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Kinect and First Person Shooters - Yay or Nay?

kinsho.jpgMicrosoft Kinect has been advertised as a gaming device suitable for the whole family. We see ads showing family members playing Kinect games together, feeding their Kinectimals, and scrolling through movie menus with gestures. The Kinect is a casual gaming apparatus built for casual gamers. At least that's what we've seen it being used as.

Those from the open source community, modders who tweak their Kinect devices and use their PCs to monitor the movement data of the system, have found other uses for the devices beyond what Microsoft has offered to us so far. The ease in modifying the Kinect has allowed many open-source games and programs to be created as well as giving traditional games new motion controls.

The latest mods have given first person shooters motion controls that could potentially give this genre a more realistic feel. The video after the jump shows a modder use the Kinect to play an FPS and control his character's movements as well as shooting controls with just his hand. As you can see, he has to stand and hold his hand in the air so the Kinect's camera can see what he's doing.

Another video also shows someone playing Left 4 Dead 2 with the Kinect and the same applies here too. A little bit of lag, but a lot of possibility.

Of course, these are user-created mods implemented into games that aren't meant to have motion controls. But they do open up a window of possibilities for future games. I'm sure Microsoft is developing some FPS game with Kinect controls. But I wonder how it will play like.

I understand the urge to give FPS full body motion controls, but how close to reality do we really want to take games with the power of motion controls? Nintendo seems to have done a good job with its FPS titles as they have implemented a joystick for movement and the Wii remote for aiming. Lacking any controller, can the Kinect ever give us a good FPS? Or will we have to get arm sores holding our arms like these modders?

5 Comments

smallvizier said:

"As you can see, he has to stand and hold his hand in the air so the Kinect's camera can see what he's doing."

Actually, in the first video he plays sitting down for a while, so you might want to edit that. He also appears to be a lot closer to the camera than people often are with the 'normal' Kinect programming... it looks like a lot of the limitations might be software-based.

In the first video, the controls for looking around & exploring look great. I can't help but think the shooting gesture looks weird and unintuitive, though. That's a lot better in the second, where you simply move your arm forwards.

OTOH In the second video, the foot controls seem a bit contrived (and the aiming not quite as well-tuned, either). As he's playing a full game, there are a lot more functions to work in and he's ended up with some rather contrived foot controls. Sure, I could figure them out, but they look strictly inferior to buttons. What he really needs is a Kinect + nunchuck combo... aim with right, move + fight with left.

Still, the aiming and movement in the first video in particular - which can be done sat down, and close to or far from the camera - looks great, and really gives me hope for the future. Kinect FPSs would probably need to design out some the 'extra stuff' like torches and use a lot more context-sensitive commands, though.

Purplexir said:

Sorry, I was referring to the video below that where the guy is standing for the duration of his L4D demo.

"What he really needs is a Kinect + nunchuck combo... aim with right, move + fight with left."
Yes. Otherwise, it seems a bit hard to recreate movement without actually moving your legs and moving like the guy you're controlling. I guess, FPS games could be the next calorie burning genre if that's the case. :)

Thicketford said:

One of the big things that a lot of people are overlooking is that this technology couldbe used to help disabled people play games.

Shin Gallon said:

However it works, it'd HAVE to be better than trying to play FPS games with a controller. I'd be willing to give it a shot.

Dave said:

Rare are well ahead of the pack with this of course since the helped develop Kinect. From talking to some pretty cagey developers there I think fps work well with a combination of controller and moving your body for example leaning out to see round a corner. Top GG tip then is keep an eye on Rare :-)

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Dave on Kinect and First Person Shooters - Yay or Nay?: Rare are well ahead of the pack with this of course since the helped develop Kinect. From talking to some...

Shin Gallon on Kinect and First Person Shooters - Yay or Nay?: However it works, it'd HAVE to be better than trying to play FPS games with a controller. I'd be willing...

Thicketford on Kinect and First Person Shooters - Yay or Nay?: One of the big things that a lot of people are overlooking is that this technology couldbe used to help...

Purplexir on Kinect and First Person Shooters - Yay or Nay?: Sorry, I was referring to the video below that where the guy is standing for the duration of his L4D...

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