Dance Central, arguably the most killer of apps for Microsoft's Kinect controller, is bound for a sequel. What will developer Harmonix bring to the follow-up? Potentially a very long list of improvements, based on an early survey.
While Dance Central was one of the brightest spots in the Kinect launch line-up, its presentation was thin — light on features, light on modes, shorter on soundtrack than Harmonix's Rock Band games. But if a new Microsoft Game Studios survey is accurate, a Dance Central sequel may address the original's shortcomings. (And it may be coming from Microsoft itself, now that Harmonix has left MTV.)
At the very least, a list of proposed features for Dance Central 2 appears to bring it closer to parity with Rock Band's feature set. There's talk of a robust in-game online store, deeper character customisation and better practice options.
Perhaps more interesting is a proposed karaoke mode that would let non-dancers sing along to songs for bigger scores. New features that we'd expect to have, like online play over Xbox Live and voice control over menus with Kinect, are among the list of potential Dance Central 2 additions.
Harmonix co-founder and CEO Alex Rigopulos said that a new Dance Central was in the "pre-production" stages last November. Keep that in mind as you take a look at the following long list of not-anywhere-near-close-to-final features that might hit Dance Central 2.
Custom dance crafting - Lets you choose individual dance moves and string them together into custom choreographed sequences.
Break-it Down Improvements
Individual move practice - Lets you practice a single dance move from any routine that's causing you difficulty without having to practice the entire song. Repeat recap sequences - Lets you replay recap sequences in Break It Down. That is, you can practice specific dance sequences repeatedly. You would still have to practice the entire song. Individual recap sequences - Lets you practice specific dance sequences from any routine without having to practice the entire song. Improved feedback - The game will provide more specific feedback on what EXACTLY the player is not doing correctly. This may include arrows, text, auditory instructions or other feedback so players know how to correct their dancing. Performance comparison - Lets you see a side-by-side video playback of your performance and the dance character's performance so you can see how your performance of the dance moves differed from the dance character's performance.
Easy song inclusion - Includes more songs that people new to Dance Central can play successfully. Loose filters mode - Lets people flawlessly perform a move even if they are not perfectly accurate. This mode would be good for new players or at a party where greater participation is more important than mastering the moves.
On-screen lyrics - Lets you see the song lyrics on the TV while you're dancing. Sing along - Lets people who are not dancing sing along to songs and score points for the person dancing.
Dance Central Store - Lets you preview and purchase additional content including new songs, news dance moves, character outfits and other items from the Dance Central game.
Voice control - Lets you use the voice commands to navigate menus such as selecting songs, selecting song difficulty, etc. Voice control will be implemented in addition to current gesture controls.
Dancer Character Customisation
Build your own dancer - Lets you build your own character by choosing body shapes and features. This is similar to creating your avatar. Customise your dancer - Lets you customise characters currently in the game by changing items such as clothing, jewellery, etc.
Song merging - Lets you easily import the songs from one version of Dance Central into another, so you don't have to switch between two discs.
Stop motion freestyle - Lets you see your freestyle played back in a series of photographs. This is how Dance Central currently shows freestyles. Video freestyle - Lets you see your freestyle played back as a standard continuous video clip. Non-photographic freestyle - Lets you see your freestyle played back as a silhouette or an other abstract version of yourself. Copy-me freestyle - Lets you play a mini-game during the freestyle such as copying specific dance moves (like H-O-R-S-E for dancers) Graphical freestyle - Lets you see your freestyle played back as abstract graphics or art work instead of any player representation. No freestyle - Lets you continue dancing to choreographed dance moves without having to come up with your own dance moves.
Exporting pictures - Lets you export pictures taken during gameplay to your PC. Exporting videos - Lets you export videos taken during gameplay to your PC. Social Network picture sharing - Lets you export pictures taken during gameplay directly to social media networks such as Facebook.
Social network score sharing - Lets you post/share Dance Central scores through social media networks such as Facebook. You would also have the option to post an in-game photo of you or your character from when you earned that score. In-game challenges - Lets you challenge your friends or the game can issue specific challenges to you. For example, challenge a friend for the highest score on a particular song or difficulty found within the game. Downloadable content (DLC) challenges - Lets you challenge your friends or the game can issue specific challenges to you on content only available for purchase online.
Campaign mode - Follow a guided progression of dance challenges while working through the song list. Along the way you would earn rewards and unlock additional content (such as new characters, outfits, cinematics or songs) Fitness mode - Lets you create customised workout playlists for continuous dancing (that is, without a break between songs). A calorie counter will also calculate calories burned within a song, playlist and across workouts. Party mode - Lets you create customised party playlists for continuous music and dancing. This will include time between songs to allow players to switch. Additionally, achievements would not be scored during party mode.
Two player - Lets you play with a friend side by side simultaneously. You play together in a co-op game or against each other in a head to head dance battle. 2 player over Xbox Live Avatar - Lets you play online with a friend through Xbox Live. You and your friend will be able to see each other's Avatars performing the dance moves. 2 player over Xbox Live Silhouettes - Lets you play online with a friend through Xbox Live. You and your friend will be able to see silhouettes of each other performing the dance moves. Background dancing - Lets friends play behind the primary players as backup dancers. The performance of the backup dancers will help increase the number of points scored.