Lionhead Details Xbox 360's Virtual Child Milo

By Chris Faylor, Jun 01, 2009 12:16pm PDT Showcasing the capabilities of the new Xbox 360 Project Natal camera controller, which includes voice and motion-recognition functionality, Fable 2 developer Lionhead Studios showed a video demonstrating a virtual child called Milo.

Able to recognize facial expressions and vocal emotions, Milo chatted with real-life demonstrator Claire. Milo also threw her a pair of goggles (which she automatically grabbed for and then "put on"). Later, Milo grabbed a piece of paper that Claire held in front of the camera for a mere instant.

Another aspect saw Claire splashing around virtual water in real-time.

Studio founder Peter Molyneux boasted that these were concepts even science fiction writers haven't been able to dream up, and that the technology is here, now.

That software will be shown behind closed doors this week.

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  • This all needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt... I think there is some pretty sweet middle ground where stuff like conversations in Fallout and Mass Effect type games could be taken up a notch.

    Instead of your list of entirely canned responses(from you the player) there could be a list of subjects you could ask about on the screen. Using natural language you could ask the about one of the topics. The voice recognition doesn't have to be amazingly accurate because all it needs to recognize or look out for are the keywords from the list, but where you could change things is how you ask: angry, sarcastic, happy tones etc. Again it doesn't have to be the most accurate thing in the world, but it would suck you in that much more without the need for Sci-fi movie quality recognition and still using recorded dialog on the games end. Hopefully there would be some other touches like better eye tracking of your actual head or you can pass them items by moving your hand to the screen.

    There are also huge leaps to be made in some annoying stuff like inventory management in RPGs...

    Obviously we're not going to be saying "Holy shit this is the Holodeck" sometime next year, but I really do think this thing (voice + controllerless sensing) is going to start baby stepping towards more immersive interactivity, even in games where you are using the 360 controller.