- SCEE Blog Manager James Gallagher
has shared a video interview today spotlighting Kung Fu Live PS3 with the PlayStation Eye.
To quote: Kung Fu Live is the camera-based beat'em-up that will be released on PlayStation Store tomorrow.
It uses the PlayStation Eye to throw you into a comic book world of martial arts, giant enemies and spectacular superpowers.
I recently caught up with Teemu Mäki-Patola, CEO of Virtual Air Guitar Company
, to take an early swing at it myself and grab an interview.
Why did Virtual Air Guitar decide to try something so ambitious with its first game, rather than go for something more traditional?
Our background is in university research where we were working on things like virtual reality interfaces, so that's our interest as well as our expertise and we wanted to bring some of that to the gaming market.
We believe that we can use our research to bring new experiences to games, which is why we set up the company.
What are the biggest challenges in producing a camera-based game like Kung Fu Live?
First of all, it's really difficult to get the technology side so perfect that you're confident of it working in people's living rooms. We are doing skeleton tracking which involves lots of algorithms and really is even more difficult than it sounds.
Are there any limits to who can play the game, in terms of physical size and proportion?
Not really, you can sort of 'control' your size by adjusting your distance from the camera, so kids only need to be about 1.5 metres away whereas you or I might need to be 2.5 metres away. We've had people at gamescom playing the game wearing all kinds of cosplay costumes with wings and crazy headwear and it worked fine.
How would you describe the art style and who came up with that?
We're inspired by the kung fu comics of the 70s and 80s and we wanted to go for a stylised take on those. There's a story mode that has 11 chapters and ten different levels.
How varied are the levels - do they have different themes?
The story starts with you as a comic book shop assistant and then you get sucked into a comic and end up in an adventure. There's caves filled with lava, Chinese-themed levels and quite a few more.
What kind of moves will you be able to perform?
You're free to fight however you like as all quick body movements can deal damage to your enemies - you can even do somersaults and axle kicks of you're athletic enough. The game empowers you by exaggerating your movements, so you only need to jump maybe 30cm in real life to soar three metres in the game.
What of you are holding some kind of weapon, will the game pick that up too?
Sure, you can take a rubber chicken or some other household item, but please be careful! The game is designed for unarmed combat but we have tried it with items and it seems to work fine.
How does the multiplayer work?
The multiplayer is kind of like a party mode with one person in front of the camera and up to four people controlling enemies using a DUALSHOCK 3 Wireless Controller. We couldn't really have two people playing on camera safely - even if you're fighting back to back then you could swing back and hit each other in the head or something.
What's the most interesting thing you've seen taking this game around the world?
We had a guy in a wheelchair once that was looking a little sad so I asked him what was wrong and he said that, more and more, he is seeing these types of games that he cannot play. So I asked him to give it a try - it's not something we had tested but it worked really nicely. It was really fun to see him zooming around the screen running all of the enemies down and he had a great time.
What do you want people to feel when they play Kung Fu Live?
I really enjoy seeing the smiles on people's faces and it makes me happy that we're bringing a fun new experience to PlayStation. Also, I don't think it's a bad thing that there's an exercise element and we're getting kids off their couches and helping them to improve co-ordination in an entertaining way.