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New Kinect genres "two years away" - Turn 10

Content creators only just getting to grips with "new frontier" in development

It could be another two years before Kinect ushers in new types of genres and gameplay, according to Turn 10's Dan Greenawalt.

Speaking at E3 last week, the Forza Motorsport producer said that developers are only now getting to grips with the possibilities of Microsoft's motion sensing peripheral.

"We're two years away from having entirely new genres that are born out of this kind of thinking," said Greenawalt.

"Getting an idea to market, especially on a big title, takes years. So it's not a matter of seeing something in a game that you think is cool and six months later you throw it into your game - that's really not the case."

This is a new country, it's a brand new frontier to explore

Dan Greenawalt, Turn 10

Kinect was central to Microsoft's message last week at E3, as it revealed long-anticipated core gaming support for the device from franchises such as Ghost Recon, Fable and Mass Effect. But Greenawalt believes this is only the start of something new and hopes that further down the line Kinect will have pushed gaming into entirely different spaces.

"If I'm honest, I still think the development community is just getting started," he said. "Three years from now, four years from now we're going to look back at the types of games that were originally launched and the types of games you're going to see coming forward and we're going to say 'that was the start of something big.'

"I can't tell you what those big things are. Some of them are secret but most I just don't know about."

Forza was one of the first core games to be shown using Kinect at E3 in 2010, with the Turn 10 team taking the technology and working from scratch to create something unique for the series.

"When Kudo [Tsunoda] was first showing this inside of Microsoft, this sensor, for us we got really excited because I thought about my kids playing Hot Wheels, how people drool over cars at a car show, and all the different ways people interact to cars at a car show," added Greenawalt.

"This is a new country, it's a brand new frontier to explore. We had to start from square one because there wasn't a large development community, everything was in its infancy."

Forza Motorsport 4 is set for release this October.

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Latest comments (8)

Craig Burkey Software Engineer 10 years ago
The thing I don't get is that, despite all this talk, its just talk I've yet to see a convincing implementation of kinect in any sort of core game sense.

Rare have said once they had prototyped numerous ways to control a FPS, why don't they patch Perfect Dark on XBLA or release Perfect Dark Kinect? This will at least appease some naysayer, tests the waters with the general public about what types of control systems work and give ideas to other developers struggling to implement similar systems

Kinect Fun Labs looks like a step in the right direction I hope it does get alot of support but the branding "fun labs" itself kinda worries me
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 10 years ago
So Kinect was first shown at E3 2009 and then launched about 17 months later... and now, a further 7 months after launch we're being told not to expect games really making the most of the tech for another 2, 3 or maybe 4 years?! Surely in the least Microsoft should have had some internal teams plugging away, trying to come up with innovative and interesting ways of using the hardware, and able to get something to market quicker than 4+ years after starting development?

I mean, I think it's interesting technology and I'm sure there are developers who can come up with ideas outside the box to make great games and experiences, but until they show us some really irrefutable evidence, I remain very sceptical it will have any place in deeper 'core' games as a useful control method.
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Brent Thale Software Engineer, Visceral Games10 years ago
I would love to see elements of Kinect technology applied to non-game applications like cameras. Autofocus systems even in $5000 DSLR cameras haven't changed much in 20 years, it's basically completely manual with the user selecting a focus point using a thumbwheel with some mildly-effective attempts to make that process smarter by "tracking" or "predicting" subject movement. With Kinect, the camera could "know" it's taking a picture of a particular person, could lock focus on the person's eyes with computer accuracy, could measure the depth in a scene to keep the entire subject in focus, and could be smart about temporary or partial obstructions of the subject.
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Show all comments (8)
Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 10 years ago
The biggest problem the kinect has is the needed space, I've just bought myself a kinect (for experimenting on the PC), but you need waaaaay too much room for it to actually see you fullbody. Knowing a lot of xbox360 gamer I can tell you that none of them has the actual room to use the kinect to it's fullest (or even torso and up).. The idea of Kinect is great, but it's rather unpractical in most homes because of the lack of space..
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Doug McFarlane Co-Owner, KodeSource10 years ago
If Microsoft doesn't already do this, they need to create a Kinect motion library for the other games to use.

It should have gesture recognition such as a common jump, duck, dodge, hand wave, etc.
(I find each game seems to detect these motions differently, some much worse / inaccurate.)
Plus have a custom gesture system where you can specify a body part and a motion shape (and/or location quadrant).
(Eg. Right-hand (or either hand option) waving below waist, etc.)
Very similar to mouse gesture algorithms, but with more options like body part, and the extra dimension.

It should offer a full skeletal-model of each player, maybe scaled to a fixed scale (so a child appears same size as adult).
I've seen PC demos with amazing and precise control over a 3d avatar.

I would love a Kinect control panel in the XBox dashboard too.
This would allow global Kinect options that should/could be used by Kinect games.
Options such as:
- sensitivity (people don't all have the same range)
- force one player (I hate when games 'smartly' detect when you change people and want to change your avatar (JoyRide!) when all you want to do is switch each turn sharing the same profile!!!)
- play area (?? not sure how, but why include where the couch is? it should remove the couch area from what it considers its play area)

This would allow developers to use more Kinect features without the time required to figure it out on their own.
Plus it would offer consistency between different games.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Doug McFarlane on 15th June 2011 7:33pm

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Tom Hunt Game Developer, neocade10 years ago
I had the same issue as Andrew with my Kinect, and that is why it is collecting dust on top of my TV screen. It seems like it was designed for rich people with big houses.

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.10 years ago
Brent, I have 2 cameras. $500 and $200 of different brands and both can auto-focus on human faces or bodies instantly. And a $5,000 Nikon or Hassleblad is probably more suited to someone that wants more manual focus anyway.
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Jonathan Williamson Game Designer, Paper Child Studios10 years ago
And then some of us have crossed that barrier and know exactly what some of those new genres will be.

"Full Motion"

As I defined it in 2006, "Full Motion" is where motion capture is used on the player for the purpose of creating a 3D model that mimics the player's actions in real time.

Now, I have this: CLICK HERE.

(NOTE: Please be sure to read along with the "speaker notes" mentioned on the first slide if you want all the nitty-gritty details.)

P.S. I hate powerpoints, but they do seem to get the job done.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jonathan Williamson on 15th June 2011 9:54pm

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