Platform: Xbox 360 & Kinect
Publisher: Microsoft, MTV Games
One of the first titles for the Xbox Kinect, Dance Central's was developed in parallel with Microsoft's new hardware.
This created unique challenges for the design and research departments— our platform defined gameplay, and its capabilities were changing from day to day. We aimed to create something that would make the most of Kinect's abilities and not struggle with its restrictions. A tight loop of feedback between departments allowed us to keep close tabs on what was working and what needed to be refined.
Heading toward alpha, we realized that our algorithmic motion detection system was just not working— it was too hard to ace a routine, even for the choreographers who had designed it. The system assumed a dance move consisted of a specific shape, made at a precise time. This left little room for variation in body language, rhythmic expression, and the fundamentals of what makes dancing fun. In the final weeks the system was scrapped, and replaced with a machine-learning system, created by analyzing dozens of real player performances.
My contributions included...
Typical design questions