Natal: “I want to see the compelling game first”, says Valve’s Faliszek

Wednesday, 5th August 2009 23:46 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Valve’s Chet Faliszek has weighed in on Natal, and while he thinks it’s “really cool”, he is more concerned with the games that will be created for it.

“We [Valve] got to check it out, and it’s actually really cool,” he told D’toid. “Like, there’s someone running around, jumping around and someone else walks up and it instantly recognizes this other person, splits them off and [they do] their own thing. There’s a lot of coolness around it, but I’m not sure about the game that comes with that, and I’m not sure, personally, how much I wanna move around. I’m a lazy, lazy man. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to be fatigued playing a game.

“I think Wii hit it out of the park with the titles that it shipped with. I bought two Wiis, and they’re both [for visiting] family, and playing. I can’t seem to box them up and carry them, so I had to buy two. [Wii's launch titles] are perfect games for that … I haven’t found much else that’s compelling.

“I want to see the compelling game first.”

Half Life 2: Episode 3 using Natal to simulate a crowbar attack across the face of a hostile Combine – now that would be compelling.



  1. yitbos

    I think the “compelling” games for the Natal will be ones that make larger use of the facial and voice recognition aspects but still relies on the standard controller for control of your character’s physical actions…

    Games which require full use of the body for input will not be compelling… they will be like the splat-ball demo shown at E3. Compelling games, most often than not, are ones in which gamers invest a large amount of time playing. Typically these are RPGs or FPSs.. but imagine trying to play Fallout 3 or Grand Theft Auto or Prototype using the Natal and no controller? Sure, the initial novelty effect would be exciting, but that effect would quickly wear off and the physical involvement required would actually distract the RP from the RPG as it would be more difficult to get drawn into the game while having to also pay attention to your physical surroundings while coordinating your entire body for each movement.

    But the Natal’s facial and voice recognition capabilities would only further draw the gamer into RPG style games like Fallout 3 when they actually are participating in the conversation, now giving dialogs a two-sided aspect instead of the one-sided, listening/watching the other character, scrolling through and reading a list of possible dialog options, selecting it, and having the character *immediately* respond.

    I still feel the Wii (and motion control as the primary form of input) is more of a novelty in gaming… but I can see the facial and voice recognition as being something that will further the realism–making nearly any game more compelling. When I want to unwind after work or have some fun, that’s when I like to game. I don’t want to unwind after coming home from working a 12-hour shift by jumping around, shaking my arms and legs.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the Natal and really hope it is as able to perform as promised. And I do believe there is a niche for motion control in console gaming…. which is why both MS and Sony have projects working to incorporate it into their own consoles… but I truly believe a more traditional controller will *always* be the cornerstone of gaming consoles and motion control will only stay a nice detour.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Pyrix

    I second everything you just said.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. tokman

    Having it off with Alex would be much more compelling!!

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Tonka

    Voice controls suck, I’ve tried it and it sucks. I don’t mind waving my arms around like a madman playing Wii Sports or NMH but talking out loud to my TV? Sorry, it’s just too silly.

    And you don’t honestly expect to be able to have a free conversation with in game characters do you? I gues a mood system could work where natal reads if you are positive, negative, threatening or neutral.

    Now I got a mental picture of people sounding like kids cartoons with exaggerated voices and mimicry.

    I think partygames alal “Spazz-Ball” and headtracking are the two strong points of Natal. That 12 yo boy sim will be to the 360 what LBP is to the PS3. Some people will love it, few people will buy it and most of them will love it for 3 weeks then forget all about it.

    One more thing that I’m hoping for is to be able to sit down on the couch and then be asked if I want to sign in. At work it’s a bloody chore to sign in/out everytime one of us wants a quick game.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. justiceblob

    I wish Valve would get off there high horse, sure they’ve made some great games, but they are too big for there boots. Faliszek is essentially saying, Natal inst good enough for Valve, but other developers can do it. They dont have as much influence in the industry as they think, non PS3 games, they are pretty much the only third party developer that hasnt made one and there reason? ‘We don’t want to go out of their comfort zone’

    #5 5 years ago
  6. absolutezero

    Valve are hiring PS3-based developers to start work on PS3 conversions. That news report is somewhere on this site if you want to search for it.

    Valve are quite correct anyway, Natal is going to be filled with THQ Spongebob Square-Pants arm flinging idiocy. Just like the Wii, and look no Valve games on Wii either.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Artheval_Pe

    Faliszek is essentially saying, Natal inst good enough for Valve, but other developers can do it.
    No, Faliszek is essentially saying “Natal seems good, but we won’t be the ones trying to figure out a compelling way to use it, so we’re going to wait to see what other studios do with it.”

    They dont have as much influence in the industry as they think, non PS3 games, they are pretty much the only third party developer that hasnt made one and there reason? ‘We don’t want to go out of their comfort zone’

    Their reason is “We don’t have anybody at Valve who knows shit about PS3 programming”. You can find an interview from 2007 in which Gabe Newell essentially says that they tried to use the PS3 but dropped the idea as the thing was far too unrealiable in terms of coding.

    And yes, they have a lot of influence. They are the ones who showed to the world what a good single player FPS should be. They helped in creating the most popular multiplayer FPS of all times, and they pretty much own PC gaming with Steam.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    Would change “most” because that goes to COD, Halo, Gears

    #8 5 years ago

    Nah, Counter Strike has probably had more players historically, so that claim is probably valid, but only because it’s been around for longer.

    And when he says ‘popular’, I’m interpreting it as most unique users, and not most highly regarded.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. theevilaires

    eyetoy 2010 :P

    #10 5 years ago

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