Kill Screen: Episode Two Explores The Motion Capture Madness Of Dance Central 3

Remember when interaction with a game was restricted solely to what your thumbs did on a controller? Since then, some landmark innovations have changed the way we engage with games, and what those games can do for us.

In our new five-part series exploring the creative process behind your favorite video games, co-developed with leading game magazine Kill Screen, founder Jamin Warren takes us on an exploration of the fascinating new games that are breaking the mold of what we thought was possible. In episode two, he delves into the development of Harmonix’s Dance Central franchise—by the mad geniuses whose Rock Band series redefined what a rhythm game could be.

Harmonix began developing their concept for Dance Central well before the Kinect became ubiquitous, and as soon as the motion-sensing input technology came into existence, they were ready with a next-level dance game that makes DDR pads seem so last century.

On a behind-the-scenes tour of Harmonix’s studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts (above), lead designer Matt Boch and lead programmer Ryan Challinor show us how thousands of individual dance moves—from sweeping motions to more subtle actions—were compiled using motion capture to create a taxonomy of movements that players must successfully recreate in order to win the game.

If you missed it, watch Episode One: Crysis 3 below.