Gears of Natal?

project-natal-briefing-500x333Arguably the hottest subject at last month’s E3, project Natal has without a doubt sparked the gaming industry’s curiosity. While there is no doubt it will integrate seamlessly into such genres as fighters, simulators and sports games, there are serious doubts it could work as well for the more hardcore games out there. Shooters present a much more difficult challenge for gesture based controls, especially in a time when interfaces have become so complex and developers are dealing with an audience that has become accustomed to playing on a controller over the past 3 decades.

One man that doesn’t see Shooters going the way of mo-cap is Cliff “Dude Huge” Blezinsky. In a recent article with British Magazine Develop, Blezinsky expressed some doubt as to a Natal Based gears but didn’t rule out any possibility of an Epic Natal game. Here’s what he had to say:

You made your feelings about the Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers clear in the past. As a developer, does something like Project Natal interest you?

Microsoft came down a few weeks before E3 and gave us a demo, and they’re now shipping out the dev kits; I think it’s great. When you start combining the motion-capture, the facial recognition, and the vocal recognition you can create some unique experiences. And of course more accessibility is always a good thing.

When you build an interface like that though you need to [specifically] design a game for it. It can’t just be tacked on.

It’s not hard to imagine how Natal will interest investors – market expansion tends to pay well – but a big question is whether that interface will give developers ideas for fresh game concepts, and indeed if such original ideas will be go beyond the drawing board.

As game creators, anytime we see new tech like that the ideas always come out. I can’t go into the ones I’ve had because, obviously, someone else might do it. Y’know, we’ll take a look at Natal – no promises – but it’s likely that the classic control interface is what Epic will be working on in the foreseeable future.

But I think there’s ways that you could merge the two interfaces and supplement a classic game with Natal controls to make something compelling.

Any time the gaming world is introduced to a new way of playing games we are always skeptical. All it really takes is 1 game to show us it can be done, and it can be done well. Just look back to when we were still playing shooters on PC, and then olden Eye came along. We still have about another year till Natal arrives and im sure by then at least a few developers will be willing to take a chance and try a shooter with it’s technology, com on Bungie.