Capcom will soon be releasing a sequel to Steel Battalion – an Xbox game known for its famously large, ridiculously expensive controller. It allowed the player to pilot a huge mech – using all manner of buttons, levers and knobs. The new game will use a standard controller, supplemented by Kinect, Microsoft’s motion-sensing doohickey. those who’ve used Kinect would know that it’s not really as accurate as it should be.
Capcom’s apparently changed that.
“Initially, when we started testing Steel Battalion on Kinect, the movement recognition was done by area. It detected where your hands are, and that’s how the program tried to see what you were trying to do,” Kenji Kataoka, the game’s producer explained to Eurogamer.
the sort of vague area detection that Kinect employs just wasn’t accurate enough to track the finer, complex and precise movements that Steel Battalion requires – so Capcom, developer FROM Software and Microsoft made a number of changes to how it all works.
“But obviously, because Steel Battalion is fairly complicated, recognition by area wasn’t good enough. So Microsoft developed another whole set of technology that meant it recognised actual gestures, not the absolute area. Now it’s a combination of coordinates, area and gestures. That adds a lot more accuracy. It now can detect what your intentions are just by small movement rather than the absolute coordinate of where your hands are. In the end it turned out really well, but we really had to grill it to the last with Microsoft to make this happen.”
According to Kataoka, this means that Steel Battalion will be the most accurate Kinect game to date – not that that’s really saying much.
“Against the ones that are already out, I do think we’ve gone the deepest and we’ve checked every single alley and potential Kinect can offer,” he said.
I sincerely hope this is true – and that it’ll be utilised in future Kinect games. As fantastic as the technology is, it’s shown nothing but potential; there have been very few worthwhile ideas – in games, specifically – that have been realised with Kinect. Also, GIANT ROBOTS!
Last Updated: May 14, 2012