Lionhead's seated Kinect tech to be made available to all developers

From Milo & Kate to Fable: The Journey to the official dev kit.

Microsoft will make the seated gameplay technology Lionhead has worked on for Fable: The Journey available to all Kinect developers, the studio has revealed.

"We are sharing our technology," creative director Gary Carr told Eurogamer on a recent visit to Lionhead. "Microsoft will float that out to everybody; our seated is now their seated and every new update of the dev kit will have that in there."

The hope is that making the technology widely available will broaden the type of games available for Kinect; Carr pointed out that seated gameplay is an important requirement for longer, more story-led games like The Journey. "It's our job to start to lay those walkways out to a lot of people: 'Oh OK, seated, we can do it now, I can now think of ideas for games that I wouldn't have thought of...' So people will start to trust that you don't have to be dancing to play Kinect, you can sit down and play, and it will get better and better and better."

Lionhead's approach to seated gameplay, along with several other Kinect technologies, was created in the course of a long research and development exercise on the platform based around ex-studio-boss Peter Molyneux's famous Milo & Kate demo from E3 2009.

"We put in seated games straight out of Milo," said Carr. "Seated exists because we brought the technology for Milo... There's audio empathy which is a system that we use for the horse [in Fable: The Journey]. All that stuff has come directly out of Milo. And a lot of the tracking systems we use are from Milo. We have our own unique skeletal system which isn't the one that is the 'black box' version for kinect. A lot of it's very boring stuff but is effectively the infrastructure Milo was built out of. It gave us a bit of a head start, it gave us something to hit the ground running with."

Carr explained that Fable: The Journey was born from a desire to put Lionhead's Kinect expertise into a "commercial" product. "It was filler," he said of Milo & Kate. "We were just filling a gap - 'Can you just show that thing you showed us?' And it just exploded and became something that had a life of its own.

"But we carried on working on that technology for about 18 months, and then we thought, at some point, we've got this team of experienced Kinect developers and this Fable franchise: one plus one probably equals a good idea. These guys want to make something that's commercial at some point."

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Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

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Oli is the editor of and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.


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