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MotionSports Q&A With Ubisoft Producer Gian Marco Zanna

Interested in finding out more on the upcoming Xbox 360 Kinect title, MotionSports, from Ubisoft? Well, your wishes are our command. We’ve got more in the form of this Q&A with the games producer. You can also check out (if you haven’t already) some images and the trailer of MotionSports that we posted earlier today.

Could you introduce yourself and explain your role in the project?

My name is Gian Marco Zanna, I am the Producer for MotionSports.

Who is in charge of the development?

Ubisoft’s Studio in Milan is in charge of the development of the title. A team in Barcelona and another in Paris also worked on some of the sports within the game. Each studio brings their own visions of the events involved, providing a variety of culture and expertise.

On which platform will MotionSports be available?

MotionSports has been developed specifically for Microsoft Kinect on Xbox 360 and will be available upon the launch of Microsoft’s new system.

Can you explain to what extent the Kinect technology is a real plus for a game such as MotionSports?

As you know, with its Kinect technology, Microsoft proposes a revolutionary way to play since no traditional controller will be required. We’ve selected each sport and each challenge according to its relevance to Kinect technology. We repeatedly asked ourselves throughout development “will the challenge we propose exploit the Kinect tech at its best?” In other words, we wanted to be sure to give the players a never-before-seen experience and… great fun in playing a multisport game using only their body!

Interestingly also, Kinect allows us to create a brand new body language in multiplayer. For instance, when you play with someone else, not only do you have to interact with the game and the screen (like traditional games) but you also can watch the person you’re playing with and interact with him/her in order to coordinate, or predict his/her movements.

Can you detail the different sports you can play on MotionSports?

MotionSports features a wide range of sports:

· American Football

· Skiing

· Soccer

· Boxing

· Horse Riding

· Hang Gliding

Each sport features a number of challenges that will allow players to experience the excitement and thrill that so far have been the exclusive privilege of world-class champions. Be it facing the last, crucial instants of an American football game or staring up towards a muscular giant for a full boxing match, every challenge requires a unique kind of effort. And then there’s racing at breakneck speed down snow covered mountains, aerial weaving between skyscrapers, penalty shooting duels and breathtaking rides on horseback. MotionSports has all of this and so much more in the over 40 in-game challenges.

Can you give us 3 examples of challenges you can find in MotionSports?

American Football: You are the quarterback with only seconds left before your blockers fall under the pressure of the oncoming defense. Suddenly, one of your teammates breaks free and runs for the touchdown! It’s time for a show of power and precision: throw the ball so that he can finish the job! You actually perform real sports achievements without realizing it, and in a fun way!

Skiing: Experience the joy of riding intense downhill races in your home with your friends. With simulated speed and strong immersion, you will feel like you’re really skiing down the slopes. The skiing challenge is a great use of Kinect that will require you to be very precise in your movement to control how you accelerate, turn and jump.

Soccer: The multiplayer in the penalty kick between the kicker and goalkeeper is really exciting. Instead of focusing on the screen, I can look at my friend and how they are shooting to predict their movements. The game is happening right in our living room, with both of us shooting and jumping to block the ball, like in a real penalty kick event. In the end, the screen shows us the result on the field. The game is no longer in control on the TV, but it’s about us, and how we move and how we behave. It makes the game very enjoyable to play and exciting for others to watch. It’s very interactive, and body centric.

Tell us about the other important features in the game?

  • Multiplayer: a key point of the game is that it’s designed primarily for multiplayer use. Two players can compete simultaneously, and the game can accommodate up to 4 players in total with a turn by turn mechanism.
  • Rising fame: an original component of MotionSports is to give the player the feeling of becoming a sports celebrity thanks to the compliments of the features:
    • The game progression itself: Beginning as a local celebrity, the players earns national and international status, increasing audience and attracting media coverage. By the way, being an international sport celebrity is cool, but there is something else even better…
      • Media coverage: player’s performances are highlighted thanks to broadcast coverage, with live commentators covering the action – your hits and misses! - with a professional and humorous tone. The media covering your exploits will also evolve accordingly to your performances. The player’s face will appear on the covers of in-game magazines, and transform from local newspaper sensation to worldwide-acclaimed trend-setter. The road to legendary status is filled with fun and satisfaction!

      Do I have to be a champion in all sports to reach a legendary status?

      The advancement system in MotionSports is made for all kinds of players, even those who specialize in a single sport will be able to enjoy their glory days.

      We think that MotionSports will attract a lot of people from fans of sports simulations games, to groups of friends looking to have a blast together. It will also appeal to families, as we can easily imagine a kid challenging his dad on a penalty contest at soccer! Controls are easy and natural enough to capture also those users that shunned sports titles until today.

      Finally what is your favorite sport in MotionSports, and why?

      I do not have any particular preferences, I really like them all. Among the sports featured, there are some that I never practiced in my life. Now that I play them on MotionSports, it really gives me a great feeling, and I want to start practicing the real sports!

      What I particularly like to do is play very physical activities first, and then relax for a few minutes. For instance, I can play American Football, which is fast paced, and involves a lot of movements, it is very intense and challenging, and makes you work up a sweat. Then I follow with Boxing, which is a good physical exercice, and gives you very exciting feeling of combat. Like real boxing, it’s about strategy, speed, punch and sweat. After that, I am quite tired, and I feel good. So, it’s time for Hang Gliding; flying over downtown with a hang glider is something you probably never experienced, but with MotionSports anyone can try! Hang Gliding is relaxing moment and flying over a city brings you peace. It’s effortless but requires precision and softness in movements.

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      Posted by: Redeema
      Date: August 23, 2010

      Categories: Xbox 360 News, Xbox 360, News

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