Kinect Sports: Rivals developer Rare had to improvise many of the game’s control methods while Microsoft continued development of the Xbox One hardware. Despite ever-evolving features coming out of the Redmond team, Rare had no problem keeping up with advancements.
Speaking with OXM, Rare developer Danny Isaac discussed whether the game was ever coined as an Xbox One release. “It was always focused on Xbox One,” he stressed. “But obviously one of the challenges is that the box is being built at the same time as you’re making the game, so the fidelity of the sensor, the hardware was there, but the software supporting it wasn’t ready for primetime.”
Seeing as the game was being developed at the same time as Xbox One hardware, Rare had to second-guess what was going to come out of Microsoft next, specifically in the control department. Isaac continued, “So some times we were working on the Xbox One, with the early stuff. Other times, with the early rock-climbing demos for example, we actually used two controllers to do open and closed hands, because we didn’t have that.
“It was like, is this going to work? Yeah, this kind of works, as long as we can get the fidelity with the open and closed hands. And the same with wake-racing, it used to be auto-throttle so you didn’t have any control over your speed.”
As OXM explains, the final Kinect Sports: Rivals build does give you throttle control over the wake-racing event by gripping the air as you would a handlebar accelerator. So it seems like Rare managed to nail that particular puzzle.
While Kinect Sports: Rivals has been delayed, Rare is offering players a ‘Preseason’ trial when the console launches on November 22.
When asked if Rare had difficulty taking advantage of Microsoft’s last-minute enhancements to the Xbox One architecture, Isaac replied, “No, the team in Redmond did a great job getting everything to us ahead of time. We were surprised, we’d get these little emails – ‘oh, by the way the CPU’s just gone up by another five per cent, another ten per cent.’ It got quicker and quicker and quicker, which was really great.”
“We also worked very closely with the Natural User Interface team, which takes care of all the skeletal tracking, all the open and closed hands stuff. So we worked very closely with them, and it was a great feeling to come in Monday morning, and we’d been working very hard making stuff, but there was also a team in Redmond making the foundations, the fundamentals. The control mechanisms just became that much more responsive, that much more reliable.”
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