Jade Raymond calls for developers to embrace non-traditional control schemes

Former Assassin's Creed producer believes in viability of control-pad free gaming

Head of Ubisoft Toronto and former Assassin's Creed producer Jade Raymond has opened up about her love of motion control, saying that it will eventually progress into something more fulfilling. She calls for production teams from around the gaming world to look more heavily into said technology, saying that fulfilling game experiences can be had without the traditional controller set up.

"As more of a hardcore gamer I want to see that stuff integrated into hardcore games in a way that makes them better because as fun as all those games are, I don't really play exercise games - I can't picture myself doing that," said Raymond to OXM.

"I'd love to be able to lean and look round the corner and just integrate more natural motions. The tech for those things isn't quite there, but I hope it will soon."

The experience she is personally gunning for would be something reminiscent of a VR room without the complicated headgear and gloves seen in older VR setups. To best surmise the wish, one could compare her thoughts to the 'Holodeck' made famous on Star-Trek, of which she is a major fan. She offered; "I have this dream that, ultimately, we're going to end up creating the Holodeck."

"Even people who played games when it used to be just one big red button and a D-pad can't play games now," said Raymond.

"You have to master face buttons, triggers and they all do different things, so obviously we're never going to get to that really mass-market place where we're touching a really broad audience with our messages with controllers, so Kinect and other more natural ways to interact with games are incredibly important. I think we can go further."

With the next Splinter Cell in development by her team at Montreal and Toronto, Raymond is perhaps working more on the traditional side, but a new IP from the firm is fast approaching.

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Latest comments (5)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 9 years ago
Hmmmm. With all the tutorials that make most modern games too easy these days PLUS the fact that dammit, part of the thrill of gaming is LEARNING how to play a new game with the stock controller (every game doesn't play exactly the same way, thankfully). I'm not a fan of these people in the industry with VR fetishes that don't understand that what works on tee vee and movies won't necessarily work in real life gaming applications.

Yes, I love my Wii and PS Move games, but I don't expect, nor hope that the industry moves in the direction of more motion control over trying to make it as perfect as can be before trying to push it even more than they have previously. I don't want a "real-life" Holodeck, Minority Report or even a TRON experience at all and judging by the busted furniture and asses from this generation of motion control getting out of control in some places, I'm betting others feel the same way.

That and, until this control method is perfect, making that "Holodeck" fantasy come true will actually end up shutting out even more gamers who either hate ducking and weaving when they play or hate standing up and moving around because it takes them OUT of the experience (or hell, maybe some gamers with disabilities who can't stand up, duck or lean to begin with will find VR even less immersive if it's done really badly).

I'll be patient and hope people come to their senses before the gimmick train crashes again in a few years, but I doubt it. "Make it so!" needs a reboot to "Make it so it WORKS!"
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John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam9 years ago
"I'd love to be able to lean and look round the corner"

Is there a technical or TCR reason why this hasn't been done yet? Everyone always brings it up as a blindingly obvious use for Kinect or PlayStation Eye that would actually add to immersion in a game, but I've not seen any game that uses it yet. Some motor racing games use head tracking to look around, why don't shooters use it for peeking around corners and craning your neck to look over cover, for example?
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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship9 years ago
I agree with the sentiment, but the execution thus far (Kinect, Wiimote, Move etc) is lacking.

Mr Carmack needs to get involved, as he has for VR.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd9 years ago
I've enjoyed motion controls a lot in certain games. Using the Wiimote + as a sword in Skyward Sword and aiming in Metroid Prime Trilogy or Killzone 3 felt awesome... but it's silly to think that every game needs such systems. Obviously diversity is a good thing, and that means man y ways to play and many forms of input.
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Steve Nicholls Programmer 9 years ago
Nobody really gives a hoot about leaning around a corner etc, real gamers use and want standard control schemes... Stop wasting time on stuff like this. How many people have a playstation move or kinetic gathering dust.

Just make good games with good proven controls and stop waffling on and trying to do something very little of us want.
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