Space! Romance! Tethered moons spiraling into high velocity orbital destruction! The Kinect! Motion capture!
Yup, we're doing motion capture with the Kinect. For over 15 years, motion capture technology has harnessed the nuanced body language of actors in order to breath life into onscreen characters, such as Gollum, Davy Jones, and Na'vi. For just as long, however, it's been far too complicated and expensive for the average person to ever dream of using.
Over the past few months, our team has been creating new motion capture software aimed at the consumer market.
Now about that space romance...
We're making a game and movie to demonstrate our motion capture software. "Cosmic Fling," both a hyper-realistic CG animated short and an innovative action puzzle game, will use motion capture data gathered using the Kinect.
"Cosmic Fling" is about a man, a woman, two moons, and a long piece of rope. Stan lives his lonely life as the sole inhabitant of a desolate moon. He's a cosmic garbage man whose job it is to harpoon space debris, reel it in, and dump it into a crater. It's horrifyingly tedious drudgery, but someone has to do it. One day, on a neighboring moon, he spots a beautiful astronaut, Beatrice, looking back at him. They stare longingly into each other's eyes as Beatrice's moon passes across the sky and sets on the horizon of Stan's moon. Each day, Beatrice's moon travels across the sky, and each day they long for each other. Stan decides to take matters into his own hands. He harpoons Beatrice's moon and tethers it to his own. Their moons become ensnared in mutual orbit. In order to get to each other, they will have to climb the rope, and meet in the middle. Will it work? You'll have to watch the movie to find out.
In the game, the player takes on the role of Stan, who is still using his harpoon to reach Beatrice, but now he must cross a larger section of the galaxy in order to do so. Players use the grapping harpoon to link Stan’s moon with various other planets, causing his moon to be tugged by the orbital movement of whatever it is linked to. It’s a daring, strategic game where Stan risks pulling his moon into head on collisions with other planets, asteroids, and comets, or potentially allowing his moon to be carried away toward the outer reaches of space to be forever lost. Yet, if played well, Stan’s moon will been pulled close enough to Beatrice’s moon for the lovers to finally “hook up.”
We're looking for funds to finish the game and movie, paying for extensive costs involved in high quality computer generated animation.
We plan to have the game and movie, as well as a presentation of our motion capture software, ready in May when we present this at GamePipe's Demo Day at USC and TED at USC.
WHO WE ARE:
Jonathan Langager is a filmmaker, animator, pianist, composer, and graduate student at USC School of Cinematic Arts. His recent film, Josephine and the Roach, was a Kickstarter favorite. It is due for completion at the beginning of May.
Christian Hall (www.christianhallmedia.com) is a producer of mobile applications, games, online webisodes, commercials and films. Christian has worked on a variety of ventures from ultra-low budget projects to start-ups to multi-million dollar studio pictures. His personal goals include to produce high-quality content and products that challenge consumers and their perceptions of the world.
Michael Kane is a talented game designer, programmer, and artist who grew up as an Air Force Brat, living all over the world before he left high school. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts with a degree in Interactive Entertainment in 2010, and since then has worked for Disney Interactive, Nickelodeon, and independent game companies developing mobile games like Croma and Fingertrap. He currently works as a freelance game developer and is teaching a class in video game design to middle school kids.
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