Like many of my fellow Xbox 360 owners we now have a Kinect at home. The good news is it just works. The bad news is that it makes you do things like this.
I was interested to see how the predlets took to it. They really wanted to play the raft game as that is what they has seen Sy and I play on The Cool Stuff Collective so they did have some advance notice about how it should work.
It worked well setting up their accounts and it also coped well with the relative size differences between us all.
Kinect adventures was an instant hit and playable by everyone. Dance Central though is the killer app IMHO. When elemming came home from work she ended up spending a few hours grooving away, and unlike me was a natural at it.
The Fighters Uncaged game seems the weakest of the bunch we had, it felt it should be better, it is still fun hitting and kicking but you have to be a bit more careful with your form and what registers. Also the side effect of no controller is of course no force feedback or rumble that you tend to get in a fight game. This is not an issue in a dance game as, well, you are dancing. Obviously also the fight game needs to cope with any move any time but the dance can have a rough idea about where you should be and adjust its tolerances accordingly.
A quick demo of Joyride proved to me that I do not want to spend hours not holding a fake steering wheel, though there is a request from predlet 2.0 to have a go at that so I will see how he gets on.
Kinectimals has only just arrived in the post so I will hold fire on commenting, though I think it will be brilliant 🙂
Andy Piper was online on kinect last night but as we were exploring the games and bouncing around we did not get to try the video kinect, but the usual thing on xbox of getting a message, finishing what you are doing and then routing around to find the request or message which by that time the person has gone to do something else. So apologies Andy 🙂
If you have an xbox 360 there really is no reason to not have a Kinect, if you have kids all the better. It will be interesting to see the control methods get used in interesting ways over the next few years too, and maybe it evolve to the desktop and let us control many other devices.
A recent press release from Unity3d gave some impressive figures “Unity Technologies Surpasses 250K Developers Milestone and 35M Installs of Free Unity Web Player”
I am a big fan of Unity3d as you will have seen over the years and it is great to see the company doing so well. I do not think this success is purely technical, Unity3d is a great product but it has been the positive and open attitude of the company which if you ever talk to the CEO David Helgasson you will see why. It is a true startup come good.
The figures are impressive for the web plugin but the figures not shown, that are in fact even bigger is the fact that every iphone and droid can run Unity3d apps. Many of you will have even played or used some and possibly not even noticed.
I expect to see Unity3d appear in more and more schools as part of both art and science lessons, that was partly my intention in showcasing it on The Cool Stuff Collective. This is a tool and an environment that has both great simplicity and the ability to get as complex as you want. Programming and graphic/sound integration is the ultimate UGC. We also have lots of ways to deploy and share that content.
It seems that a set of simple course material prefabs would make a great module in both infant and secondary education to help find the story tellers, game developers, artists and programmers of the future by letting kids just get on with it and create. There may be some real gems of ideas bubbling away out there don’t you think?
Having seen the willingness to create with my own kids, watching a 3 year old choose to paint the Kart in Mario Kart on the DS and decorate away, or seeing a 7 year old revel in 3d modelling with the haptic device we really should be pushing this future tech (not just Unity3d BTW) into schools, helping teachers understand the creative and learning potential.
I know lots of people are, I know there is lots of resistance to change too. However some of this is not massive capital expenditure (most schools seem to have computers). In just the same way as many of us solo entrepreneurs are able to punch above our human resources weight with access to amazingly accessible technology, so should the classroom.
It is then not a lesson about computing or tech but about creativity, expression as well as STEM.
Fingers crossed we can ride this wave. It is certainly one I want to pursue.
Anyone out there have good Unity3d educational related prefabs?