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2007-05-05

Game Concept Philosophy

Purpose

This game is trying to prove that actually moving your limbs and "being the character" in a game is fun. Fundamentally I am trying to achieve something that has never been achieved before in that the game tracks the actual movements and physical location of the player's arms and head as inputs for controlling and interacting with the game. This game tries to do so in the simplest-yet-deepest way possible by making the controller become less of an "interpreter of the fingers" (inactive gaming) and more of an "extension of the arm."

Background Reasoning

Most art students are aware of the proportions of the human body, particularly how the parts of the body all have fairly exact ratios to each other. Knowing this, it is possible to predict and mimic with more than fair accuracy the general motions of a player using a very small number of positional sensors. This was made more apparent with the release of the Nintendo Wii, which proved that a "gesture" could trigger an in-game function. These "gestures" were very simple motions that were sensed generally with only one or two of the six possible dimensions of movement. (vertical, lateral, longitudinal, yaw, pitch, and roll) However, if all six dimensions are used, it is feasibly possible to measure the exact path that a sensor has traveled in 3D space.

Body Frame Approximation

The term "Full Motion" -- as I define it -- is where six-dimensional sensors are used to track exact position and orientation (path) of every limb of the player's body. Utilizing both dead reckoning and the proportions of the human body, it is conceivable that given the location of a sensor on the player's body is fixed, all general motions made by the player can be predicted. For example, the human wrist rotating forces a change in the orientation of the forearm. The forearm can only rotate so much before the whole arm must rotate or move. This form of reasoning can be used to determine the exact position and orientation of each part of the player's arms at any given time, making it possible for an in-game character to mimic the player's arm exactly. Apply this to every limb, and you get "Body Frame Approximation".

Playeristics vs. Characteristics

In the past, stats for characters were written entirely to translate the player's ability to the character. In "Full Motion" though, some stats and other acts in game can be re-attributed directly to the player. Any control element that originates from the abilities of the player can be said to be a "playeristic", and control elements that originate from the abilities of the character can be said to be a "characteristic". For example, "strength" is a characteristic because the strength of the character cannot and/or should not be indicative of the player in most cases. "Dexterity" however is a playeristic because the player is perfectly capable of directly controlling the character's hands through use of his own skill as a player. In "Full Motion", playeristic stats and actions should be avoided when the player can use their own skill. (within reason of course)

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