The inspiration for this list was the Top 5 Lines Lost From Nuts & Bolts feature a while back; as it turns out, motivational sports commentary is a very different business to spouting witch-themed rhyming couplets and tangential weirdness for Jinjos. So this job came with its own set of challenges on top of many of the development considerations already encountered. We thought a quick glimpse into the process might be of interest. Unleash the examples!
TOP 5 SCRIPT TWEAKS IN KINECT SPORTS: SEASON TWO
According to… Leigh Loveday
1.“Stay frosty. That mole is trouble!” – Golf Commentator
Changed because… some of the activities were still being devised even as scripts needed to be written (the workings of the huge localisation machine and legal/geopolitical checks bring those deadlines way forward). As the first proposed Golf activity, Holey Moley would have challenged you to sink a putt past the disruptive beast – but it got replaced, so the script needed a rewrite. Turns out mole puns are trickier than you’d think anyway, so stumping up 10-20 variations on every line was challenging enough to take the edge off the game’s retirement.
2.“Human mind gone blank! Reboot!” – Darts Calculator
Changed because… quickfire maths lark Smart Shot in Challenge Pack #1 was all set to be voiced by the calculator mascot, before that role reverted back to the announcer as time ran out for new voice casting and the treatment needed to make it sound ‘computery’. Among the lines rewritten was the example above, which would have been triggered if you took too long to throw. Leaving it in there would have made the human Darts announcer sound like he was having some kind of breakdown. Darts runner-up: use of the phrase “three in a bed” (i.e. three darts in the same scoring area) was discouraged in case people somehow misinterpreted what we were trying to say…
3. “If the umpire’s decision is close, you may get the opportunity to challenge the call. Raise both hands if you wish to object.” – Tennis Tutorial
Changed because… there were several heated (well, mildly indignant) debates over the most clear and informative wording for a Tennis objection tutorial. That issue wasn’t confined to a single tutorial by any means, but this one offered more ways than most to accidentally mislead the player. Timing had to be explained for a start, and suggesting that you were free to challenge any old umpire call, out or not, could have resulted in people screaming at their TVs for the whole match and then sending us furious emails about how it didn’t work and we’re idiots.
4. “Two windows for the price of one!” – Baseball Commentator
Changed because… the Pitcher Perfect activity in Challenge Pack #2 went through a late redesign when objections were raised to the fact that you were cheerfully shattering big panes of glass all over the stadium and the unlucky mascots carrying them. Which, looking back, may have conceivably appeared to possibly set a bad example, maybe. So the windows turned into environmentally friendly, built-for-purpose, free-floating targets and a few batches of lines were reconfigured as a result.
5. “Ruddy flipping heck! He’s hit that ball dead hard!” – Golf Commentator
Changed because… it was written as a gag line for venerable Voice of Kinect Sports Peter Dickson. Little-known fact: PD was the Golf commentator in an early build before we had character bios and recording sessions for individual commentators in place. Very solid job he did too. Ruddy! Well! Done! Another little-known fact: at one stage we were gearing up to chase the likes of Steve Carell and Simon Pegg for ‘colour’ sports commentary tracks…
End of the line. Suggestions for future Top 5 lists welcome! Send them our way.