Friday, September 26, 2008

Final Projects of a Master

On Tuesday 23th of September, I went to the presentation of the final projects from the Master of Design and Creation of Video Games. A master of the UPC that also takes place in Barcelona. There were 6 video games. But I'm going to write only about two of them. The two I consider are more remarkable.


This team starts the presentation with the game trailer. As you see, it is a third-person genre with a graphic style like Fable . It take place during Napoleon's era. The game is for Xbox 360, it has been done with XNA, which means that the graphic engine was made from zero. They continued with a technical demo, where they showed aspects such as:
  • Dynamic Day/Night
  • Long Range View
  • Dynamic GPU GeoMap Mapping
  • Dynamic Shadows
  • Bloom Post-Process effect
  • Custom Material Shaders
  • Object Instancing
  • Advanced Frustum Culling
  • Realistic Particles System
  • Animated Vegetation
I suppose I will write about these technical terms in future posts. When I was watching it, I though of the technical demo of Crysis. They have done a great job. The only defect was the animation of the main character when he walks or runs. Strange movement. But I don't understand why, because the other animations, specially the fighting ones, are very good. I remark one where the character makes a final attack that looks like one in the film Troya. It's a handmade animation done with XSI Softimage.

Anyway, I was very impressed, thinking how would I be capable of doing something that looks similar to this. But, when I saw the next game, I realized my self that the story and characters are more important than technology -what doesn't mean that it isn't important-. You can have the best technology, but without a cool main character, charismatic secondary characters or a good story, you can forget about success.

The Teddy Incident

You're a little boy who is sleeping. You see how your teddy bear wakes up and goes through the corridor. At the end of it, a door is opened. Suddenly, a horrible shadow captures you teddy bear. You hide in your bedroom. You take courage and decide to go and save it.

Now, add to the story and characters the 3D platform genre with Nightmare Before Christmas style -not so dark-. You'll obtain The Teddy Incident. In the previous link you can download the game and some tools. Perhaps, apparently it's not a technical wonder, but it's the best finishing. A video game I would buy. Appealing and colourful graphics, funny story and characters with lots of personality. An awesome game.

One of the people behind the video game is Pau Novau. He has worked as programmer and artist. He has also created a useful tool. A tool to animate the characters. It's based on the Animation Blending. Explained in a simple way, joining basic and simple animations you obtain a complex animation as a result. You can find more information about his animation system here and the runtime on Sourceforge. In spite of being written that it's only for Ogre 3D Engine, Pau has told me that it works with any 3D engine. What a master!

Congratulations to all the teams and please excuse me for not having time to write about all of them!


Pau said...

Thanks Jake!

I'm very glad the game had such a warm welcome with everyone who attended.

It's great when something you've poured a lot of effort gets appreciated.

Good luck on your project this year, I'm really excited to see what you guys come up with!

Jake said...

You've done a very good work. I'm sure you will have lots of success.

Good luck to you too, but you don't need it!