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Project Draco's Futatsugi On The Challenges Of Kinect Controls

In today's Gamasutra feature, Panzer Dragoon creator Yukio Futatsugi talks about the challenges of perfecting the controls for a Kinect-exclusive game like h
In today's Gamasutra feature, Panzer Dragoon creator Yukio Futatsugi talks about the challenges of perfecting the controls for a Kinect-exclusive game like his upcoming title Project Draco. While he's excited to lead development on what many see as spiritual successor to the cult Sega/Team Andromeda series, Futatsugi admits that making the dragon-riding game for the motion-sensing device has its difficulties. "It's interesting, but it's also tough," he says. "The fun part lies in the ability to control things with your body, the way you can directly affect what's going on with your body instead of going through something else." Futatsugi continues, "But making games for it presents a lot of challenges. It's hard to really make a game that can only be done with Kinect -- something that can be said for any title, not just ours." Microsoft producer Toshiharu Tange (Microsoft is publishing the title on XBLA) adds, "You come up with ideas for motions in your mind, but when you actually try them out, they don't work well." Futatsugi, who's directing the game for Groundling, points out that while previously developers could rely on just telling players to "Press the A button," trying to catch all the possible ranges of motion with a gesture-based setup can be tough to implement. "You can tell a player to move their hand in a certain way to fire, but different players will interpret that in different ways," he says. As a result, Project Draco is designed to "pick up on either small or large movements, and so it can adapt to player styles like that." The Project Draco director also notes that it can be hard to find space to develop Kinect titles: "Japanese studios don't really have a lot of open space, and you need about twice as much space as usual for a project like this." The full Gamasutra feature, which has Futatsugi talking more about Project Draco -- as well as building the worlds for games like Panzer Dragoon and Phantom Dust -- is available now.

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