Including that depth, while still having a game that literally anybody can jump in and play, was paramount to Rare in designing games for Kinect, Burton said. "We want a deep experience for those into games, but also want it simple enough that I can play with family on Christmas day." These seemingly divergent goals are made even harder to achieve, Burton said, because different people move in very different ways -- a running hurdle-jumper might have tight, controlled motions or large, exaggerated movements. Rare had to make sure the Kinect can "interpret all those moves and still have a fair race," Burton said.
"We want a deep experience for those into games, but also want it simple enough that I can play with family on Christmas day."- Rare's Nick Burton
Other problems came in developing Kinect Sports' soccer section, which worked fine for mini-games like keepy-ups, corner kick headers and penalty kicks, but got a bit unwieldy when they tried to expand it to a full, proper game of soccer. The developers found that asking players to actively run around a field while also managing and tracking the movement of their teammates and opponents quickly became to unwieldy, no matter how they tweaked the controls.
The solution came in simplifying things yet again, letting the computer AI control movement while letting the player focus on the fun part -- kicking the ball to pass and shoot. This allowed players to quickly grasp the basics of the game while still allowing expert players to pull off some tricky kicks down the field or over other players's heads, for instance
While Burton said sports conversions seem a no-brainer for future Kinect ports in the short-term, he seemed much more excited by the potential for what he termed "augmented reality on steroids." Burton said things like player tracking, environmental modeling of a real world living room and directional voice detection were incredibly difficult with old technology but become "trivial" with Kinect. "The kind of augmented reality things you've seen are just the tip of the iceberg as far as Kinect is concerned," he said.