Kinect Game Parametric Model Behaviour Standards
By Kevin Gallant, NBCC Miramichi Electronic Gaming Instructor 2010
It is quite clear that 3D object repositories are enough in our industry to generate quick resources for game assets. With multiple LODs, hundreds of textures per objects even at the normal map level it is evident that terrain generators, particle generators, texture generators, morph and model generators with rigs will be the future of gaming.
Not that I don’t like 1.8 GB downloads but the potential for generative game design is here and most companies have the intellect to drive 3D object with generative behaviours. There are a lot of standards out there.
Some are proprietary such as Character models with FBX. Some are trying to gain standards for mocap formats including BVH. There are always the old DXF equivalent parsers out there or some type of VRML but have we really set the standards for the next generation of games. Not a chance.
How are we going to set standards for particle systems, character behaviourial systems, and mechanical systems all in one format? UDK by Unreal has excellent behavioral support including Matinee and Skeletal Mesh animation and morphs. Kismet is their answer to visual scripted games with ease and flexibility but this is ONE engine.
There are over 300 engines out there from 2D to 3D. Many old companies have tried in the past including Superscape and Sense 8 (VR companies) to define RT3D standards. These guys pioneered web based ActiveX controls to play on the web 15 years ago. So have things really changed?
There are 308 Game Engines according to Gamemaster.net. Yes, 308 engines that all use some type of animation format. I bet 3DS could be that standard. Who owns this standard? Well of course AutoDesk. Since the DOS days Autodesk 3DS has made it’s DXF look like Kindergarten.
The next step is to take 3DS to a new level. In the last 10 years, Level Designers out there used have used the ASE format but have jumped to DirectX and wavefront Obj for static meshes. There are companies out there like Okino that have been successfully converting mesh data and animation files since the VR days.
Maybe Okino Polytrans should just become the converter standards and avoid all the confusion. Who knows? Of course there are other players out there including Deep Hemisphere, Google Sketchup and 3D XML. We have to understand that all behaviours come with a lot of baggage.
The Future? I believe with the Kinect system launch in November 2010 will revolutionize the face-to-face learning and gaming interactions. Not just because of the tool. It is the play by play multiplayer experience of two + players that will make the mocap experience the experiential platform of choice.
The XNA support is there to help developers achieve their full body and voice interactions. The only problem is how do we get all that character mocap and voice data to store in a format that can easily adapt to 308 game engines.
What AI behaviourial engines will analyze 1000 moves for a Karate Game and register it to a Direct X format with behavior? These are all questions that require answers because the game consumer will soon drive the content window. Who knows?