Train2Game news: Ubisoft see a ‘bright future’ for Kinect


Train2Game students may have mixed opinions on the future of Kinect, but Ubisoft believe it has a bright future.

The publisher is behind a variety of motion control titles including Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, Just Dance and Fighters Uncaged, and SVP of sales and marketing Tony Key believes the system will only continue to grow.

“Well, when the install base gets big, it becomes a more attractive business model for publishers to say all right, I can make money making a Kinect-only game.” he told Gamasutra.

“So I think you’ll see more and more Kinect titles coming next year, which is going to support more and more hardware sales. So I see a bright future for Kinect.”

Key also predicts that there will be a much higher number of Kinect titles released next year.

“What kinds of products, I can’t say. But I do think the system will continue to grow, and I also think that the amount of games coming out in 2012 will be much higher than the amount of games coming out in 2011.”

Ghost Recon: Future Solider is one of a number of Ubisoft titles scheduled for release next year that’ll be Kinect compatible, find out more in the Train2Game blog interview with the developers. 

The Ubisoft SVP of sales and marketing also told Gamasutra that Just Dance has been crucial to bringing women to Kinect.

“We think that Just Dance is a huge game changer for the Kinect system in terms of bringing more females into the Kinect space.” he said.

“Microsoft is spending a lot of time, resources and strategy around bringing more families in, bringing more females in. Because they have the male, they’ve got him nailed. So to really really grow they know they’ve got to get those people in there.”

“I think Just Dance 3 is an awesome opportunity where we could have a Kinect game with more females playing than males. And that would be a first for Kinect as far as we know.” Key added.

So Train2Game, what do you make of Ubisoft’s predictions? Will Kinect become more popular in 2012? Are they right to rely on the success of Just Dance?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game news: Adding Kinect motion control ”not really difficult’ say Ghost Recon developers

Train2Game students may be split over the potential of Kinect, but developing for the motion controller isn’t difficult…so long you know how you want to use it.

That’s according to the developers of the upcoming Ghost Recon: Future solider. The upcoming tactical squad shooter features Kinect compatibility in its Gunsmith mode, which as reported by the Train2Game blog was first revealed at E3.

The mode allows players to put together and take apart weapons using Kinect hand gestures, while motion control can also be used to test the weapons on an in-game firing range.

And developers Ubisoft say adding these features to Ghost Recon: Future soldier was relatively simple

I think adding the motion control of Kinect to a game it’s not really difficult when you know what you want to do with it, when you know to add it into the game” Lead Game Designer Roman Campos Oriola told Train2Game at Gamescom.

“So for us Kinect for the gunsmith is there to enact the fantasy that you are really manipulating your weapons and customising them.”

Associate Producer Thomas Leroux-Hugon added that while Gunsmith mode was originally designed with a control pad in mind, its context meant adding Kinect compatibility made things simpler.

“In the very specific context of the gunsmith mode the design existed already as a pad driven design but Kinect added something that made things simpler in a way” said Lerouz-Hugon

“It’s always easier for us to work from a good ground and then something closer to the actual act of manipulating stuff.”

And Ubisoft are convinced they’ve found the right use for the motion controller, without having to think about it too much

“It could be like ‘we need to put some motion control in, what feature will do? Maybe we could have that?’ No. The case was we had a really clear mind about what we wanted to do with It.” added Oriola.

The full interview Ghost Recon: Future Soldier interview with Ubisoft will be published shortly.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Kinect in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier? Have Ubisoft found the right use? Do you have any ideas about how you’d like to use Kinect in games.

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Kinect is ‘garbage’ and Game Design is what matters says Super Meat Boy dev


Train2Game students may be split on the impact Kinect will have on the industry, but Super Meat Boy developer Edmund McMillen hates it. Absolutely hates it with a passion.

Unfortunately for him, and as reported by the Train2Game blog, Kinect featured heavily in the Microsoft E3 presentation.

McMillen believes that more focus should be put on Game Design, rather than creating peripherals such as Kinect. He passionately believes it…in a very sweary fashion.

“Gameplay is what matters. Good game design” McMillen told Eurogamer.  “It’s almost as if they thought developers said ‘s**t, we’ve hit a wall and we can’t design fun games anymore, and can’t innovate through game design itself, we need all these crazy-ass peripherals that are going to help break through barriers and find new uncharted territory”

“No, just f***ing sit down and come up with a new genre. Chris Hecker came up with a new genre – Spy Party – so I guarantee other people can too. Minecraft – a creative MMO. And Katamari too. We don’t need peripherals.”

Speaking about Kinect specially, McMillen was just as ‘passionate’ in his views.

“That thing is a piece of garbage. There is absolutely nothing good for it. It’s a joke. It’s a f***ing joke. It doesn’t make any f***ing sense. It’s painful because they justify it by saying ‘a lot of people bought it’, but that’s just marketing.”

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Kinect has been a success in that over 10 million units have been sold.

“I’m telling you, there’s not going to be anything for it that’s so compelling that 10 years from now you’ll tell your friends ‘wow, I really want to break out the Kinect and play this’. It’s just not going to happen.” McMillen said of Kinect games.

Microsoft have previously stated that all their future first party games will come with Kinect support.

“Buttons. Buttons and game pads. Just give me my f***ing game pad back.” He replied when asked what he wanted from the next generation of consoles.

So Train2Game, do you agree with the Super Meat Boy devs comments? Should the industry focus more on games then things like motion control?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Eurogamer]

Microsoft: Kinect becoming ‘super-responsive’

As reported by the Train2Game blog, Microsoft gave Kinect a huge push during their E3 press conference, with developers getting better at using the technology.

Now  Kinect developers are starting to unlock “a whole bunch of new stuff” with their “super-responsive” titles. At least that’s according to Kinect’s Microsoft creative director, Kudo Tsunoda.

“I think the great thing about Kinect, and you saw so many new types of experience at the E3 keynote, is it’s all being down with the same hardware and development tools that have been available for a while – it’s just us as developers getting better at using the technology,” he said.

“You could see that in Kinect Star Wars: we’ve got the responsiveness down now where you could be blocking laser shots coming in with the lightsaber, which obviously needs to be very responsive to be able to do that.”

“It’s super-responsive, and that’s certainly unlocking a whole bunch of new stuff.” He added.

Microsoft has already stated that all first Xbox 360 titles will come with Kinect support in future, and you can find out more here on the Train2Game blog.

And as also previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Minecraft for the Xbox 360 will also come with Kinect support.

Only yesterday the Train2Game blog reported that while Peter Molyneux is a huge fan of Kinect, he believes the lack of buttons leads to interface control issues.

So Train2Game, how do you see Kinect technology developing? How much will it improve in future? And to what extent could it change Game Design as we know it?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: CVG]

Molyneux: lack of buttons for Kinect causes problems

Peter Molyneux has admitted that there are problems with motion control, in comments that may be well supported by Train2Game students.

“I’ll admit that Kinect has got some problems. As an input device it has some real problems.” He told Gaming Union.

“Without a thumb stick, navigation is a real problem. You haven’t got any buttons, so ordering the player to do something can be somewhat of a problem” he continued. It’s a fair point that Train2Game Game Designers may have thought of too.

“But what Kinect does have is a great sense of freedom and emotion. So that’s what we’ve tried to do with Fable: The Journey.It started about seven months ago when Microsoft came to us and said, ‘Look we want you to do a [Kinect] experience for the core gamers” Molyneux added.

“So we sat down and thought through the problems with that, and the first thing was figuring out how we can make Kinect more engaging, more engrossing, and more emotional than any control-based game or any Fable game has ever been before.”

Microsoft are very keen to push Kinect, and as reported by the Train2Game blog, the motion controller featured heavily in their E3 presentation. Earlier this month, the Train2Game blog also reported that Microsoft say all first party titles will come with Kinect support in future.

Train2Game students may also like to be reminded that earlier this year, Molyneux stated that up and coming game developers – which of course includes those currently on Train2Game courses – should get more support from the industry.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Molyneux’s comments about Kinect? Does it show that the traditional controller still has a lot to offer?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gaming Union via Develop]

Microsoft to release Kinect Development tools for PC

Perhaps it’s the first step towards a current Train2Game student being able to develop motion control based games for the PC in future. In any case, Microsoft will be releasing Software Development Kits that’ll enable Kinect to be modified via PC.

The intent of releasing a “starter kit” for application developers is to make it easier for academic research and enthusiast communities to create different experiences using the Kinect technology.

The starter kit will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to deep Kinect system capabilities such as audio, system APIs, and direct control of the sensor.  The Kinect Development tools will be released in the Spring, but there is no word on a commercial version as of yet.

Perhaps this’ll eventually lead to an official Star Wars lightsaber game for the Kinect! Although last year, one Sony Engineer claimed that the Microsoft motion controller wouldn’t be suited to such a game. You can read his comments in full here on the Train2Game blog.

Kinect offers the games industry another opportunity to push the boundries of Game Design, so Train2Game students may find it useful to take an interest in the development tools for the PC.

Last month it was revealed that 42% of all Kinect Games sold are made here in the UK.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Kinect development tools being released for the PC? Do you think it’ll lead to revolutionary new ways to play games? Or do you believe that there’s no need to develop motion control for the PC?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog or on the Train2Game forum. You can also let us know what you think the Train2Game Twitter.

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see the official Train2Game Game Jam website or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.

UPDATE: Portal 2 NOT PlayStation Move compatible.

Portal 2 Train2Game blog image

UPDATE: Valve has told Eurogamer that Portal 2 won’t support PlayStation Move,  giving a statement to Eurogamer which read: this quote was ‘lost in translation’ – Portal 2 does not include support for Sony’s motion controller.”

PlayStation 3 owning Train2Game students may be pleased to hear that their version of Portal 2 – with the game being one of the most anticipated of the year – will be PlayStation Move compatible.

The report comes from the German PlayStation Blog (and translated by Eurogamer) and it’s an excellent example of the innovative Game Design that Train2Game students may wish to implement in future.

Valve writer Chet Faliszek said it could be considered ‘compensation’ for PlayStation 3 owners not getting Left 4 Dead. He also hints at Valve’s strive for perfection when it comes to Game Design.

“We made a mistake back then and gave the Orange Box console versions to an external team. They did a good job, but didn’t quite achieve the same quality level that we have at Valve. Now everything happens in-house, we created a special console department just for that.”

“So the move to the PlayStation 3 comes late – we’re sorry for that. As a small compensation we have PS3-exclusive cloud saving, a free code for PC and complete PlayStation Move support.

“Look at it as a compensation for Left 4 Dead.”

The Valve Game Designer added: “Move is also a completely new experience for us, thus the system isn’t fully integrated yet.”

The news comes after Killzone 3 developers Guerrilla Games suggested most First Person Shooters will be played with motion control in a few years time. (Even if Train2Game forum users suggested they’d like to still be able to use control pads) The Killzone 3 Game Developer has also revealed that Valve’s Half-Life is one their biggest influences.

Portal 2 is set for release in April and comes with new features along with a robot companion voiced by Stephen Merchant. The PlayStation 3 edition of the game also comes with the PC version for free.

So Train2Game, do you think being PlayStation Move compatible is good for Portal? Will this innovation encourage you to buy the PlayStation 3 version?  What other games would you like to see Move innovations in? And do you want to develop for motion controls in future?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum. Alternatively, tell us what you think via the Train2Game Twitter and Facebook pages.

[Source: CVG]

Train2Game, in association with DR Studios and the University of Bedfordshire, will be holding a Game Jam at the end of March. For more information, see the official Train2Game Game Jam website or the Train2Game Game Jam Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an eye on the Train2Game Game Jam Twitter account.