A Peak at Shuffle, a small Kinect Project from Lionhead's Creative Day

Last month all Lionhead Studios staff received a request from the senior management: take two days off from whatever you're working on -- Lionhead's next big title, we can assume -- and design something new from scratch. A game, an idea, a character, a mechanic; anything. It's not about pitching a million dollar idea, but about throwing caution to the wind and going creatively wild. Lionhead then booked a cinema for its staff to show off what they had created.

Naturally, many people decided to use Kinect in creative and innovative ways. Thanks to the European games development magazine Develop, we have a peak at just one of these ideas -- Shuffle. Well, aside from the above picture of a "Kinect based flying-chicken-man game".

Made by a team of five at Lionhead, Shuffle looks and plays much like a 2D platformer, reinvented thanks to creative use of Kinect. The player runs and jumps through the levels, solving puzzles and defeating enemies with a controller, much like any classic platformer.

The twist comes via the ability to have the hero character respond to the players arm movements, reaching for items and attacking enemies. It doesn't end there, however. The player is then shown in a window within the game via the Kinects camera view and, in an ingenious moment, that window becomes an in-game item. Arms are extended outside of the box, holding onto objects, punching enemies and even dragging the box itself across the screen. The potential of the concept was further explored in the demonstration, which we unfortunately can't yet see outside of this single screenshot.

Will we ever see or even play Shuffle, or any of the other projects shown that day?

"That wasn't the point", says Lionhead designer Charles Griffiths, who worked on Shuffle. "We just wanted to meet up as an entire studio, show each other stuff and have a good day"

It'll be very interesting to see just what Lionheads next big project is. Whatever it may be -- Milo, Fable or something entirely new -- there is no doubt that Kinect will be involved somehow. And whilst Lionhead likely won't be pushing out clever 2D platformers any time soon, this gives a glimpse at what we might expect from Indie developers working on Xbox Live Arcade titles using Kinect in the future.

You can check out the May Issue of Develop here, featuring a full interview with Charles Griffiths and a look at another Lionhead Creative Day project.

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