Ubisoft announced today that it is currently developing Fighter Within — a motion-controlled fighting game for Xbox One that uses the Kinect 2 motion sensor.
Speaking to Polygon, Luc Verdier from development studio Daoka said the Kinect 2 motion sensor finally offered the studio the opportunity to make a motion-controlled fighting game that could accurately read the player's actions.
"It was not really possible with Kinect 1 because it wasn't accurate enough," Verdier said. "But thanks to this new generation sensor, we can accurately track two players in front of a TV. We now have this one-to-one technology in the game, meaning what you do is replicated on the screen."
"It was not really possible with Kinect 1 because it wasn't accurate enough."
To play Fighter Within, players stand facing the TV screen and the Kinect 2 sensor. The sensor then tracks the player's actions, and these actions are translated into fighting moves that are performed by the two avatars on the screen.
The game uses moves found in traditional fighting games like different levels of punches and kicks, blocks, combos and special moves and abilities that are unique to each character. Many of the basic moves translate directly into the game, so if a player wants their character to perform a punch, the player performs a punch. Movements like dodging, blocking and low punches also translate directly. However, for more complex maneuvers, the game uses different actions to trigger those attacks.
"We don't expect people to do high round kicks, so there are triggering animations," Verdier said. "But that was not enough. We wanted to have spectacular things on the screen, so we decided to create this chi energy bar, which is a sort of spiritual energy that enables the characters to do extraordinary things."
Once the chi energy bar fills up, players can trigger certain moves using specific gestures, such as holding both hands in front of their chest, palms facing forward, and pushing back and forth. Every move serves a tactical purpose. For example, if a player is triggering a combo or special move, then they are left vulnerable for a few seconds, so it is a risk/reward mechanism.
Verdier says the game can be a bit of a workout, but players can choose how they wish to play. There are some players who are more aggressive and play intensely, while others move less by playing defensively.
"It looks a lot like a traditional fighting game, but we added a new layer, which is physicality," Verdier said. "But you still have to be tactical-minded to build up your strategy."