Don’t be deceived by their cute smiles and oh-so-delicious flavours, the Calorie Rivals are sporting titans determined to push you to the limit.
Last week we revealed some original concept designs for Steady Celery, Chunky Chocolate and Peppy Pizza, three of the mascots from the Kinect Sports Calorie Challenge DLC. Now it’s time to dip back into the cobwebby vaults of concept artists Peter Hentze and Ryan Stevenson to see how the remaining three Calorie Rivals went from grocery store to Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Anyone who knows him will tell you that Peter Hentze was the perfect choice to bring Mighty Milk to life. He isn’t lactose intolerant and he also knows that milk is a great source of nutrition, as long as you don’t foolishly keep it next to the radiator.
Peter explains: “We hit the nail on the head with these guys pretty quickly. In the case of Mighty Milk we just had to add a finishing touch to make him a little more sporty – a nice towelling headband – though we also tried shorts and other sporting items.”
How do you give calories a personality? That was the tricky question we posed to the Rare art team, tasking them with the creation of six new mascots for the recently released Kinect Sports Calorie Challenge add-on pack.
Top scribblers Ryan Stevenson and Peter Hentze came up with some great concept designs for the Calorie Rivals, making them into the kind of sporty snacks that look not only fun to beat, but good enough to eat. Here’s a look at some of the original artwork from Ryan’s vault – we’ll rustle up the other three rivals for you soon.
Chunky Chocolate went through at least 11 iterations before reaching his final form. The designs that came after those above were mostly variations on a theme, but had him in a range of different sunglasses. The Chunky Chocolate that made it into the game is a cool customer, but we do miss his tiny head. Bonus insider fact: he was almost called Cheeky Chocolate, and Chocolate Challenger before that.
Ryan really liked the ‘pointy-headed’ look (centre) for Peppy Pizza, but he proved too difficult to animate with the hands coming out of the front. The solution was simple – turn his face upside-down to make a more flexible body shape. As you can see, his twinkly pepperoni eyes have been there from the start.
Steady Celery got a friendlier look as time went on, and went through lots of different clothing styles. The final version ended up being a lot less leafy, though his face was set almost from the start (after Disapproving Celery was ruled out). Bonus insider fact: Steady Celery almost never existed at all, Turbo Tomato was originally pencilled in as the first Calorie Rival…
See also: Calorie Rivals – Second Course
Table tennis star Andrew Baggaley is not only an Olympic Ambassador, a two-time Commonwealth champion and triple national champion – he’s also the man behind your avatar opponent in Kinect Sports.
Early last year, Andrew took time out of his training schedule to let us motion capture his movements for the game. You can see the process in this video, and it explains a lot about why Rally Tally and Paddle Panic are so lightning fast. We recently caught up with the young champion to find out what it was like starring in Sports and how his plans for the future are shaping up.
Rare: What’s it like to see your actions being played out in a videogame?
Andrew Baggaley: It’s absolutely amazing to see my personal playing techniques and characteristics on a Table Tennis videogame that is being marketed worldwide! It’s also a rather surreal experience to play against myself as I can clearly see parts of my playing style incorporated into the game.
Rare: Was doing the motion capture fun – and what did it involve?
AB: It was definitely fun, but did involve many ‘takes’ to get the exact techniques ideal for the game spot on! I had to wear a motion capture suit for an entire day’s shoot, which was extremely hot inside as you are covered from head to toe, but extremely rewarding when you see the finished product.
Ready to take your Kinect Sports dedication to the next level? We’ve unleashed three new additions to the Kinect Sports Collection on Avatar Marketplace and they’re haute couture (made to fit)!
There’s a new Black Kinect Sports Supporter Tee (80 Microsoft Points), a chic Rare Logo Tee (80 Microsoft Points) and a new-look Giant Foam Finger (160 Microsoft Points) – Marathon Mouse outfit sold separately. All Tees are available in both men’s and women’s styles, so now you can look even better while breaking those World Records.
As if doing the Hurdles in Kinect Sports wasn’t already funny enough, you might want to try it dressed as a spaceman or a giant penguin. Or for those who find clowns entertaining (and not just creepy) you might want to slip on those size 46 shoes and try racing around in them.
We’re not talking about the in-game mascots here, but the ability to use any of your clothes purchased from Avatar Marketplace to bring even more of the funny to our events.
Here’s a short video demonstrating some of the ridiculous possibilities, from doing the Sprint in SPARTAN armour, to Bowling in a police officer’s uniform.
To change between the default sports kits and your own avatar gear (available to buy separately from Avatar Marketplace) go to ‘My Options’ in the game and select ‘Change Avatar Wear’. You’ll automatically switch to whatever your avatar is wearing on your Xbox 360 dashboard.