Developers are still building a “vocabulary” for Kinect controls, David Braben has said in his Develop 2011 keynote – but it has advantages when building a game for a “for an audience who aren’t familiar with a controller.”
David Braben believes that Kinect is still in the process of building an agreed “vocabulary” for how controls work with Microsoft’s motion sensor system – and compares it to how long it took for first-person shooters on console to settle into an agreed pattern.
“There’s a divide in our business between core… and “casual” gamers” Braben said, and pointed to the controller as a factor that intimidates a broader audience.
If you already play first-person shooters like Halo and Call of Duty you have an innate familiarity with the controls because their layout and control “vocabulary” have been agreed over the last decade on console controllers.
But when it came to a game with broader appeal such as Kinect Disneyland Adventures the ”mechanics have to be right, even for an audience who aren’t familiar with a controller.”
Braben admitted Kinect does present issues for a designer: “It’s a great challenge: how do you move around with it?” but believes that the elegant solution for player character movement in Disneyland Adventures may become part of the emerging “vocabulary” for Kinect controls. He noted that the pointing gesture was “far more natural than a left analogue stick” for navigation control.
In conclusion, Braben pointed out that Kinect has not even been out for a year yet and ”we are building a vocabulary for it” that will eventually become standard across Kinect titles: “I think we can still go a lot further with Kinect.”
Watch out for our interview with David Braben next week.