BioWare’s Casey Hudson has the Mass Effect 3 team didn’t plan on adding Kinect controls to the game at first, but due to a programmer’s experimentation, the team realized it would be easy to implement as an additional option.
Speaking with OXM, Hudson said Kinect in ME3 happened “almost by accident.”
“We didn’t set out to make Mass Effect 3 a voice-controlled title,” he said. “But a programmer was working in the studio, had the Kinect hardware, and was just experimenting with it.
“He realized that with the software that comes with Kinect, it was very easy to connect something that you can do in the game with something you’ve said, almost as easy as that. No research required – it was all there, done for us. We started thinking about what we could actually achieve with that. So many things came to mind – you could tell a squad member to attack your target, you could tell a squad member to switch weapons. While you’re busy with the controller, you can tell him to do something that you’re not physically able to do, because your thumbs aren’t free.”
“It feels like the future of interactive storytelling. You’re just talking to a character, and you’re going deeper into their conversation, asking them questions and telling them things and after it’s over you pick up the controller, and it’s a cold piece of plastic, and you think ‘this is the old way, and what I was doing was the future’.”
Hudson said due to the relative ease of developing with Kinect, the firm is confident enough to start testing gesture controls for potential implementation in future titles.
“Part of the thing that makes it work is that it just works,” he said. “It’s reliable and fast. As other technologies get to the point where they’re not gimmicky, but reliable and fast, then we can start doing things with gesture.”