Designing Cleverly for Motion Control Hardware of Today (and Tomorrow)
We've had quite a few people ask us about our approach to the motion control component of the game. Will it be accurate? Will it be fast? How much freedom does it allow players? Will I be able to do any move I like? Am I constrained to particular moves?
One of our backers, Tim, was one of the people who phrased these concerns particularly eloquently so I thought I'd share our conversation in this update and hopefully answer these questions for everyone else too. Do read on...
I love the idea behind this game and I really hope you guys can pull it off. I practice Wing Chun myself and was pretty damn happy to see GM William Cheung on your pitch video.
I was also immediately drawn to the game when I saw Wing Chun techniques in the game and also the technique names pop up on the screen, very cool guys.
My main concern is with the Kinect. The Kinect isn't quite there yet as a motion capture device. It's slow, a bit clunky and I think it has A.D.D. Sometimes, it just day dreams and doesn't track you well.
What would really spoil this for me is that due to the Kinect's slowness to capture fast movements accurately, you will have to slow the game down (slow motion scenes) to force the player to make slower movements. As someone who is an avid Martial Art's fan, I'm sure you can agree that nothing about Martial Art's is slow.
Watching your pitch, I notice the guy controlling the game performs a few moves slowly. Will the Kinect accurately capture fast movements in the game?
One thing I would LOVE to see in your next pitch video or demo is an actual Martial Artist playing the game, performing the moves at their speed. I guess even if it's not at their own speed (may be way too fast) having an actual MA practitioner play the game would add some weight to the game.
And please, don't think a 7 minute video is too long! You guys are awesome for doing a lengthy video pitch. More information, the better!
Thank you so much for your kind words and support! It's great to see fellow martial artists get excited about the project!
About your questions:
So, with the motion control aspects of the game we're not taking an approach whereby we mimic your moves in a 1 to 1 fashion. With current motion control technologies there is a bit of lag, there's no two ways about it. You can do things to minimise it (which we're doing) but you can't make it disappear.
Now, once you accept that fact you can either:
A) pretend the lag is not there and end up creating a mediocre game that's frustrating and unresponsive or
B) account for the lag in your design and make a super fun game despite of it
There's of course also C) which is not make a game like this at all, which I don't really like as an option - I strongly believe that as developers and as fans of fighting games we need to be doing everything in our power to foster innovation and evolution if we ever want to see games like this happen. To say we shouldn't be trying until the perfect technology is available is to say that we shouldn't have invented photography unless we invented television first - that is silly, evolution happens in steps, and it's up to us to choose the direction of those steps.
So in KFS we're doing B) which is we're taking a different approach towards the combat. While with our tech you can certainly pull of techniques at great speeds and you will be detected correctly, we're not necessarily putting the emphasis on the speed and twichy reflexes of it all, but rather on the tacticality of it and the strategy.
You've got 3 guys attacking you, all in different manners, posing a different kind of threat. What do you do? Think back to your training! How can you approach the situation so you don't get hit? Your Sifu has taught you this stuff! Can you remember in time? And how can you approach it so that you can achieve maximum combat efficiency? What about drama?? The cameras are rolling after all!
We give you a little bit of time to think about this stuff. And that makes the game awesome fun to play! That time also gives the hardware the chance to process what's going on properly and not spaz out as it does with games that don't follow this approach and basically try to pretend the lag is not there.
So there you go, I hope that helps. I don't want to lie to you and tell you we have found a magical way to make the inherent hardware lag disappear. What we HAVE found is a way to make the most accurate, most fun and most versatile "martial arts combat simulator" on current motion control hardware and also build it in such a way that it will scale nicely to next gen motion control hardware so that when that technology becomes available Kung Fu Superstar will be already optimised to make the best use of it.
In just a few days we'll be releasing our first major video update which will be going in a lot more detail on the gameplay and various controls options in the game in exactly the way you requested (show a side by side gameplay demo of me playing the game), so stay tuned for that as that will probably clear any further concerns you might have on this matter.
Thank-you very much for the lengthy email. I really didn't expect such a reply.
I'm glad to see you are under no illusions about the Kinect. You do make some great points though. One of them being about tactics. I think this was a great point to make and one that I really didn't think much about. It's a game after all and not a simulation. You have to work with what you have and make it as good as you can. Turning that from what is perhaps, a negative (Kinect lag) into something more positive and exciting (tactical/strategy) is a great spin to put on it.
It's all about the feedback that the player receives and how it makes them feel. I'd rather slower paced combat knowing I have a few options on how to deal with something rather than flailing my arms and legs about, knocking over vase's and bookcases and generally looking like a crazy person.
I'm really looking forward to the next major video update. Good luck with the editing!
Tim makes an excellent point I think in his last response and hits the nail right on the head. He says "it's all about the feedback that the player receives and how it makes them feel". This is exactly the mantra we are building the experience around.
We are going to make you feel awesome playing this game. And the details of how we do it will be an inconsequential distant memory when you're punching and kicking bad guys using the actual Kung Fu skills that you learned playing this game and feeling like the next Bruce Lee.
Till next time!
pledged of £200,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on December 4.
Oct 31, 2012 - Dec 4, 2012
Pledge £5 or more
ENTHUSIAST (WHITE SASH REWARD): All backers pledging at this level and above get an account for our exclusive backer forums, where you can stay on top of the developments around the game before anyone else and engage with the community and the development team. You also get a special thank you credit on our website.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013
Pledge £10 or more
49 backers Limited (1951 of 2000 left)
FLASH-BACKER: *FLASH SALE* Limited version of the BACKER reward! Grab them while they last! (Approx. $16)Estimated delivery: Nov 2013
Pledge £15 or more
BACKER (WHITE SASH REWARD): Digital Download of the finished Kung Fu Superstar: Origin game on PCEstimated delivery: Nov 2013
Pledge £20 or more
GRASSHOPPER (WHITE SASH REWARD): Previous Tiers + Digital Download of the game's Original Soundtrack + Digital Download of the "Art of Kung Fu Superstar" bookEstimated delivery: Nov 2013
Pledge £25 or more
CINEPHILE (WHITE SASH REWARD): Previous Tiers + Poster from the game You get a choice between a poster of the actual game or a movie style poster of one of the movies in the game! Kungfuception!Estimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £5 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £30 or more
CURATOR (WHITE SASH REWARD): If you're like us and you get a warm fuzzy feeling when you organise your games library this one's for you. A physical high quality digipack style box that includes a DVD of the game, a CD of the game's Original Soundtrack and the game's manualEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £5 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £30 or more
40 backers Limited (1960 of 2000 left)
FLASH-KUNG FU ADEPT: *FLASH SALE* Limited version of the KUNG FU ADEPT reward! Grab them while they last! (Approx. $48)Estimated delivery: Jul 2014Add £5 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £35 or more
DISCIPLE (WHITE SASH REWARD): Previous Tiers (So yes, that means both a digital AND the digipack physical copy) + Beta Access to the game. Get to play Kung Fu Superstar: Origin before anyone else and actively contribute in the development of the gameEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £7 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £40 or more
116 backers Limited (4884 of 5000 left)
KUNG FU ADEPT: Previous Tiers + a physical copy of the full scale Kung Fu Superstar game, when that gets released, for a platform of your choice (PC/Console). For your early support and long term commitment to the Kung Fu Superstar vision, you get both Kung Fu Superstar: Origin AND Kung Fu Superstar for the price of ONE game (plus all the other goodies)Estimated delivery: Jul 2014Add £7 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £45 or more
OUTFITTER (BROWN SASH REWARD): Stylish high quality "Kung Fu Superstar" T-Shirt exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign developed in collaboration with select video games apparel partners + GRASSHOPPER RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £7 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £50 or more
MONK (BROWN SASH REWARD): Stylish high quality "Kung Fu Superstar" Hoodie exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign developed in collaboration with select video games apparel partners + GRASSHOPPER RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £7 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £55 or more
STUNTMAN (BROWN SASH REWARD): Signed copy of the book "Fight Choreography: The Art of Non Verbal Dialogue" by Stuntman and Fight Coordinator John Kreng, the definitive textbook for Fight Choreography in action cinema + GRASSHOPPER RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £5 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £55 or more
SCHOLAR (BROWN SASH REWARD): Copy of the book "Kung Fu Superstar: Development Diaries", the definitive source of insight into the intrigue, suspense, thrill and romance behind the making of this game + GRASSHOPPER Reward. Actually it might be lighter on the romance and heavier on incredible true anecdotal stories that happened during the development of the project. Some of which include romance.Estimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £5 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £65 or more
SCULPTOR (BROWN SASH REWARD): Limited Edition "Danny Cheng" Figurine exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign + GRASSHOPPER RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £8 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £75 or more
CALLIGRAPHIST (BROWN SASH REWARD): Limited Edition, high quality, hard cover, physical copy of "The Art of Kung Fu Superstar" book, with exclusive additional content to the PDF version + GRASSHOPPER RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £9 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £85 or more
MNEMONIC COURIER (BROWN SASH REWARD): A Limited Edition custom made 16GB USB Flash Drive in the shape of a Baat Jaam Dao, the iconic Chinese "Butterfly Sword", preloaded with the items from the GRASSHOPPER Reward. Stylish as well as functional. Be the envy of your friends or challenge them to minitature sword fights.Estimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £5 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £90 or more
14 backers Limited (986 of 1000 left)
FLASH-MASTER: *FLASH SALE* Limited version of the KUNG FU MASTER Reward! Grab them while they last! (Approx. $145)Estimated delivery: Jul 2014Add £7 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £100 or more
36 backers Limited (1964 of 2000 left)
KUNG FU MASTER: Incredible value LIMITED Reward Tier for early and long term supporters of the Kung Fu Superstar vision. A physical copy of the full scale Kung Fu Superstar game, when that gets released, for a platform of your choice (PC/Console) + ALL WHITE SASH Rewards + 2 BROWN SASH Rewards of your choice. Maximum value for your invaluable support.Estimated delivery: Jul 2014Add £10 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £150 or more
GUARDIAN (BLACK SASH REWARD): Limited Edition, 3 piece, elegant Kung Fu outfit exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign + Exclusive "Danny's Locker" In Game Content (see FAQ for details) + GRASSHOPPER RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £9 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £200 or more
SWORDMASTER (BLACK SASH REWARD): A beautiful Limited Edition, hand crafted pair of hardwood Butterfly Swords exlusive to this Kickstarter campaign + Exclusive "Baat Jaam Dao Forms" In Game Content (see FAQ for details) + GRASSHOPPER RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £12 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £300 or more
12 backers Limited (488 of 500 left)
KUNG FU GRANDMASTER: The Ultimate Kung Fu Superstar Reward Tier for Reward Completionists! A physical copy of the full scale Kung Fu Superstar game, when that gets released, for a platform of your choice (PC/Console) + ALL BLACK SASH + ALL WHITE SASH Rewards + 3 BROWN SASH Rewards of your choice + GRANDMASTER Credit in all our games EVER!Estimated delivery: Jul 2014Add £15 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £400 or more
KUNG FU LEGEND: So you think the GRANDMASTER Reward is cool, but it's just not LEGENDARY enough for you? Ok, how about this! ALL WHITE SASH Rewards + ALL BROWN SASH Rewards + ALL BLACK SASH Rewards + All future releases + LEGEND Credit in all our games ever + "Honorary Dev" rights (FAQ for details)Estimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £15 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £500 or more
4 backers Limited (26 of 30 left)
INFILTRATOR: Join in over Video Conference for a team meeting (pick your discipline, design, art, code, etc) and chat with the developers live, ask questions, contribute ideas, give feedback + LEGEND REWARDEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £15 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £750 or more
5 backers Limited (15 of 20 left)
IMMORTAL: Work together with our character art team to lend your likeness to one of the extras in the game (early adopters of this reward tier will be given more prominent roles, maybe even one of the main bad guys if we think your face is evil enough?) + LEGEND RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £15 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £1,000 or more
2 backers Limited (3 of 5 left)
SHOT ON LOCATION: Video call not good enough for you? Well why don't you come over and join us at the studio for a week? That's right, pledging at this level means that we'll invite you over to the studio for a full working week where you'll join the team meetings and have your own desk and workstation to playtest or even work on the game if you want to. Socialise with the team in the evenings, make friends, have fun! We will pick up your acommodation costs, but you'll have to make your own travel arrangments + IMMORTAL Reward + LEGEND RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £15 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £2,500 or more
3 backers Limited (2 of 5 left)
TOURIST: Same as SHOT ON LOCATION only we will ALSO pick up both your accommodation and travel costs. ALSO the time of your visit will coincide with the game's EXTRAVAGANT launch party to which you will receive a +1 invitation. ALSO you won't just experience the Kinesthetic Games studio, but we will show you around the various studios of Guildford, the Mecca of games development in the UK, where you'll get to meet and greet with prominent games developers (participating studios TBA). ALSO the LEGEND Reward. ALSO the IMMORTAL Reward. ALSO... no, that's everything.Estimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £15 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £3,500 or more
3 backers Limited (2 of 5 left)
MOOK YAN JONG: A beautiful, high quality, custom Mook Yan Jong (WOODEN DUMMY) designed according to your needs with an optional 功夫巨星 (Kung Fu Superstar) engraving + Exclusive "Wooden Dummy Forms" In Game Content + IMMORTAL Reward + LEGEND RewardEstimated delivery: Nov 2013Add £15 to ship outside the UK
Pledge £5,000 or more
2 backers Limited (8 of 10 left)
SIFU: Be one of the first individuals/martial art schools/organisations to join our "Kung Fu Superstar™ Training Partners" programme. We will work together to create training scenarios and other content around your specific style and curriculum needs, with a view to make it available through the game as an officially licensed product. Get in touch for details to ensure you don't miss out on early access to the definitive martial arts gaming platform + IMMORTAL Reward + LEGEND RewardEstimated delivery: Jul 2014
Pledge £5,000 or more
5 backers Limited (5 of 10 left)
DIRECTOR: Playing Fight Choreography Sequences is cool and all, but you're actually more interested in *building* them. Well, as a Licensee of our "Fight Choreography Engine" technology, you can! Whether you're a production house looking to previsualise the fight sequences of your action film in a fast and intuitive way or a mod team looking to create the next big machinima hit, our tools will help you unleash your creativity through ultra fast iteration. Pledging at this level won't just ensure you get a lifetime License for the FCE suite of tools, you will also get early tech previews so you can request features, suggest improvements and help shape this innovative and groundbreaking technology. Get in touch for details!Estimated delivery: Jul 2014