Its been a long week. Seems like an eternity. I think its because Sarah and I got so little time together. Just 1 day really. That sucks. Pretty much that way for the rest of november. She takes state boards during thanksgiving week, then my folks are flying us home to Tennessee. That will rock. I am dying to see my sister and her children. Its been almost a year since we have seen family so it will be really nice.
Ive been keeping busy. Writing a lot of code for www.tweetfiler.com(test it out -send a tweet to @tf66 add **tech, **cool, **etc for categories). Thats our most current project. Dorothy has been loving the Kinect and working on her dancing. We are going to make another kinect video to enter into a contest and then I am going to make a 3 or 4 min micro film for another contest. I feel pretty burnt out. Just been coding like crazy and i cant figure out why. I love doing these projects, they are cool but I feel like i am just spinning my wheels a lot of time. I have been writing a bit again and that is a real pleasure. The name of my current story is the Death of awkward Rollie. Meh guess i just wanted to meander tonight. Well if you reading this then I hope you are close to someone you love and someone that loves you because tonight I am not, and man do I wish I was.
The kid and all her pals are digging Kinect. Its cool watching these girls who have had a cursory interest in video games being pulled into it like some grizzled WOW junky. And the coolest thing is they are not static games, these are filled with movement and motion. When she pauses Kinect she grabs for water. I watched Dorothy play for about an hour and a half and she was huffing after. Its a really cool healthy thing and I appreciate it.
Well we got Kinect late last night and I must say I am very impressed. It aint perfect. But its damn good. And It will get better.
If you haven’t heard of Kinect its Microsoft’s venture into Motion Gaming. Kinda Like the Wii or Sony’s new Move system, But with Kinect there is no controller. The controller is your body. You set a sensor bar up that has some cameras and a microphone(the sensor bar system is actually Kinect) and calibrate to your house and your body and go play. Not every game is Kinect ready there are special ones that can take advantage of this new system. I list a few below.
The set up was easy and not technical at all. Took 5 min for me to unpackage, set the sensor in place, connect the wire and reboot. There were a few updates I had to run through but the whole process probably took 10 min. After the last update it rebooted and Dorothy took over. She loved it. It was easy as hell to configure and tune to each person.
The UI control needs a bit of work. But that’s to be expected with any 1st iterate technology. I really think they will tighten it up quickly. To be honest Playing with Kinect was kinda like realizing a dream that I first saw in minority report. It was fun, fast easy to use and very responsive. We were able to test the video chat and it was very easy and the camera was smart. 1 person in the room it would zoom in and follow you as you walk around, 2 people in the room and it would stay zoomed out to get everyone in frame, all with no setup and just plugging it in.
The games are where it shines. We bought 2 – Dance Central and Kinectimals. It comes with Kinect adventures. We experienced each game for a few minutes spending the majority of the time laughing. It was good times. The photos that Kinect takes while you are playing are gold.
In Dance Central There is a freestyle zone in the middle of each song where the “dancer” can do what ever they like and after freestyle ends they show the pictures that were taken in a stop motion style that is very seemless and enjoyable. if the player falls out of synch the screen dancers body part will start to glow red to indicate where the player needs to tighten up a bit. It seems very good at determining correct body position and Dorothy was able to learn with out much frustration.
Here is a video of D knocking it out with Dance Central. Tonight supposedly I am having a “Dance Battle” with her. Not sure how I am gonna survive but I am guaranteed to laugh alot.
Kinectimals is just nuts. I cant say enough about it. The cats are cute, graphics are fab. They recognize faces, respond to voices, act like cats and my little girl loved it. We didnt play it much(it was after 1 am) but with the bit we did I was impressed with how they seemed to bring every aspect of the Kinect experience together in the game.
Kinect Adventures was a blast. I am terribly out of shape and almost died from playing 1 round with my overly energetic 8 year old. We were in a raft and you have to work together to navigate down a river. You can collect different points as you do so. The fun comes in when you are both jumping up and down like maniacs and yelling “Left! Left!” and a picture gets taken of yall together.
We obviously have alot more exploring of this new technology to do but the impression that I was left with after 2 hours was……WOW! It is a fun system especially for families. I will be interested to see how they get hardcore gamers into it but really they have that segment well covered. They needed the Wii demographic and this will bring them in droves.
One thing that I did notice is you need alot of space. Like a good 6.5-9ish feet from the sensor.