A new Microsoft Game Studios survey is making the rounds on the internet and reveals some possible Dance Central 2 features. Because Dance Central 2 has yet to be officially announced and is likely still early in development, it is possible some or all of the features described in the survey may not make it into the final game. It is also possible that all the features listed in the survey and more end up in Dance Central 2.
Based on the features listed, it certainly looks like developer Harmonix is considering several additions that could be great for the second entry in the franchise. One other interesting piece of information from the survey is the survey's origin. It is a Microsoft Game Studios survey. Perhaps this means Microsoft will be publishing Dance Central 2 now that Harmonix is independent again.
While Dance Central was a fun game and arguably one of the best Kinect games available, its feature set simply was not on the same level as those found in Harmonix's Rock Band games. If the features in the recent survey are to be believed, however, that might change come Dance Central 2.
Some of the features described in the online survey include custom dance crafting, practice improvements, additional "easy" difficulty settings, an online store like that found in Rock Band, expanded freestyle options, new game modes, additional multiplayer modes, and more community features.
Custom dance crafting would let players choose individual dance moves to string together from any other routine to create a new customized routine. If included, this feature could help add variety to the game and allow players to reply their favorite songs with different dances.
Some of the additional features that would help players practice moves include individual move practice, the ability to replay recap sequences during the game's Break it Down mode, improved feedback, and performance comparison where players could see playback of their dancing next to their character's performance. These features could make it easier and less frustrating for players to learn, and then master, the moves and dance sequences in the game.
Other changes that could help players get into the game a little easier, and perhaps make it more of a party game, include some additional difficulty options. For one, an easy song inclusion feature is discussed. This feature would include more songs that gamers new to Dance Central could play successfully. Second is the lose filter mode. This mode would let players "flawlessly" perform a move even if they are not perfectly accurate. The survey also hints at more "casual-friendly" game modes like a fitness mode and party mode that would allow gamers to create a customized continuous playlist.
The additions to the game's Freestyle mode include changes to Dance Central's stop-motion photo Freestyle playback to include video playback and different abstract playback options where players could decide to see their Freestyle played back as a silhouette or other abstract version of them self. A H-O-R-S-E type competitive Freestyle mode is also described as a mini-game where players would have to copy specific dance moves.
It also seems like Harmonix wants to tap into the community more with Dance Central 2, looking at features that would allow gamers to export and share photos and videos captured from the game to their PCs, and even directly to social networks like Facebook. The sharing does not stop there, either. The survey hints at potentially trying to tap into gamers' more competitive side by allowing players to share their score on social networks, and by allowing gamers to challenge their friends to beat that score on a particular difficulty setting or by downloading additional challenges.
Dance Central was a fun game even if it did get a little difficult quicker than other Harmonix games, and perhaps did not fit the party-game mold the way it was first advertised. But it was a Kinect launch game, and if anything can be learned from the Rock Band, Rock Band 2, Rock Band 3 progression, it is that Harmonix learns from their past games and always looks to improve the core game, user experience, and add more modes and features with each new installment.
What are your thoughts on these potential Dance Central 2 features? Are you excited about more Dance Central? What feature do you think must be included in the sequel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.