The panel’s moderator, Jason Jerald, kicked the introductions off by explaining how the panel was structured. The panelists would start with position statements, then Jason would address them with some questions, and then it would be the audience’s turn.
The first panelist introduced was Richard Marks with Sony Research and Development; he helped develop the Playstation Move system. Marks started with a recap of motion gaming at SIGGRAPH and mentioned the button vs. no button question as being more properly considered as a holding something vs. not holding something question. There are just certain motions where it is more natural to have something in hand. He also hypothesized that motion-control games will improve as developers adjust to the technology and learn to take advantage of it.
The second panelist was Brian Murphy with Microsoft; he helped develop the Kinect system. Murphy mentioned that the intent of the Kinect system was to make gaming a more social experience, much like arcades. The idea was to remove traditional barriers and invent new ways to play. He then completed his position statement with key lessons he has learned about motion gaming design.
The third panelist was Joseph LaVoila with the University of Central Florida. He talked about his academic background and mentioned that motion-control games are at a crossroads, because hardcore gamers don’t adopt the technology. He inferred that this was due to problems with the hardware and software. LaVoila then mentioned the combining of the Playstation Move and Microsoft Kinect systems to enhance the user’s experience and showed some photographic examples.
The fourth panelist was Keith Steury with Microsoft Studios User Research. He’s a Research Manager with an experimental psychology background and talked about how the technology should adapt to the user and not the other way around. He also made the point that developers should focus on what motion control is good at and presented an example of being able to simplify a game controller thanks to motion based features.
The final panelist was Amir Rubin the President and CEO of Sixense Entertainment. He focused on the best features of a controller, which included being wireless, precise with a wide range of body tracking. He concluded that a good developer will make a game that is so immersive that the user will forget about the controller.
Jerald then kicked off the questions portion of the panel.