I can’t imagine how they balanced this game after all this animation was done. Here’s a fascinating look behind the stop-motion of 1994′s Primal Rage arcade game. This was an alternate take on the video/photography-based fighting games of the time such as Mortal Kombat, and the visuals look to stand up today, albeit in a classical Ray Harryhausen style. The animation isn’t too bad either.
Archives For 2012
AC3 is now out in the wild and IGN has created a wonderful set of videos depicting many of the challenges that we overcame throughout development of this massive project.
Part 1: Origins – Discusses the initial production process of the game, starting back when only a small number of us formed the team in early 2010. At this stage we knew only the time period and setting, so created a test video to give an idea of how a typical play of the game might look and feel – from which point we began prototyping all the various systems and technology we’d need to make it real.
Part 2: Refining The Assassin – Because the titular hero is the single thread tying the entire game together, this video is devoted almost entirely to the development of our new Assassin, Connor.
Here is the full 30 minute presentation plus Q&A from our recent visit to London’s Eurogamer Expo at the end of September. It had been around a decade since I’d last been to Earls Court for the late ECTS trade show and was impressed by the scale of the overall exposition, as well as the smooth running of the presentation itself. Well done Eurogamer!
This presentation gives a fairly high level overview of our approach to the game and decisions we made due to the audience being fans rather than developers, but hopefully it provides some insight to the creative process behind our game. I’m especially happy to finally be able to share at least some of the “Target Game Footage” video we created over two years ago to set this massive project in motion.
As of last week Assassin’s Creed III is finished from a content perspective, and we’re having fun as a team playing through the game and really seeing how it all hangs together – I’m especially proud of the achievements of the animation teams, with those stationed in Quebec and Singapore only adding to the overwhelming size of this beast. I can’t wait until players get their hands on it on October 30th!
The press tour is about to begin, so it’s off to Boston next week and then I’ll be presenting a brief panel at Eurogamer in London at the end of September showing some behind-the-scenes footage of the processes we went through to arrive at the Assassin we know today as Connor. There are several “making of” web videos incoming also, so I’ll post them as and when they’re completed.
No sooner had I posted on my expectations of realtime editing in the future, and here I find Square Enix is already working on a next-generation engine named Luminous Studio that focuses on just that. Check below for their video showcasing their new realtime cinematics running on a top-of-the range PC, then hit up this link for a behind-the-scenes look at all that glorious rendering and character work being modified in realtime within a Maya window.
Rendering out 10 million polygons per frame at 1080p at 60 frames per second is no mean feat, but to do it with fully physics-affected hair and a facial performance capture on a par with L.A.Noir only on fully deformable 3D characters with layers of cloth is something amazing to behold in realtime.
This is definitely the one to watch of all the facial animation shown at E3.
[via Game Watch]
Valve have opened the beta for their in-house cinematic tool, the Source Filmmaker. Below is a video taking us through its various features, but those I’m most interested in are the abilities to not only pause and reframe shots in realtime, but also pose and and animate characters on the fly.
This is one of the new directions I’ve been anticipating we take as an industry as a whole as we do away with the idea of creating animations and rigs in content creation packages such as Maya and 3DS Max and animate directly in the engine, removing both the export step and more importantly the disconnect between what you make in the DCC and later see in the game with the correct camera, rigging, and all the motions blending together – allowing us to truly work in a WYSIWYG environment.
Last work-related post before I delve back into our basement studio and finish the game. I had a great time at E3 demoing the Wii-U version of the game to many fans and developers in the Nintendo area, not to mention it being a really great opportunity to share ideas with my fellow Animation Directors on Splinter Cell & Watch_Dogs.
Above is a video of one of the three demos we put together that showcases our new Assassin Connor in motion. The team are really excited about the response; with over 50 award nominations it should give us enough energy and encouragement to finish the game over the coming months.