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Kung-Fu Live for PS3: You Are the Controller

Teemu Mäki-Patola's Avatar + Posted by Teemu Mäki-Patola on May 26, 2010 // CEO, Virtual Air Guitar Company

Hey dudes! I’m really excited to let you all know that our new game Kung-Fu Live is coming to the PSN Store later this year! It’s a unique fighting adventure that uses the PlayStation Eye and our internally developed tech to create an experience like never before.

Kung-Fu Live for PS3 and PlayStation Eye

As some of you may have heard, we announced Kung-Fu Live with a playable sneak preview last week in New York. The reception from journalists, as well as gamers, has totally overwhelmed us! We also found ourselves in the middle of the rising motion gaming discussion as many of the stories call out that our game already does what Natal is trying for: Kung-Fu Live uses full-body skeleton tracking to track the player’s moves in real-time. Thus, people have been saying that our game and tech using the PlayStation Eye is stealing the thunder from Natal. LOL!

With our Freemotion technology and the awesome quality of the PlayStation Eye camera, full-body motion gaming is already here. Kung-Fu Live also scans you inside the game world where you literally become the hero of the game. There you are boosted with super human abilities, such as being able to jump flips without actually making flips, do high jump kicks, shoot lightning from your hands, and so on. Oh yeah, not to mention that you can do The Matrix trick of slowing the speed of your opponents’ time while you kick their asses.

Kung-Fu Live for PS3 and PlayStation Eye

So toss away the gamepad for a change and experience what it’s like to be Jackie Chan (no real martial art skills needed): Punch, kick, jump and pummel your enemies into oblivion using your body as your only weapon. I can’t wait to show you guys more of Kung-Fu LIVE, but for now, check out the teaser trailer above for a glimpse of the kick-ass action we have in store.

Feel free to post questions here about the game, I’ll try to answer them as best I can.

P.S: For legal purposes, I have to add a small disclaimer: Freemotion technology can make you extremely fit — just by playing a video game! Any resulting six packs are unintentional. :-) I lost about four pounds in four days playing the game for an hour a day. For once, I’m ready for the beach before the summer starts!

//Add Your Own

98 Comments   41 Replies

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1

+ Sindred on May 26th, 2010 at 7:04 am said:

I saw a video for this. It looks really awesome and fun (also funny). Does your entire body need to be on camera? That is, what if I have a small room and the camera cannot encompass my entire body because of the shorter distance.


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:04 am said:

    Hi Sindred,
    thanks for the encouraging comment!

    Its of no consequence to leave the tips of your feet (below ankles) off the view. You can play ok even with 3/4 body or less, but as it is a full-body punch and kick- game, its definitely more fun to play if you fit ok inside the view.

    Luckily the PSEye has a nicely wide field of view setting (you can switch between wide and normal by rotating the lense). Using this, a 6 feet person needs about 8 feet distance from the camera. A smaller person/kids of course need less distance to fit in.

    I think 8 feet is still quite ok. I have a pretty small livingroom, but it works well for playing. You can also point the camera a bit diagonally from the tv. Usually the cam is on top of the tv or in front of it but ofcourse you can place it e.g. on a bookshelf behind it if there is one to gain more distance. Just the distance from the camera to the player matters.


2

+ ItsNymo on May 26th, 2010 at 7:12 am said:

I remember seeing your guys ‘Kick Ass Kung Fu’ project a while back, and I thought to myself “Man, I wanna try that out and play it.”

well, Glad you guys made a home version! ;)

Cannot wait to get my hands, er, body on it!


3

+ WrekGar on May 26th, 2010 at 7:20 am said:

I tried the game out here in NY and it is a good workout if you really get into it. I was sweating after playing it. Still hope a print function gets put in or maybe facebook the story mode as your playing it.


4

+ Enforcer_X on May 26th, 2010 at 7:23 am said:

Looks awesome! I can’t wait to play it!


5

+ evret on May 26th, 2010 at 7:25 am said:

while i’m looking forward to getting this on my ps3, that teaser is pretty bad imo, how about a bit more gameplay?!? the vid i saw last week showed of the game way better than this


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:09 am said:

    Yep, this is a brief teaser for the announcement. Joystick had a longer trailer with more gameplay. Its still there. I would have liked to have the longer video as well.


6

+ Sakimori_X on May 26th, 2010 at 7:26 am said:

Super bonus points to VAG (snicker) if the game includes a tutorial or dojo of some sort, where you learn the game’s moveset and are told to kick and punch ’cause ”it’s all in the mind”.


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:10 am said:

    :) Heh! We’ll see. Who knows.


7

+ TheZed88 on May 26th, 2010 at 7:33 am said:

Wow. I am usually not into these fighting kind of games, but I may have to pick this one up just for the unique experiance. If the price is right.


8

+ zerolaff on May 26th, 2010 at 7:34 am said:

“You are the controller”

Wasn’t that a tag line for Natal?


9

+ BlooodyCow on May 26th, 2010 at 7:42 am said:

Would love to get this game, but I really have no space in my room and no way in hell am I moving my PS3 to the living room just to play one game. :(


10

+ CartBlanche on May 26th, 2010 at 7:47 am said:

@zerolaff : If you actually go back to the release of the PS2 EyeToy, Sony’s catch phrase back then ( nearly 10 years ago ) was indeed “You are the controller”. As of last year Microsoft hijacked the slogan for Natal. So there you go, that is the console history of that slogan.


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:19 am said:

    Yep. Natal’s just been much on the surface lately. Our tech is fairly similar although we don’t use a 3D camera. Compared to older EyeToy games, the player tracking is very different and more expressive. We don’t just track amount of movement in certain areas or frame difference mass distributions but apply full-body skeleton tracking on the player in real-time. Using that we can also remove the player’s livingroom background, detect poses and moves and so on. The player is also integrated into the physics engine of the game world allowing him to kick boxes, rocks, trashcans, etc. on top of his enemies. Thus, the player is really inside the world and moving there, instead of the game and objects basically being in the camera view space.


11

+ pcwzrd13 on May 26th, 2010 at 7:50 am said:

Are there any plans to add PS Move support? It could be cool for using weapons like nunchucks or rods.


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:22 am said:

    Yep. We want to do this for the hopefull sequel(s). It would have been cool here as well but to cut the long story short it wasn’t too feasible soon enough for reasons that have nothing to do with technology.


12

+ fedex682 on May 26th, 2010 at 7:51 am said:

Me want! when can I get it?


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:23 am said:

    Awesome! Coming out for the holidays this year.


13

+ Stoffinator on May 26th, 2010 at 7:52 am said:

It looked interesting, but it still looks like it needs a lot of work. Character would bounce across the screen.


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:28 am said:

    We are exaggerating the players movements a lot so that he would appear faster and more capable and e.g. jump 24 feet in the game world although he jumps only one feet in his house. This might need a bit of tuning still but I personally like the reach it gives me inside the game. As a result, the character bounces around if its e.g. a kid who is just so excited that he keeps on running back and forth in front of the camera. But normally I feel it works quite nicely.


14

+ alfian2 on May 26th, 2010 at 7:52 am said:

natal ripoff?


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:31 am said:

    Inventions and new tech often surface from more than one place at the same time. We have been working on the tech for 8 years starting all the way from university research.


15

+ adolson on May 26th, 2010 at 7:52 am said:

Either that screenshot is fake, or that guy can kick higher than the game can.


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:34 am said:

    Heh! That’s actually me doing the kick and I cannot kick as high as it looks there. We took the pic with a wide angle lense from downwards so that it would look cooler than it is.


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+ pcwzrd13 on May 26th, 2010 at 7:55 am said:

@ alfian2

I would say Natal is a PS Eye ripoff since the Eye came out long before Natal was announced!


17

+ BlooodyCow on May 26th, 2010 at 7:55 am said:

offtopic:
Hay Jeff, where is that SONY E3 press conference countdown?


18

+ MoneyMaker110 on May 26th, 2010 at 7:56 am said:

i just had an eyetoy flashback


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:45 am said:

    Sony started the whole camera gaming with EyeToy. Now there is just much more that can be done with the new technology.


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+ S-E-G on May 26th, 2010 at 7:59 am said:

i think i might have to take down a wall to be able to get my full body in the game.


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+ Screwhead45 on May 26th, 2010 at 8:00 am said:

That’s Awesome Playstation Eye already does full-body motion gaming? I totally forgot about my ps eye my, friends have them but we don’t use them. I say it’s time for a change :)


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+ ninjaChris on May 26th, 2010 at 8:02 am said:

Looks cool. This would make karate practise a bit more interesting too.

From the vid (and just thinking about it), you’d always be looking/facing at the screen but throwing techniques out to the side. I’m sure you’d get used to it but I wonder how realistic the guy in the vid thinks it is (he clearly knows a thing or two from his technique).

I wonder how it’d work to get a usb extension cable and instead of having it under the TV, have it to one side at right angles to the TV? It’d probably work one way (say kicking towards the tv goes to the right on the screen) but you wouldnt want to turn round (back to the TV) to go left!


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 9:54 am said:

    Yep. If you have two TV’s you can certainly do what you figured.

    But luckily you don’t really need that. Because of the wide angle lense kicking in about 45 degree angle to right and left (between side and forwards) looks to the camera almost identical to kicking in 90 degree angle (fully to the side). Thus, the game is perhaps best played by turning only about 90 degrees (instead of 180) when changing direction. This also allows you to quickly pound on enemies from both directions.

    Having your face forwards may feel a bit silly for the people watching but it really doesn’t seem to bother the one playing. People have said exactly this after trying the game out having first mentioned about this when watching.


22

+ Bulleteddy on May 26th, 2010 at 8:04 am said:

Fantastic concept…worse announcement video ever. Unless you were going for cheesy 80′s video. Gameplay please!


23

+ ninjaChris on May 26th, 2010 at 8:12 am said:

I can’t remember when it was but they showed it briefly on the Gadget Show on Channel 5 when they went round their Gadget Show Live exhibition. The episode might still be online. Otis (doing his Kung Fu thing) and the Jason (flailing wildly) had a go.


24

+ KidCommando on May 26th, 2010 at 8:16 am said:

For the love of Kratos, where is the actual gameplay footage?

I mean, I guess it looks cool, but how does it work and play?

This whole “you are the controller” sounds nice, but SHOW US!


25

+ explosive78 on May 26th, 2010 at 8:20 am said:

Great now make a kevin butler commercial for it to show that you were the first to do this. Steal the spotlight from microsoft before it starts. Smart move.


26

+ artform-fazeone on May 26th, 2010 at 8:20 am said:

Kung-Fu Live will definitely be a eye toy greatest hit.. a 10 out of 10… THE FAZEONES LOUNGE


28

+ DaveMastrX on May 26th, 2010 at 8:26 am said:

I wonder what I will accidently kick first, my cat or my bravia…


29

+ spunnups on May 26th, 2010 at 8:27 am said:

About time a developer used the PS Eye. There are like Zero games that use this device.


30

+ MarinoBrea on May 26th, 2010 at 8:31 am said:

You’re the controller? More like ” You’re IN the game” … I agree with a poster above, the teaser video is poor. But I watched quite a bit of this game at hiphopgamer and it looked very cool, specially for a PSN game.


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 10:06 am said:

    Yeah, he was seriously cool playing the game too. Had an awesome energy level and cool moves!


31

+ Skater_Ricky on May 26th, 2010 at 8:33 am said:

I dont Plan on Kicking at things in the Air for this Game but I dont mind Punching the Air to kill the AI.

My 40″ LCD TV (WISH was a SONY Bravia) “Most Likely get one next Black Friday for 3D TV Hopefully”

This is a Good Reason to get off my New Recliner and get some Exercise :D

Knoticed after getting Older you get slower and Lazier :(

Look forward to this Game.. Hopefully ill see a price tag of 9.99 or less for this game :D


32

+ DeadCell34 on May 26th, 2010 at 8:34 am said:

I still want to see that tech demo of the tanks be turned into a game. That was cool.


33

+ dsigns209 on May 26th, 2010 at 8:37 am said:

Cant wait to see my little brother and nephew play this. Comedy.


34

+ Elsa on May 26th, 2010 at 8:37 am said:

How’s about an updated Groove game? I’m still using the PS2 Eyetoy version and it would be nice to have more updated music instead of YMCA by the Village People!


35

+ Xulap on May 26th, 2010 at 8:41 am said:

The latest HipHopGamerShow has some footage of this game, if you want to see how it plays.


36

+ GooniesAndy on May 26th, 2010 at 8:45 am said:

Ooh yay! I can’t wait for this. BTW, the old Eyetoy games were SO much fun (I still have “Washin’ Windows stuck in my head all these years later…) You guys should release those on the PSN. I miss them!


37

+ sprodigy on May 26th, 2010 at 8:48 am said:

Looks like you need to be a kung fu expert to play? haha jk, it looks sweet. I hope it teaches you actual martial arts moves in the process!


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 11:07 am said:

    You certainly don’t need to be a kung-fu expert to play. Everyone who can move normally can punch, kick and jump enough. We even had a guy in wheel chair play the game. He was ramming his enemies and pounding them with his hands and did a good job. For “expert play” you only need to figure out how the combos work and look for windows of opportunity in your enemies behaviour.


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+ BalramRules on May 26th, 2010 at 8:51 am said:

one more reason why we don’t need Natal, the PS3 is already capable of EVERYTHING and more than the 360 can do, it’s just the console havin a mind of its own that is very new, but hopefully sony tries to bring this feature to ps3 too :P


39

+ nickolas82 on May 26th, 2010 at 8:53 am said:

I have a question:
Will you include online play? A clasic Mortal Kombat style online fight will be awesome!!!!!Please make it happen


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 11:02 am said:

    Due to bandwidth requirements of streaming the video-you, this is a difficult task for limited resources. So unfortunately this will not happen for the first Kung-Fu LIVE. But if this one does well, it will be up in the air for the sequel again.


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+ krae_man on May 26th, 2010 at 8:57 am said:

Sega Activator coming to PSN:p


41

+ krae_man on May 26th, 2010 at 8:58 am said:

Seriously though, how do you move, jump etc?


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 11:00 am said:

    Ah, glad you asked as this is one of the hardest things to do in a camera game as just walking in your room quickly takes you out of the camera’s view.

    There are going to be some rather big levels in Kung-Fu LIVE, that require you to move quite some distance. We have a selection of approaches for moving inside the game world that I feel together work very nicely:
    - Each kick and punch moves you in their direction
    - By jumping to one side tossing your hands up during the jump, triggers an assisted flip. This makes you do about a 30 feet flip jump inside the game world. This can be used for platforming as well as it goes quite high. And you can use this for jumping over your enemies.
    - All movement is exaggerated, so quickly moving 3 feet to one side in your room, moves you about 15 feet in the game world. Fighting back and forth between two enemies you can keep fighting them with quick attacks even if they are 20 feet apart. You can also jump on top of a small house just by doing a good jump upwards.
    - The first special power is called a power punch. Hitting to one side with both hands triggers this. It quickly tosses you about 30 feet forwards in that direction. It can be used as an attack as well as for moving.


42

+ YeWest_is_da_man on May 26th, 2010 at 9:07 am said:

I can see a lot of ripped shorts and pants coming from me trying to fancy stuff flying through the air… lol *shakes head*


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+ MaxxAmmo on May 26th, 2010 at 9:10 am said:

Holy crap, looks cool but I can see some people getting kicked in the head watching people play this! That chick in the purple shirt is too dang close! Kwa-Bammm!


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+ Emadeowa on May 26th, 2010 at 9:12 am said:

for those of you that think there are no games that use the PS eye , you might wanna check the PS Store. There are a few that track your body movement as mentioned about Kung fu live tracks the body in a skelly style


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 10:40 am said:

    Yep, there are some PSEye games there. They work on different method on changing pixels (movement) though. As far as I know, none do actual skeleton tracking. But with clever design you can do pretty cool stuff with simpler tech as well, such as they did in EyeToy Kinetic.


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+ SOOPERGOOMAN187 on May 26th, 2010 at 9:16 am said:

I’m handicapped in that I can’t stand for long periods of time or kick in the air. will there be Button Remapping sort of speak so I can use a ds3 or MC to perform those actions? I’m six feet tall and I need eight feet of distance. Like you said, you don’t necessarily need to have your Feet in the cam’s view but I just don’t see it working for me. Unfortunately… :(

Nice game, great concept. Nata- Killer? Hopefully…


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 10:34 am said:

    Thanks! There will be a mode where people can control the other characters with game pads. Even 4 at a time. But someone needs to be playing as themselves too. And the story mode is for camera based gaming only.
    Maybe you could use it a little bit per day as an exercise? I lost much of my belly demoing the game in NY. Was a bit surprised how much as it didn’t really feel as much like a workout as the results hinted.


46

+ angelspawn77 on May 26th, 2010 at 9:22 am said:

this has accidental kicking and breaking all over it, lol. Its pretty funny though how the ps eye can already do what natal thinks its so innovative for being one of the main things it does. Ill wait until I see more of this game until I decide if I want it or not.


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+ electronicpart on May 26th, 2010 at 9:25 am said:

Big nail in Natal coffin
“already does what Natal is trying”
“the PlayStation Eye is stealing the thunder from Natal. LOL!”
BIG LOL


48

+ ynp7 on May 26th, 2010 at 9:36 am said:

Why are people still trying this stuff? You’d better plan to throw in free studio lighting if you want anyone to buy this because most of us, even in well lit rooms, don’t have proper lighting to play these camera-based games.


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    + Teemu Maki-Patola on May 26th, 2010 at 10:27 am said:

    The PSEye is from a different planet compared to the EyeToy when it comes to light sensitivity. Truly a lot better. Its the best camera I have come accross in this sense. Oh, and I don’t get paid to say this :)


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+ niall077 on May 26th, 2010 at 9:38 am said:

“your are the controller” huh… I think I heard that one before


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+ zerolaff on May 26th, 2010 at 9:47 am said:

@niall077: Yep, it’s from the PS2 Eyetoy. Cheers CartBlanche ;)


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