As with most people who have just finished watching Microsoft’s 2010 E3 conference, some head scratching must be going when it comes to Kinect live demonstrations.
With noticeable lag and expected mini game collections, Kinect looked to be very light on the whole “game” front. However I believe I saw one title where the developers actually understand that you work to your strengths and understand your limitations.
Lets take another look at what Harmonix had to show off, Dance Central.
Up until this point, every game seemed to respond slowly, however with Dance Central, it wasn’t so apparent. The reason for this I see as being smart design.
In the same way Suda 51 knows how best to “compliment” a game with motion control on the Wii, Harmonix are understanding Kinect’s apparent limitations and working around these.
Take the look of the game while its playing, the focus is placed more on the game than the player, unlike everything else which relies on reminding the player they are in the game. Each dance routine has been split into individual moves, meaning that for a good few beats of a song, Kinect only has to recognise one simple gesture. There are no transitions and the actual in game representation of the player is only shown in a small box by the list of upcoming moves. Excellent, work there Harmonix! You understand that the controller (in this case, “yourself”) is not the be all and end all of a game. The more you hide the controller and forget about it, the more you can be drawn into the game.
Developers please take heed. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something.
Its taken a long time for some developers to hit that fine balance in the Wii and Xbox owners are much less patient.
Over to you then MLG Community: What did you take away from the Kinect live demonstrations tonight?