Ultimate Kinect - Progress

Making some progress. :)


Ultimate Kinect

So this video isn't going to make a whole lot of sense yet, but I wanted to post what I was working on!

Watching the Microsoft presentation at E3 I thought it was interesting how so many of the Kinect titles were on rails games. The more I thought about it, the more I decided that on rails experiences seem really fun to author - you're taking away the player's ability to choose where to go, so you can take him anywhere, and pull off a lot of things you can't do in standard 3D world games. You can also switch up his situation whenever you feel like it - so you could something like starting with an FPS where you're using your hands to aim, and then switching it over to a soccer game, where you're using your feet to kick. Granted, you have to build all of those mechanics and make them all work... :)

Anyway, I was daydreaming about it, and I thought it sounded fun to mock up a rough idea for a Kinect title that does this - the mechanics stay basically the same through the entire game, but you travel through a linear path of different genres of game. You start with a puzzle game, then it's a zombie killing FPS, then your weapon gets taken away, so you have to kick the zombie heads at the next enemy (like a soccer game), and maybe you even end up with some dancing and racing in there somehow.

I've gotten to the soccer transition so far, and then the video stops - there are at least 4 more sections that I want to mock up (soccer, high fives, dancing, racing). As far as the actual gameplay, it would be score based. You would replay the same sequence each time, trying to improve your score to beat friends. For each segment of the game you get a score based on how many guys you hit, or how many of the same colored puzzle pieces you can take out at once, etc - and if you reach a certain score you unlock the 'bonus' extra puzzle level or extra 15 zombies which also increase your score. Also if you fail to reach a certain score in 3 segments, the game ends (like Sequence in Geometry Wars). As far as Kinect goes, I'm trying to keep the input mechanics for each section as similar as possible to make it realistic if I ever decided to make it into a game. :) As part of the mock up I was thinking I'd video tape myself doing the corresponding Kinect actions to help clarify gameplay.

I'm not really sure if I would attempt to make it into a game - it really depends on whether or not I can make this mock up engaging, and seem like something that might be fun to develop further. Also Issam is really excited about the release of the Kinect SDK... so maybe ;)

PS - I'm really going to try to make an effort to start actually finishing some of these projects that I've been starting! :) Sorry for all the jumping around - as most people know, it's a lot easier to start new things than finish old ones. Going to try and break the habit.



Making a weight tracking motivational thing to stick on my fridge! I'll explain it more in a later post. :)



More progress. :)

Vlympics: Final Round: Geometry Wars

The Vlympics are over, and the champions are: Mos Eisley Spaceport!!

Here's how the final round worked:

Members of opposing teams competed against each other one on one. Mos Eisley on one TV & Alan + the Touring Machines on the other. Gameplay was standard: 3 lives, 3 bombs. Players played until they ran out of lives. Whoever had the higher score won a point for their team, and whichever team had the most points won. Teams determined the order that they went in, and who they matched up against from the opposing team. If we had encountered a tie, each team would have elected their strongest players to compete head to head for the title. (As it worked out, the final 2 players definitely had the most intense match.)

Pictures once again taken by Mel Holtzman.

Here's the overly dramatic speech I gave beforehand. :)

Hello Friends.

It’s been a long 5 weeks, hasn’t it?

You’ve worked together and against each other to complete fantastic trials, which tested your mind, your reflexes, and your competitive spirit.

You’ve raced through epic worlds of yarn, run from dinosaurs, and battled against each other using the avatars of giant, spandex wearing men. You’ve built mighty towers, deciphered pictographic runes and even shot each other in the face.

But as extraordinary, nay, impossible as these trials sound when taken out of context, they are not uncommon for us - for we are game developers. This place of fantasy is our domain, and we are lucky.

It is my sincere hope that through the palm sweat and bloodshed, you've learned something about yourselves and your peers. I know that you've seen - through the joyful cheers of triumph, and the bitter, pathetic tears of defeat - that we all have one important thing in common: we love games.

Let us celebrate this fact every day, and continue to work together to create these fantastic experiences - for ourselves, and for the player.

And now, let’s see what we all came here to see: a beautiful and historic event. Let's watch some ass kicking.

..and the teaser comments leading up to the game reveal:

Tonight’s final round is a game that has been called “pure and simple”

Said one reviewer, “Your television and brain will explode with glee.”
…another likened the effect of the visuals to the glory of the “skyline on the Fourth of July”

It is a merciless game, where any small distraction will result in imminent death.

A game that is perhaps single-handedly responsible for the success of Xbox Live Arcade,

I give you... Geometry Wars!!

I am looking forward to the next Vlympic games!!


Game Jam Weekend - Marathon

Issam and I did a mini-jam this weekend (but without working crazy late) and made a marathon game! We came up with the concept Fri night and worked Sat & Sun. It's semi-playable right now, but we're thinking we'll spend the next week or so making it into something actually fun. ;)

I will update with more soon!