Cinematic Happenings Under Development (CHUD.com) has a cool interview with the Dark Void developers. There are some great shout-outs to the animation team, but alas non of the work attributed to me in the article was actually done by me and I kind of just wanted to be clear that I’m not claiming anyone else’s work as my own. The quote in question is: “The UFO hijack sequence, where you’re pulling up panels? That’s animated by this guy Tim, who animated on 300 and did the rhino sequences.” It’s a combination of mis-spoken and mis-quoted information. I didn’t work on 300 at all. Jose was just thinking of another guy. As for the sky-jacking animation, including the part when your pulling up panels: It was mostly done by the talented (and patient) Anthony who spent ages collaborating with programmers and designers working and re-working the gameplay, tech, and animation. I just animated the part where Will is trying to steal the pilot’s gun and then either wins or loses.
The compliment from Ed Fries is awesome. He says “As far as animation goes this team has some of the best animators in the game business. They hand animate everything.” A lot of games make extensive use of mo-cap. I think it can be good, especially for cut-scenes, but 9 times out of 10 it’s better to have more exaggeration or just physically impossible moves that can’t be mo-capped. I mean, check out the stuff that TJ and Cameron animated and then try to tell me you think mo-cap looks better than by-hand animation. In our case we couldn’t mo-cap a rocket-packing, ledge-jumping hero anyways.
In fact, it seems most of the articles praise the animation, with one exception: Gamespot said that “…the animation still needs some polishing…” and frankly they’re right. Thank you, Gamespot. A lot of the stuff in the demo is still in progress and I was starting to worry that people thought that its current state was good enough. Who wants to make animation that’s “good enough?”