If anyone has watched the anime Sword Art Online you will know what I am going to talk about.
For those of you that have not seen it, I would like you to watch the below video; so that you can get an idea of what I will be talking about.
Back on topic, as you have seen in the series, the players are placed into a virtual MMO world using an Oculus Rift-like device. Now what I would like, and many others, is for some developers out there to create an MMORPG like that of Sword Art Online, but without the nerve gear "You die in the game you die in real life". This MMORPG would also be first person and the camera of your in-game avatar would be placed on the head, around the eye-level, area allowing you to see your body as you would in real life. For example if you look down you would see your legs and feet, if you look to the side you would see your shoulder and arms etc...
Now onto the technical bits.
To accomplish this, you would use the Oculus Rift as the screen/virtual reality to project the game environment (not sure if the Oculus Rift uses a sound system - if it does it would also project the MMORPG's audio).
An Xbox Kinect/Kinect 2 sensor would be used to 'scan' the player into the game, if they wished, and used to track the players gestures and voice commands. Below is a video of the Kinect working with the Oculus Rift.
That's correct, you read right, this MMORPG will have no use of keyboard and mouse or a controller, but instead will use hand gestures and voice commands to control the player and activate skills in the game. (The voice sensor on the Kinect/Kinect 2 will be used for in-game chat further eliminating the need for a keyboard and mouse/controller).
If this leak/rumor is anything to go by, it could make this possible - especially the items in bold;
The skeleton tracking system on Durango will be enhanced over the Xbox 360 system with the following new or improved features.
- Tracking of players with height of one meter.
- One mode for both seated and standing players.
- Detection of hand states, for example, open or closed hands.
- Detection of extra joints, and rotations for some joints.
- Tracking of six, rather than two, active players.
- Tracking of occluded joints, for example, an elbow occluded by a hand.
- Detection of joint positions.
- Detection of sideways poses.
You can read the rest here.
Example of how the gestures and voice commands would work;
- For menus you could use hand gestures/voice commands to open the in-game menus, for example you could use a voice command by saying "Menu -> Select Options" or "Open Guild Menus". You could also use a hand gesture such as crossing your wrists over each other to bring up a menu system like that which is in TERA Online and use your real life hands to control a cursor. Or you could use the said gesture to bring up a menu system, like what is in Sword Art Online, and use your in-game hands to select options; controlling them with your real hands. (This is my favourite menu style).
- For skills you could use the voice command option and say what skill you want to use "Use <insert skill name here>" or "Use Skill 1". You could also use, my personal favourite, hand gestures, which will be viewed in real-time on your virtual character. For example to activate a weapon skill such as imbuing your weapon with magic/poison could use a hand gesture, for a one handed sword, depending on the hand it is in, you could move your free hand in an arc shape from the hilt of your sword to the tip. For duel wielding swords you could use your non-main hand and do the same gesture, as the one hand, over your main hands weapon, for me it would be my left hand making an arc over my right handed weapon, from hilt to tip.
Blocking with a shield would be easy as you could say "Block" or for a gesture could be to bring up both hands in front of you.
- For items you could use a voice command, such as "Use <type could go here, such as lesser or greater> Health Potion" or "Use <type could go here, such as lesser or greater> stamina potion". (Using potions would bring up a short animation of your character rooting through their inventory and picking out the correct potion and drinking it). Food and equipment would work the same, for food "Eat <insert food name here>" (eating and drinking, except potions, could activate a small mini-type-game where you have to act out eating/drinking, bring the item up to your face a few times. Or you could use the menu system to locate and activate the item. (For items such as potions you would use voice commands as this would make it easier during battle).
- For chat the Kinect mic would always be active so you wouldn't really need anything special, except that to talk to guild and party members you would have to be in reasonable distance of each other. For example to talk to your guild, you would have to organise guild meetings. To talk to a party member you would need to be close to them also. So all in all everyone can here what you say, the only safe places would be behind closed doors of your own in-game house/at an inn, although players proficient in stealth could here through those doors. (Whispering could also be implemented into the game by calibrating the Kinect's mic to your voices loudness and whispering "Whisper <insert player name here>". (Basically just talk quieter to each other).
- Trading would be done via menus.
- Movement would be done with an added wrist device that has a thumb stick attachment, press in the direction to move in that direction click it to walk and click it again to run. (You would use you head to turn the camera). The thumb stick wrist device would be made from a modified wireless Xbox 360 controller, that uses only the left thumb stick PCB, the wireless transceiver would be placed inside the wrist band. This thumb stick would also, depending on which hand it is in, would tell the game which is your main hand.
All of the control gestures will play animations on your in-game character whether it is scrolling through menus or equipping and using items. For example moving your arms would move your in-game characters arms in the same way that you moved your arms.
In addition the game would be best played either sitting or, more comfortably, lying down.
I'm not a coder or a developer of games, I wanted to post this to see if I could attract some attention from developers who would like to work on creating a game like this. The only way I could help with the game creation, other than providing this outline , would be to create a story to go with the game as I do like to write. (I do not own an Oculus Rift developer kit, so developers would need to supply one, although I do have a Kinect).
I would like to here your thoughts and if you have any questions, or if you would like some more information, please feel free to ask ^^