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Facing The Challenges Of Player Movement With Kinect

In Gamasutra's new feature interview, the producer of the upcoming Microsoft-published Haunt for Xbox Live Arcade discusses getting navigation just right
In Gamasutra's new feature interview, the producer of the upcoming Microsoft-published Haunt for Xbox Live Arcade discusses getting navigation just right for a casual audience. "So one of the reasons Microsoft came to us, was they wanted a title which would appeal more to families and younger players, and stuff. Unfortunately, we had to take a decision there to make it more casual-friendly," says Dewi Tanner, producer of the game for PaRappa the Rapper creator NanaOn-Sha. The game was co-developed by NanaOn-Sha and British developer Zoe Mode, and is due to be published on Xbox Live Arcade by Microsoft early next year. One major challenge for appealing to that audience was making player motion right -- a problem with many Kinect adventure games. The team's solution was to not let players navigate and battle at the same time. "You have to be very clever about how you break things up, with Kinect," says Tanner. "As you may have noticed, you're locked in place when you're doing the ghost battles, because we found if people could run around the room and hide and attack and stuff like that, then it would just get too messy. And people would go where they don't want to go, and stuff like that." Navigation can get confusing for players for one obvious but -- for developers, tricky reason, he says. "Because you're moving in the game world, where in the real world you're not -- otherwise you'd run through the TV." The full interview, in which company president and PaRappa creator Masaya Matsuura talks about his hopes for the industry, as well as discusses how Double Fine's Tim Schafer was drafted to provide the voice work for Haunt, is live now on Gamasutra.

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