of the restrictive controls. You're confined into the use of only your body so can only play games where you can control your body. You can't exactly experience a GTA on the Kinect. I might be wrong since the Kinect is a promising advancement in the history of gaming. However, I just dont see it working as of now. The games that have been created for this console aren't that great. There are a few big-titles coming up for the Kinect but even then the Kinect wont leave much of a big impact upon the gamer's mind. What I currently want is better games. When crap like MW2 is being chugged out, I don't see much point in continuing with playing games in general. Every single game out now tries so hard to be a Modern Warfare 2. Just because it sold a crap load of copies doesn't mean the rip-offs are gonna be equally successful. Literally 70% of the games out on the market now are FPS games - and that 70% of the games are the only games which are to some extent playable. Platformers have literally died out. I miss games like Crash Bandicoot or Jak.

fLaMbOaStiN
fLaMbOaStiN

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

FamousCalibur
FamousCalibur

@redlightstudios first off, cool name are you using that name for anything because i would love that name when i make my game company. second, though people might be arguing about it, its just the fact that MOST people aren't into motion control which can lead to bad business, so the whole motion control should be optional, like 3D for 3DS and SONY hardware since people can't see into 3D due to eye sight. Note: in the future of Guitar Hero, i dont think people would like to pretend to be holding a guitar, they would like to pretend to hold a FAKE guitar lol

bigjoe05
bigjoe05

@redlightstudios I totally agree with what you are saying, we should embrace this new opportunity to turn something that alienates people and start making friends again. Thanks for reading this guys

redlightstudios
redlightstudios

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

NND1
NND1

This looks a lot more fun than that Banjo Kozzuzu Crap!

Vandelay16
Vandelay16

Hey Rare, how about you make Banjo Kazooie 3? not this garbage.

ohwhat_24
ohwhat_24

im sorry this whole motion control thing lame. not impressive to me. if i wanna go bowl and not have to hold any buttons..ill go bowl for real. and now this whole sony move..like really..now every 4 year old will be playing killzone 3 because the devs brought it down a notch for the move to work with it and it to be in 3d. this motion control is sending the gaming industry backwards. we dont need new ways to play our games..we just need better games..deeper gameplay elements...story lines and characters we actually care about...controls that feel tight and responsive. like come on dont hand me a wii remote and tell me its the future

Moose_4
Moose_4

LOL, i like how he said that "you don't have to press any buttons to throw the ball", acting like holding the 'b' button on the wii is really difficult.