Namco Bandai’s Theoretical Motion Controlled Wizard RPG

By Spencer . March 17, 2009 . 12:50pm

Other than slashing thin air how can developers utilize motion control for a role playing game? Namco Bandai has an idea, one they were confident enough in to patent. First filed in Japan in November 2007 and released here in June 2008 this patent shows its age, but it’s neat to see something Namco Bandai hasn’t used yet.

 

The document describes a tracing control scheme with the Wii remote acting as a sample controller for the application and a magic wand in the game. Input is activated by holding a button.

 

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Example seal patterns for magic spells include a star and Pac-man. The simulated screen has a wizard and a cardboard box insect creature.

 

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Once you start a motion the game analyzes the path. After you attack the enemy takes its turn and the process repeats until one party is defeated.

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Here’s the unique idea in Namco Bandai’s concept: damage is partially based on the conformity of the drawing, but unaffected by the angle. You can draw the lightning seal straight in front of you, in the air or upside down and hit the monster for the same amount of damage if your drawing consistent. Namco Bandai’s idea is this system will test a player’s skill of following a moving path.

 

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Do you think this system will work in practice? Would you want to play a RPG where the Wii Remote or perhaps the PS3 controller acts as a glyph drawing magic wand?


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  • http://www.cosmosgaming.com cosmosgaming

    This kind of sounds like the spell system from the PC version of Arx Fatalis only instead of using a mouse you use the Wii remote and it has better detection of your movements. I could see it working if they choose to use it.

  • memoryofwater

    These recent controller patent posts have been interesting to read, Spencer. I really like this idea (in theory) in particular. A lot of designers seem to have flirted with the idea before. Avalon Code’s original concept, (The, ugh) Another World’s spell book, and I think the Final Fantasy VI SGI tech demo tried something similar (with a mouse).

    As long as it isn’t too strict (or too lenient) about accuracy, it could be a really fun, weird gimmick.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      Thanks! There might be more coming… I like looking at these too since its neat to see a company’s train of thought.

  • jarrodand

    Taito and Level 5 aren’t gonna be happy…

  • Tatsu

    This concept would work well with motion plus, but not without it. The wiimote accelerometers can’t tell the difference between moving and tilting, which becomes a huge problem for motion control concepts like this one.

  • http://myanimelist.net/profile/Kuronoa Kuronoa

    I’d play it.
    I also agree that this game would benefit from MotionPlus, I hope Namco would be wise to make the game with that in mind.

    • Hero of legend

      That’s probably why the concept hasn’t been used yet I assume.

  • Chow

    I do not think it will work that well. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow had the touchscreen version of this concept, and I have found that most people (that I’ve seen in forums) didn’t like it. Personally, I don’t like the motion controls I’ve encountered so far in “most” Wii and PS3 games, so hopefully they give you an option not to use it.

    The only way I would like this is if the motions were simple to do, without requiring that the motion hit more than five hitboxes. Drawing the Pacman or the hollow star, and even that baseball helmet thing in the pictures would be overkill.

  • Mazen

    Hopefully they are still working on this and its a new RPG IP not Tales million.

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