Levine: Developers need to "firewall" motion control

Bioshock Infinite's creator is cautious but committed to Kinect, Move

Irrational's creative director Ken Levine has expressed concern over integrating motion control into more traditional gameplay mechanics.

Following the E3 announcement that BioShock Infinite will support PlayStation Move, Levine spoke to OXM about ensuring the safety of tried and tested methods, even when adding new control schemes.

"Any experience that sits in the realm of motion play needs to be kept separate from the main experience," he explained. "It needs to be firewalled off so that if this experiment isn't for you, or doesn't turn out to be all that great, you just ignore it. Any new experience we add, we need to be able to protect this experience."

But he was also adamant about the need to evolve. "If we don't experiment, we don't progress."

Levine also spoke about Bioware's planned use of Kinect in it's epic space RPG. "I like the stuff they're doing with Mass Effect 3, in terms of making some of the interface aspects a little less thorny - more the squad commands than the conversation, as that's a bit of a challenge on the controller."

He did admit that, personally, he's a fan of more traditional methods. "I'm a hardcore gamer - I do most of my gaming on mouse and keyboard. I'm always open to new things, but I'm a really conservative guy at heart. I'll try it out slowly, but I'll be doing so very conservatively."

Bioshock Infinite is due for release in 2012.

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Latest comments (5)

Abbass Hussain International Business Development, AQ Interactive6 years ago
I think I represent alot of gamers who are perfectly happy with non-motion control, or at least "as little motion as possible" control i.e. on the couch, feet up (I won't ask you to raise your hands in agreement).
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
I think a lot of people have a false understanding of what motion cotnrol is. For example, I can play many Wii games from my couch with my feet up. The minor twists of the wrists to aim or reload or whatever are never bespoke of when discussing motion controls. Rather it's the arm flailing, stand up, energetic motion control concepts that get thrown around as though they are the only form of motion cotnrol that exists when in fact they are the minority.

And "firewalling" motion controls is already being done on Wii with Monster Hunter Tri, Goldeneye and Conduit 2 allowing either Wii remote controls or Classic Controller Pro. Even Nintendo themselves have offered multiple controls offerings for some games such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
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Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member 6 years ago
I'm all for motion control. If they offer a traditional control scheme and also a more physical/experimental control scheme I think there's nomway to lose
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Doug McFarlane Co-Owner, KodeSource6 years ago
I've noticed that XBox games are either Kinect only input, or controller only input. What I'd like to see offered (if allowed by MicroSoft, if not, why?) is a mixture of both.

The options should allow you to choose what input you want for each action, individually. And it should include motion based input such as gestures. For example, you could have movement control using an analog stick, while jumping is triggered by you physically jumping.

This leads to an obvious new controller type, a one-handed device (like a Wii nun-chuck) with a few buttons and d-pad or analog stick, plus accelerometer.

Either way, if the detection accuracy could be high enough, it would be great if the Kinect could detect your hands moving the controller, to mimic an accelerometer, so a jump could also be defined by you quickly flicking the controller upwards. This would allow you to play sitting down. Or have both, throw in an actual accelerometer! With a blue light on top!
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Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member 6 years ago
Motion control, to me, isn't a gimmick. Like hardcore game control methods, it has it's place and time. Imo, touchscreens are much more useful to the hardcore than motion.
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