MoCap boxing - beating the consoles to a bloody pulp?
Innovative video amusement is a cornerstone of the sector’s survival as audiences have become transient. The number of innovative arcade interfaces and methodologies that have been later borrowed by consumer adaptation is a testament to a greater synergy between home gaming and amusement.
Name a genre and arcade had done it first (all but MMORP and MUD games); from sports to drivers, shooters to beat-em-up the ground rules were drawn up in the darkened corners of an arcade. The popularity of Retro gaming is not only a testament to player nostalgia, but also to the playability of original content - still immersed in what Nolan Bushnell referred to as "easy to player - hard to master" playability that only arcade can do fueled by the impetus of Pay-for-Play demographics.
Konami Digital Entertainment took the concept of player motion capture (MoCap) and brought it first to the amusement audience, creating a number of revolutionary arcade titles - that this concept would be surprisingly similar to what would come from Nintendo as the Wii and what they would call unique is another matter. Previous to this, Konami would present a MoCap gun game with Police 911
(2001). Physicality translated into the video game environment. Supported titles also included sword fighting game Blade of Honor
(2001), and duellist title Mocap Boxing
The physicality achieved by Konami would prove inspirational in its wholly inspired amusement genre of BeatMani
(music or beat orientated game-play). First seen in Dance Dance Revolution
(1998), which has fathered a number of consumer music games that borrow directly from Konami's implementation of the genre is vast. While Konami's Guitar Freaks
basks in the glow of knowing it fathered GuitarHero
, if not indirectly.
Touch De Zuno
Physicality has been a big element in amusement with products such as SEGA’s very physical screen-hitting game most recently represented with Touch De Zuno
and the newly released Manic Panic Ghost
games. Previously it was SEGA's extensive graphic hardware investment for amusement that would tumble the price of hardware and allow the DreamCast and PlayStation to be reasonably priced 3D textured graphics monsters and console successes.
The video camera player movement device would create games such as JesterTek who created the JestXtreme
(2001) gesture-controlled game system. When this idea was turned into the PlayStation 2 EyeToy later, we would see Jestertek agree terms with Sony.
MoCap madness as arcades get there first.
The new PlayStation Toy for the PS3 uses CyberCode so that image recognition can interface the viewed card into the onscreen experience – the first game for this consumer technology, is Eye of Judgment
. But this new technology is not so original. The concept builds on the popular genre that has hit the Japanese and European amusement sector. Games such as SEGA’s World Club Champion Football
(2002) and Sangokushi Taisen
(2005) enable players to place collected cards on a table, with the machine recognising the cards and their movement and represented within the game live.
The coverage of this invocative sector of the industry will continue in the next of this month’s coverage – The amusement feature now moving to a fortnightly setting.
About the author: Kevin Williams is founder and director of the out-of-home leisure entertainment consultancy KWP Limited. His extensive years in the global video amusement and hi-tech attractions industry includes top management and design posts, with special focus on new technology development and applications. A well-known speaker on the industry and its technology, he pens an extensive number of articles. Founder and publisher of The Stinger Report - a popular industry e-Newsletter and web-based information service.