Microsoft has given attendees of the Technology, Entertainment and Design Global conference in Oxford the most detailed look yet at Kinect’s most exciting piece of software – Milo.
Furthermore, despite previous claims to the contrary, MGS creative director Peter Molyneux has once again sparked fears that the ‘game’ might not actually get released after telling the BBC that “at the moment, the technology is still in development and Microsoft has no plans to release it”.
Perhaps the most interesting fact to emerge from yesterday’s demonstration is that Milo’s intelligence is partly built around the cloud computing principle. As users play the software their interactions with Milo are uploaded to a central server. This data is then used to further evolve the game’s AI.
As Molyneux describes it, “this is technology making use of collective intelligence for play – as millions of people use it, Milo will get smarter”.
On a more rudimentary level, more details about Milo himself were also revealed. He’s a kid who has been uprooted from the UK and moved to New England in the US. At TED he was seen arguing with his parents off-screen, both of whom work leaving Milo on his own for large parts of the day.
Players are tasked with helping Milo deal with everyday challenges. Molyneux openly admits that the game will use “psychological techniques to fool players” into believing that the boy is real.
The Kinect camera will also allow Milo to recognise the player after around 45 minutes of interactivity.
Later on in the game players will venture outside of the house and explore Milo’s wider world with him. One part of the demo saw Milo wrestling with his morals when the player asked him to stamp on a snail – such internal conflicts have in recent years very much become one of Molyneux’s trademarks.