Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fixing Eyetoy:Kinetic Frustrations

Eyetoy:Kinetic can be frustrating. Sometimes the game thinks you moved where you didn't - a false positive. Other times you can pass right through a target without triggering it - a false negative. What to do about this?

First, make sure you've got lots of indirect light. The camera needs extra light to see the scene clearly to reduce false negatives. But not just any light - you want indirect light. Light that bounces off walls is better than light that's aimed straight at you from a point source. Why is indirect light better? Fewer shadows. Shadows are a big source of unfair false positives. I play Reactivate, move my arm, my arm's shadow on the couch behind me touches a wrong button, I lose that round. So adjust lights such that they cast weaker shadows or just play in the daytime - sunlight beats most artificial light at filling a room.

Next, look for reflective surfaces. Is there a brass lamp in the scene? A bit of tinfoil? Anything shiny? These will be a source of false positives because the shiny surface will reflect changes on your TV screen and other movement in the room. Remove or cover all reflective surfaces in the field of view.

Now are you still getting false negatives? Suppose you wave your hands and it doesn't trigger. It might be a timing issue - perhaps you didn't wait long enough for the target to activate - but often the problem is that there isn't enough contrast between the tone of your hands and the background they are moving against. You can increase the contrast by changing the background - hang a drapecloth - or by changing the foreground - wear brightly patterned gloves. If you don't have suitable gloves handy try putting socks over each hand. Any color will do. (In between games, wave your hands around and look at the patterns generated to verify that your new polka-dot socks have a bigger "footprint" than your bare hands.)

(Wearing socks or gloves works poorly for Arcburst because it requires clapping; you can't make much noise clapping while wearing socks. You could, however, shout "Clap!" to augment the sound to trigger success. Or wait for sunshine.)

If you have particular games you know you can't do well at given the current lighting conditions, hit the "shuffle" key to change up the game list before you start your workout to avoid your problem game.

Lastly, watch the tutorial carefully for each game - you might be doing something wrong - and keep in mind that faster is not always better - for both Arcburst and Pulsate if you touch the target too soon it won't trigger and you will lose points for missing it. So hold back a little.

Do you have other tips, tricks or complaints about Kinetic? Leave a comment!

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Anonymous Zim_256 said...

Ok, i know this if from 2006 or whatever but you're talking about the only game i play on the PS2 and i have a little problem with Pulsate, i can't get a perfect score, even not missing any orb. The best score stays at 9961 and can't get 10000, Did you have the same problem?

3/27/2010 12:41 AM  

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