Beavers.it have conducted an interview with Brett Gale, the founder and CEO of Playhouse Entertainment, about the upcoming ID@Xbox hybrid Kinect 2 game The Manifeste, which he thinks will be “perfect for hardcore gamers”. Here are some excerpts from the interview related to the Xbox One version including how Microsoft’s short-sighted decision to release a Kinect-less Xbox One SKU has led to including a joypad-only option and explaining some of the game’s motion-controlled gameplay:
And seems that one of your ideas is focused on motion controls. I knew you by a video of one of your first tech demo and i tought that finally someone could exploit motion controls in an “hardcore way”.In fact, from experiments you’re passed directly to develop a game for the best gaming platforms with “The Manifest”, your first game. Can you tell us how it happened? And why so quickly?
Yes, that’s right. One idea I had early on was for a new motion controlled gameplay experience, which would be perfect for hardcore gamers who have become accustomed to dual-joystick character and camera control.
I’ve always been a big fan of motion controls. When I first played the Wii I immediately saw a ton of potential for motion controlled games, but sadly most experiences resulted in either a lot of ‘waggling’ or simply pointing at the screen and using the motion controller basically as a mouse cursor to control the game camera.
We’ve now been working on our first console experience, The Manifeste, for over a year, and finally made a public announcement about the project a few weeks ago. Luckily, the PS4 and Xbox One come equipped with advanced motion control capabilities straight out of the box, so most of the technology that I’ve developed directly transfers over when developing with the DualShock 4 and Kinect 2.
I read some infomration about The Manifest on the official game site, and you have defined it “an Interactive Historical Crime Drama”. I love “Interactive Drama” games, and being able to play one specifically designed for motion controls attracts me a lot, but can you explain which sort of gameplay mechanics should we expect? Do you think “hardcore gamers” will be fully satisfied?
I can’t speak about all the mechanics that will be in the final game, but I do believe core gamers will be very satisfied. The first and third person exploration is complemented with situational motion controls for a variety of mechanics and puzzle solving elements. There are also situations that will call for more action orientated motion controls such as aiming and shooting, making and disarming time-bombs, robbing banks, and much more.
Can’t wait to get from SCE or Microsoft a review or preview code to play it soon as possible. I’m really curious.The Manifest will be published directly on PSN, Xbox Live and so on. This isn’t usual for Indie Dev teams nowadays. Is the experience as you expected or it scares a little? What’s your feelings?
It has been a really great experience so far. Both Sony and Microsoft have been very helpful and supportive, making the process a lot less intimidating for our small team.
The Manifeste will support all motion controls in the market: from PS Move to Razer Hydra, passing by Kinect 2. Without considering VR headsets, have you a preference between them? Which of these has more unexpressed pontential in your opinion?
It’s difficult to say which motion control system is best. They all have their strengths and they all have a ton of untapped potential. With the DualShock 4 and Kinect 2 coming with each PS4 and Xbox One, it puts us in a great position for more people to experience motion controls. It’s important that our games are fully playable using either a DualShock 4 or Xbox gamepad with Kinect 2. Those control schemes are our main focus because those will be the experiences available to play right out of the box.
Another development aspect whereby indie dev win over big team! Have you met a lot of prejudice in the gaming community regarding projects for motion controls?
Surprisingly the response towards our take on motion controlled gaming has been very positive overall. I think a lot of that positivity stems from the excitement towards VR, in addition to seeing motion controls used in a way that is targeted towards core gamers. It seems that publishers are still a bit reluctant to invest heavily in a motion control focused project, but that could change quite a bit once consumer VR headsets are available for purchase.
And what you think about the new Xbox One SKU without Kinect?
I think it was only inevitable that they removed it from the box to make the price point more competitive with the PS4. The higher price tag was certainly swaying more sales towards PS4 and I think it was a logical move to compete. I’m not sure what effect this will have on sales of The Manifeste, if any. We know not everyone is interested in motion controls, even though we are doing something completely new and exciting with them. For this reason The Manifeste is also playable without using motion controls. In this case the motion-controlled gameplay is handled using either physics-based grabbing and dragging, or pre-made animations. We’re really aiming to have an intuitive and fun control scheme with and without motion controls.
To read the full interview which includes Brett Gale’s thoughts on VR, as The Manifeste will support Oculus Rift in the PC version (although there are currently no plans for the PC version to support Kinect For Windows 2 or news on whether the Xbox One version would support the rumoured Fortaleza Glasses if they’re released), just click on the source link at the bottom of this article.
Playhouse Entertainment haven’t announced a release date for The Manifeste yet or even released a gameplay trailer but as soon as they do we’ll let you know, as just judging by the screenshots, description and Playhouse Entertainment’s dedication to core motion-controlled games this is definitely looking very promising!