Kinect has struggled to win the support of core gamers because they are “immensely conservative”, according to games industry legend David Braben.“They don’t think they are, but a lot of us are,” he added, careful to position himself within the same category.
And this isn’t new to Kinect, he said. In fact, says the Frontier
boss, the situation is reminiscent of GoldenEye’
s shaking up of console FPS controls back in the days of the N64.
“I remember the people ranting about GoldenEye and how the controls were impossible, and I actually thought it was great. I mean, at first I found it quite hard to get used to the controls,” he explained in a huge interview on Gamasutra
“[B]ut I mean, I see my dad, when he’s trying to play something like Halo or Call of Duty, and he spends the whole time looking at his feet or the ceiling. Because it isn’t intuitive – and everyone in the room laughs, and he feels a bit uncomfortable, and then he won’t play it again. “And that’s the problem – it’s counter-intuitive, and we’ve really got used to that over time.”
Braben thinks the new audience afforded by Kinect is a good thing, and won’t cause any problems for core gamers. Two types of gamer can exist at once, he said.
But core gamers still need to get used to a new method of play, and accept t“And in the same way, with time, Kinect is a very interesting thing that’s not trivial to engage with, but when you do, it’s great. And I think like with the multiplayer, Kinect is still early on, and I think people are just starting to personally believe in it, and also starting to realise that there are some great additive things that you can do with it.”hat it won’t instantly click, explained the 48-year-old game designer who shot to fame when he created Elite
And this will happen over time, just as it does with other innovations within gaming. “I remember being a developer in the early days of Xbox 1, where multiplayer was seen as a little bit of a tickbox, and usually it was a bit rubbish,” said Braben. “I think that was partially because developers didn’t really engage with it, because really only a few players had it, and it was seen as a bit of a faff. And also evidence showed that very few people used it.
“And so the attempts were, dare I say it, a little bit half-hearted. But they got better quite quickly. Nowadays, would Call of Duty
happen without multiplayer? It’s almost as if the single player is now the tick box. “And in the same way, with time, Kinect is a very interesting thing that’s not trivial to engage with, but when you do, it’s great. And I think like with the multiplayer, Kinect is still early on, and I think people are just starting to personally believe in it, and also starting to realise that there are some great additive things that you can do with it.”