One of the design challenges we’ve set out to tackle this semester is looking at a heavier, more powerful weapon – if you know hack-and-slash games, you know that also translates to a slower weapon, both for gameplay balance and to create a visceral sense of weight. The fast blade weapon from our first semester was designed to make our lives easier by being able to keep up with the players’ motions, regardless of how frenetic they get. The challenge of a slower weapon is to teach the player to wait, to move at the pace the weapon can support and “feel” its heft. With a solid understanding of player mindset and Kinect affordance under our belt, we feel ready to give it a try and introduce our off-hand weapon, the Power Claw (or whatever we end up calling it).
The blade remains in the player’s right hand, with the claw occupying the left. One of our goals with the distinct weapons in each of the two hands is to demonstrate that Kinect gestures can present a control scheme that gives instant access to a wider variety of attacks than any normal console controller could provide. Since the properties of claw attacks are wildly different from blade attacks, and each directional attack has its own purpose, players can immediately execute ~8-10 distinct attacks without even getting into combos. We’ll address our take on combos (which is also specifically catered to motion control, as you may imagine, since all of our designs are) in a later post.
Hack-and-slash fans may remember that the genre has a long legacy of super-powered slow-ish fist/claw weapons. Devil May Cry’s Gilgamesh, Bayonetta’s Durga (fire version), Space Marine’s Power Fist, Fallout (ok, not really a hack-and-slash), any boxing game… now we’re reaching. Which is another ability of the power claw! Given the behind-the-back camera mandated by our strict regimen of motion control, keeping the player from needing to turn much is a key goal, and the power claw’s attacks focus on crowd-control, stun, and battlefield mobility.