Capcom is bragging that Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor will be the most accurate Kinect game yet, thanks to collaboration with Microsoft. The mech sim was developed by From Software.
According to producer Kenji Kataoka, "Initially, when we started testing Steel Battalion on Kinect, the movement recognition was done by area. It detected where your hands are, and that's how the program tried to see what you were trying to do."
This mechanic was sub-optimal, however, due to the complexity of the game. Microsoft helped Capcom by developing an entirely new set of tech that recognized actual gestures, not the area. Microsoft even created a whole new SDK to aid From Software in its development.
"Now it's a combination of coordinates, area and gestures," Katoaka described, "That adds a lot more accuracy. It now can detect what your intentions are just by small movement rather than the absolute coordinate of where your hands are. In the end it turned out really well, but we really had to grill it to the last with Microsoft to make this happen."
The game requires players to pull levels, push buttons, grab and pull down periscopes, stand up and look through binoculars, and so on. All of this may be done while under heavy fire. Fortunately, aiming and firing the tank is controller-based.
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor will be released in mid-June on the Xbox 360. It'll be interesting to see how popular a hardcore mech sim is with the generally casual Kinect crowd.