Skittles

Motion

Monday, June 21, 2010 | 02:49 AM | by

Alternate title for this comic, "Taste the brain blow"?

I don't mean to keep jabbing at the Kinect, but this is the first thing I thought when I saw the demo of Kinectimals at Microsoft's Press conference. Putting aside that it's a motion control game obviously geared for kids, the video (assuming it was a live demonstration... it's entirely possible it was staged) highlights the key problem I have with the controllerless Kinect.

In the video the girl is wiggling her hands, and on-screen the hands are wiggling. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of accurate sync (again, it may have just been a staged performance), and so it looks like "I flail in my living room, arms on screen flap about" but not with the sort of precision you'd need for more complex games.

We already know Kinect can't pick up finger movements. So far I haven't seen any evidence that it can detect subtle movements like the orientation of a hand (palm side up or down, for example). No evidence that you can navigate a character in a 3D space. All well and good for games that are on rails, or sports/fitness games. Or in other words, all good for casual games.

However $150 is a pretty chunk of change for a console addon so, from my perspective at least, it would have made sense to appeal to both the casual and core crowds with the Kinect. At this point I'm not sure how Microsoft will bridge that gap if they choose to. How would you make a Gears of War for the Kinect? How would you roadie run?

I think that motion controls are really cool. I think they have a lot of potential, even in core games, that hasn't been fully explored yet. I also believe that analog sticks and buttons still have to play a role in these games (a la the Wii). Removing those extra control options severly limits what you can do.

In this respect, at the moment, the Playstation Move is sitting in the number one spot for my "anticipated new motion control tech". If the controller tracking is really as accurate as they're suggesting, combined with the graphical power of the system, we could see some pretty cool games coming out in the next year or two. I can imagine a God of War type title built from the ground up to use the Playstation move.

Picture a third-person hack and slash game where in-game canned animations aren't assigned to general motions (ie, flail your arm in one direction to perform an overhead super slash), but actually a free-form, accurate representation of your real life sword swings. Now add in that really cool slice technology from Metal Gear Rising. Done well, that's a game that would get core gamers salivating about motion controls.

The Move controller may look silly with it's big lollipop at the end, but I think it has the most potential (right now) to provide some games that push past the "casual" stereotype, and maybe even produce a title that proves that motion controls have a place in serious gaming. The Wii had the right idea, but I don't think the motion tracking is accurate enough, or the system graphics powerful enough to push motion gaming to that next level.

Maybe we'll see the PS3 do something right during its lifespan.

Monster Hunter Tri Comic Contest Update

Monday, June 21, 2010 | 04:08 PM | by

Whew! I've finally finished reading through all of the contest entries. I took my time with them because you guys took the effort to write these scripts and send them in, and I wanted to make sure I thoroughly read and judged each one. I apologize for the delay, I know you were anxious to find out if you won, and get your prize.

I want to thank all of you for participating, there were a lot of great ideas and it was very tough choosing just one winner. However the decision has been made, and I've emailed the author of the winning script. I'll be drawing out the comic this week, and I'll unveil the winner and the comic shortly.

Once again, thank you all for sending in your great script ideas!

Scheduled maintenance - June 21th 9:00pm EDT (UPDATED)

Monday, June 21, 2010 | 05:11 PM | by

UPDATE

The maintenance is finished, thanks a lot for your patience :).

So what's new? Pretty much nothing to be honest. 95% of the changes were made on the backend of the site.

The good news is that this site now loads up a lot faster.

One of the change some of you will definitively notice is that we changed the format of our RSS feed. Because of this, you might see a bunch of items you've already seen as new items. Sorry about the inconvenience.

As per usual, if you notice a problem or if you have a question, simply email me at pierre [at] cad-comic.com.

Thanks!