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Project Natal + Milo (Revolutionise game industry)


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It looks great but I can't help having a little skepticism at this point. I wonder how it differentiates between each player of a game when everyone is sitting/standing close to each other like in the first video.

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I don't care how they pronounce it. That reminds me of a pregnant woman. It does look very interesting though. Did it actually respond to her comments, though? Or was it just pre-programmed to follow what the most likely comment would be? Probably the latter, but still....

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Most of that looked like pre-programmed cinematic stuff, not sure what it will actually be like, i personally won't hold my hopes up.

 

 

 

'if' it turns out to work very well, it could become a new way of having a home multimedia system, not just the games industry.

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I don't care how they pronounce it. That reminds me of a pregnant woman. It does look very interesting though. Did it actually respond to her comments, though? Or was it just pre-programmed to follow what the most likely comment would be? Probably the latter, but still....

 

 

 

my thoughts exactly, when i heard of it i was like "does that mean that everything that came before natal is "prenatal"?

 

 

 

then i laughed a bit at my horrible pun.

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That Milo video looks like scripted crap. But when has Peter Molyneux ever over hyped anything? Oh yeah... Pretty much every game he's ever been associated with. If it even comes with a quarter of the things described in the video, I'd be surprised. The other ones look a bit more promising.

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The motion control, at the least, GiantBomb has already said works like it is supposed to. I think most people are more focused on the AI though which, obviously, to an extent was scripted with the AI. AI hasn't gotten that much better.

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Bloody hell no. Wireless was bad. Motion censored is worse. Call me old-schooled, but if I don't press a god damn button with a wire connecting it, I'm not playing it.

 

 

 

EDIT: I just watched Milo...and what the [bleep] are they trying to do? Leave our world for theirs? Hell no.

"The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you never hear it you'll never know what justice is."

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Did it actually respond to her comments, though? Or was it just pre-programmed to follow what the most likely comment would be? Probably the latter, but still....

 

Milo works like any other bot. It reads 'keys' (keywords, tone of voice, colours, etc.) and does a lookup for the best answer. In this sense, it certainly does respond to her questions.

 

 

 

Keep in mind that Natal is about human-computer interaction, not artificial intelligence. The Milo & Kate game/demo uses Natal's face/voice/motion recognition in order to create seemingly 'intelligent' responses, but this sort of AI scripting is likely independent of Natal. The demo is successful in showing off what Natal intends to create: a better connection between the game and its users. Reacting by physically "catching" something thrown to you by a virtual character -- that is incredible.

 

 

 

While I'm not sure whether Natal will see immediate success in the casual gaming market, it will no doubt revolutionize gaming as a whole, if not human-computer interaction entirely.

 

 

 

Some details on the technology and reviews of early demos:

 

http://procrastineering.blogspot.com/20 ... natal.html

 

http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/03/proj ... r-details/

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/e3-pr ... l-hands-on

 

http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/989/989269p1.html

 

 

 

Call me old-schooled, but if I don't press a god damn button with a wire connecting it, I'm not playing it.

 

Have fun with your pong controller, gramps. ;)

 

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Finally someone else paid attention to the motion control, haha. Really if you just ignore the AI the motion control was incredible, with her drawing the picture and scanning it in and milo grabbing it, or her moving her hand around in the water to grab fish. Imagine something like that with a VR helmet. Sounds silly but when you think about it, it would work.

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I don't care how they pronounce it. That reminds me of a pregnant woman. It does look very interesting though. Did it actually respond to her comments, though? Or was it just pre-programmed to follow what the most likely comment would be? Probably the latter, but still....

 

 

 

my thoughts exactly, when i heard of it i was like "does that mean that everything that came before natal is "prenatal"?

 

 

 

then i laughed a bit at my horrible pun.

 

 

 

When it turns out to be bad, will we have 'post-natal-depression?'

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Am I the only one who would feel incredibly dorky flapping about while trying to conduct an awkward convo with some computer generated character (in english)? This technology is incredibly cool and all, it really is, but hell, I'd never in a million years play one of these games. Then again, I feel the same way about the Wii and it turns out a lot of people like this sort of stuff, so I dunno. I'll stick to my mouse and keyboard anyway.

 

 

 

Damn kids, get off my lawn etc.

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I just think there is potential there, such as you're playing a sports game, and theres a set-play, so you can throw the ball yourself, or kick the ball yourself for a penalty on soccer or whatever.

 

 

 

and imagine game companys paying voice actors for a database of like 100 voices over the years, and playing an RPG and you can barter properly with the game, saying i'll give you half a sandwhich and 100 gold for your sword, then they say no, and then you say you can escape with your life, and they give you the sword and most importantly you get to keep your sandwich

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I like the concept of Natal, but am I the only one who thought of the Eye Toy the first time I saw this? Milo looked a bit too much like script for me to trust it, and I am also a bit skeptical about Milo 'grabbing' the picture - I would have been more impressed if the picture was shown back to me, especially since the person was told what to do: draw a fish (If I remember correctly). Also, letting a few members of the E3 crowd test it out 'behind closed doors' is what really sparked my scepticism; if Natal and Milo are so good, they wouldn't be afraid to let the media see candid interactions with Milo using Natal.

 

 

 

The name could definitely be better too.

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I am also a bit skeptical about Milo 'grabbing' the picture - I would have been more impressed if the picture was shown back to me, especially since the person was told what to do: draw a fish (If I remember correctly).

 

What is there to be skeptical about? :? Mapping a scanned image to a 3D surface is not impressive in the least -- hell, give me a webcam and I could program that in a matter of hours.

 

 

 

And why would Milo show you a picture you just handed to him?

 

 

 

Also, letting a few members of the E3 crowd test it out 'behind closed doors' is what really sparked my scepticism; if Natal and Milo are so good, they wouldn't be afraid to let the media see candid interactions with Milo using Natal.

 

Natal isn't ready for public release. It's common sense not to show your work to the public until its finished -- this rings especially true in the gaming industry.

 

 

 

Am I the only one who would feel incredibly dorky flapping about while trying to conduct an awkward convo with some computer generated character (in english)? This technology is incredibly cool and all, it really is, but hell, I'd never in a million years play one of these games.

 

The tech demos are extremely lame, as usual. Surely they could have spent a couple extra hours around a table before settling on a "Canvas Painting" tech demo?

 

 

 

Of course, there are a lot of 'cooler' possibilities with Natal. Imagine a SWAT game where you command your team with hand signals, or a racing game where you can flip-off a passing driver and watch as he reacts in anger. :lol:

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I cant take this thing seriousley ever since i saw the trailer and the machine thing goes "Its you again Iain" and then he immediately gets ready for battle.

 

 

 

Cringe-worthy moment.

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This came up on one of my favourite news sites today.

 

 

 

The gaming press is alive with praise for Peter Molyneuxs latest endeavour. Which is not really a surprise, the industry almost always falls for Molyneux and his affable and enthusiastic oratory. A year later when he delivers the product we usually end up with about 25% of what he promised (which is still usually pretty good) but we all still cant wait to believe his next pitch. With Milo Molyneaux has claimed that it will be on the cover of science magazines. If it does what he claims it does he is most definitely correct.

 

 

 

What exactly does Molyneux claim hes got with Milo? He says it is an artificial intelligence that can react and respond to the users facial expressions and tone of voice. He claims that Science Fiction writers, film-makers havent imagined what [Lionhead] are able to do today. The demonstration seemed to show Milo interacting with the user when she spoke to him. Molyneux told us this was amazing and most of the gaming press bought into it completely. What did we actually see though?

 

 

 

Firstly we saw a polished and very smoothly animated rendition of a boy. Molyneux claimed that Lionhead had been playing with the Natal technology for a few months and yet his studio had managed to put together a demonstration that was more highly-polished and more complex in its animation than the Microsoft first party demos. Milo looked almost retail-ready, albeit in a very short scene.

 

 

 

The first spurious claim is that Milo recognised that his user was nervous by the tone of her voice and her facial expression. This may be true. It is certainly possible (and available in many applications as a method for detecting if a recorded voice is lying) but was there any evidence of it happening in the Milo demonstration? The Milo character reacted with his own rendition of nerves after he was told that his user was nervous and then asked if he was nervous. So it seems more likely that what Milo can recognise is the spoken word nervous at which point his animation coding runs its nervous face instructions and Milo responds accordingly.

 

 

 

The next thing that Milo showed us was his negligence when it comes to homework. His user asked him if he had finished his school project and Milo looked sheepish. Molyneux told us that this was because the user knew Milo well enough to recognise his sheepishness and press him further on it. How advanced or impressive is this? We have already seen that Milo is capable (as any modern PC is) of recognising voice commands. Was it another case of the animation reacting to a key-word, perhaps Homework? What would have happened if the user had chosen to ignore Milos sheepishness?

 

 

 

Following on from this the animation turns and walks down a path, unguided and unprompted by the user. She even turns to appear like she is walking beside him. Milo recites a couple of lines of dialogue and makes his way to the end of a small jetty. He throws a pair of goggles to the user who stoops to catch them. The trajectory of the goggles would actually have landed nearer her feet so this is either not a natural reaction to catch the goggles or shes exceptionally bad at catching. Molyneux tells us this was not acted but I doubt very much that this was the first time his user had been through this set of interactions and animations with Milo.

 

 

 

The user is instructed by Milo on how to put the goggles on. This appears to be an instruction to ensure that she performs an action which can be easily recognised by the cameras. The user then performs a different action (which is pre-emptively prompted by an on-screen icon). The video cuts back to Molyneux at this point so unfortunately we dont get to see how the goggle-situation unfolds. When it cuts back the viewpoint is moving forward on a scripted path (unprompted by the user) to the edge of the jetty and down, parallel with the surface of the water. The users image is projected into the scene and she can be seen interacting with the surface of the water in much the same way as the earliest EyeToy demonstrations.

 

 

 

The presentation is obviously more polished and prettier than the old Sony tech but the reaction of the water seems to be out of time with her gestures. It looks at times like she is following the on-screen prompts rather than the scene responding to her. At one point Molyneux even voices-over that every hand movement is being recognised at just the exact moment that a large upwards gesture is clearly not recognised by the camera.

 

 

 

The next event is billed as real magic by Molyneux and has been falsely reported around the internet since it was shown. The user draws a fish with an orange pen on a piece of paper, describing what she draws as she goes. She then passes the paper up towards the camera and Milo appears to take it off her and pull it into his world. He says orange so it might be that he can recognise colour (press members who have had hands-on time with Milo say this is the case, he recognises what colour their shirt is).

 

 

 

What Molyneux tells us is that Milo pulls the drawing into his scene after Natal scans it. What we see is the picture held up, Milo pulling the graphical representation of the paper (we cant see if the image is on the paper) down into his scene and exclaiming orange. We do not see if he recognises the drawing as a representation of a fish but (as indicated by Sonys EyePet demonstrations) that is certainly possible.

 

 

 

That is the finale of the Milo presentation. We were shown absolutely nothing that hasnt been readily available in computers (and functionally operational on PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3) for a few years. If you get a chance you should watch the video back again and marvel at how cleverly everything is shown without actually showing anything at all. All of the headlines have come from Molyneuxs voice-over and explanation scenes in the video.

 

 

 

While Milo would be amazing if the claims about him ever came to fruition it is certainly nothing revolutionary or even evolutionary just yet. Even the desire to create him isnt a new one; Alan Turing wrote a paper posing the question of whether a computer could ever think like a human in 1950 and in the fifty-nine years since then no artificial intelligence has ever passed the Turing Test (fooled a human into thinking they were conversing with another human when in fact it was the AI responding to them). If Molyneuxs claims about Milo ever came to fruition he might be the first computer code to ever pass that test and that feat would certainly get his perfectly rendered face on the cover of science magazines.

 

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These streets are your streets, this turf is your turf,

Don't let anyone tell you that you've got to give in,

Cos you can make a difference, you can change everything,

Just let your dreams be your pilot, your imagination your fuel,

Tear up the book and write your own damn rules,

Use all that heart, hope and soul that you've got,

And the love and the rage that you feel in your gut,

And realise that the other world that you're always looking for,

Lies right here in front of us, just outside this door,

And it's up to you to go out there and paint the canvas,

After all, you were put on the earth to do this,

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Take pride in being whoever the [bleep] you want to be.

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