Red Storm Entertainment is developing more than just the multiplayer experience for Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. The studio helped Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Romania with the implementation of Kinect for the Xbox 360 version of the shooter. Tony Stertzel, associate producer on the game at Red Storm Entertainment, explains how the new shooter takes advantage of Kinect’s voice commands and motion-sensor technology in this exclusive interview.
What are the different options are Kinect for Xbox 360 gamers?
With the Kinect you can go through all of our character customization features, as well as weapon customization, which is our biggest feature – the GunSmith.
How varied are the voice commands?
With the voice commands you can do things like select attachments and go through the entire weapon carousel and pick out your paint options and scroll through options. With the randomized feature and the optimized features, you can command the game to pick your weapons. At any point you can say “randomize it” and it will pick from the hundreds of different combinations that we have and put a new weapon in front of you. You can also optimize one of our four main statistics, which are maneuverability, range, power and control.
What type of gesture controls are available?
For the hand gestures that you use, gamers can essentially use their whole upper body at some point or another. You can lean left or right and move the character around in the firing range, as well as move the camera around when you’re looking at the character during customization. And then you can use your hands for wide gestures to do things like expand and collapse the actual weapon. You can also use left and right scroll with your left and right hand, depending on which is dominant.
How does the shooting range play out using Kinect versus the controller?
We put the shooting range into Kinect so that players can immediately get some feedback on how a particular weapon modification can affect the gameplay of the weapon. You use your left or right hand, whichever is your favorite, to aim and then an open hand will actually fire the weapon. Your other hand will enter and exit attachments for your ultimate fire, like an under barrel attachment, for example.
What do you feel that Kinect adds to the experience for those that do have it?
I think the Kinect with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier adds an element of getting up off the couch, but also an element that everybody wants to live out that Minority Report fantasy where you’re standing in front of an interface and swiping things around. It’s very smooth. It’s very sleek, and it’s really interesting to see the gun in that way.
From a development standpoint, do you see this being the beginning of potentially controlling more of shooter experiences down the road?
Yeah. Absolutely. One of the things that we talked a lot about when we were putting this in is that it doesn’t need to feel like a gimmick. You want it to feel like it’s there for a reason and every gesture that you actually do have has a defined purpose. When it comes to controlling the full game, things can get complicated and you don’t want the player to have to jump around their living room in order to control everything that the player can do. We’re still battling with that. The controller has a lot of functionality when you’re talking about being able to hold one button while pressing another. It adds another layer of complexity there. Adding that many different gestures is something that we’ll have to find really creative ways in the future to get players to feel intuitive when they’re controlling the game, while still keeping it accessible without making it too complicated or gimmicky.