Kinect Sports Rivals TV Trailer

A trailer for Kinect Sports Rivals on Xbox One which I worked on at Rare- 2 weeks until I can show my work and you guys get to play our game =)

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Kinect And Wii U GamePad Detract Or Add To The Experience?

Rob Fahey has written a brilliant article on GameIndustry.biz about why he thinks the Xbox One and Nintendo Wii U are actually worse off with their true next-gen innovations in Kinect and the GamePad.

Xbox One and Wii U are less conservative, because both of them make some effort to change the interface and context of videogames. Xbox One includes a vastly updated and improved Kinect motion sensor, which shoulders the brunt of the blame for the console’s inflated price tag. The sensor, like its predecessor, is designed to map and understand the movement of human bodies around the room in front of it – unlike its predecessor, it actually appears to be capable of doing so very well. The Wii U, meanwhile, includes the GamePad, a touchscreen controller that lets you play games even while others are watching something else on TV, but more interestingly, also creates a second screen for gameplay and has potential uses in asymmetric multiplayer, wherein one player uses the screen to set up a game while others use Wii Remotes to tackle the challenges being created.

It could be, of course, that the features themselves just aren’t much good. I think the potential of the GamePad remains to be tapped, but have some sympathy with the argument that Kinect, even in its vastly upgraded Xbox One incarnation, is a solution for which no readily apparent problem can be found. Certainly its present function, as an utterly sub-par way of controlling the console’s menu functions and an occasional shoehorned annoyance in games, does little to explain why this expensive piece of hardware is a mandatory part of Xbox One – yet I know that there are plenty of enthusiastic and intelligent games people at Microsoft, and there must be a genuine belief that Kinect 2 can deliver unique and worthwhile experiences that won’t be possible on other consoles. The problem is that, just as with the thus-far largely meaningless GamePad, Microsoft has failed to demonstrate or articulate just what those experiences will be.

It feels like both companies want to bottle some of the magic which fuelled the Wii to such great heights in the last generation, but they’ve forgotten that the real magic of the Wii wasn’t actually the Wiimote – it was Wii Sports. In one superbly crafted game, bundled free with the console in many territories, Nintendo explained exactly what the Wii was for. A few minutes with Wii Sports showed anyone and everyone what the Wiimote was designed to do and how it would change the game experience. Moreover, it set out a clear agenda for the console as a whole – a social machine, a family machine, an accessible machine. Wii Sports wasn’t just a game, it was a powerful demonstration, a mission statement and perhaps the greatest piece of marketing anyone in the games industry has ever crafted.

The Xbox One and the Wii U both have their Wiimote, but neither has their Wii Sports.

The last sentence that I highlighted in bold is really the key point in the article to me. Both devices have potential, and I have always been a supporter of the Kinect, but neither have a true stand-out game which fulfils some of the potential of either device yet. Obviously it is still very early days with the Xbox One, with Kinect-focused games like Kinect Sports Rivals coming out soon, but you would have hoped that Nintendo would have a killer game that utilises the GamePad properly by now.

Check out the full article over on GamesIndustry.biz.

Kinect Sports Rivals- Free Pre-Season Trial From 22nd November

It was announced a couple of days ago that a Free Trial of the game I am working on Kinect Sports Rivals will be ready to download on the Xbox One Launch Day on the 22nd of November.

The “Kinect Sports Rivals” Preseason will run from Nov. 22, 2013 until March 2014, and throughout this time, players will face monthly challenges with the chance to earn points and unlock rewards only available in Preseason.  See below for details:

  • Download the free trial experience anytime from Nov. 22 thru Nov. 30 and start earning points to unlock the special “Founder” player title, an exclusive “Kinect Sports Rivals” wetsuit and a “Kinect Sports Rivals” wake racer to commemorate the launch of Xbox One.
  • Players will compete against familiar faces – including a fully digital version of me and my good friend AceyBongos who will step in as tough competition.
  • New monthly challenges with unique objectives and rewards will become available within the “Kinect Sports Rivals” Hub – some will be personal, some will be co-op, and some will pit nation against nation in a global battle for international fame. Each challenge will deliver its own exclusive rewards that will carry over to the full game when it launches next spring.
  • Complete every player challenge given and expand the fun by racing against a friend in the same room in split screen mode.
  • Enjoy an all-new track by rising band Youngblood Hawke. They recorded “Collide” just for “Kinect Sports Rivals.”

Launching in spring of 2014, “Kinect Sports Rivals” is the next generation of the best-selling Kinect franchise, “Kinect Sports.” “Kinect Sports Rivals” brings favorite sports back in re-imagined ways, and delivers new sports and events made possible only with Xbox One’s revolutionary technology. “Kinect Sports Rivals” puts players in the game like never before, tracks their movements and expressions with incredible accuracy, and offers never-ending competition with friends and rivals.

Here is a video of some of the Wave Race gameplay with commentary from our Executive Producer at Rare, Danny Isaac:

Make sure you download and try the game on your Xbox One’s and see the hard work we have been putting in! 🙂

Kinect Sports: Rivals Demo With IGN

IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey test out being scanned and the Wave Race in Kinect Sports: Rivals. Remember this game still has months of development time left on it so it will look and play even better when it is released 🙂

Kinect Sports: Rivals Champions- Real People Scanned In

kinectsportsrivals_champion_05

 

At Gamescom the public can try out the amazing scanning Champion creation feature from Kinect Sports: Rivals. These are some of the people who have been scanned in using the Kinect. Can see some of my work in the background too- the grass, I worked on many of the boats, plants and rocks too. 🙂

Check out the @KSRivals Twitter feed to see more!

Kinect Sports: Rivals- More Detailed Video

This is the just released video from Rare, Microsoft, talking about Kinect Sports: Rivals coming to Xbox One. You actually get to see quite a bit of stuff I’ve worked on- the football (which is only in early development so will look much better!), in Wave Race I worked on a lot of things including some rocks, boats, etc., in Tennis you can see the grass I worked heavily on (in this sport you can see the textures I made but they have been slightly tweaked and placed by another talented artist. In Wave Race the grass is all done by me). 🙂