Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hello is Kind of Like Goodbye

Continuing two trends tonight. First I continue a 5 day streak of being exhusted after work. I have a plan for the weekend that could turn this fail boat around. The other trend will be combining multipul posts into one unified news item. Today I have the final four blog entries that bring Metal Maw to life.

In the first entry Seth Kendall, a Senior Animator at Carbine Studios takes us through the process of animating the Walk Cycle for Metal Maw. I'm no artist, as I've said before, so the finer details of these posts escape me, but it is interesting to see Seth Kendall thinking about things that never would have crossed my mind. The idea that from its design this thing would basically be walking on its hands so the movement is more lumbering and involves more weight shifting than a biped normally needs to do. It's these little things that bring a world to life and makes it believable, especially to those of us who know nothing about these things.

In the next Entry Seth Kendall returns to take us through the process of designing what is known as the Birth Sequence. Or what players call the Spawn, or Pop. Actually, there is very little "taking through" and more just showing with an awesome video.

The following entry focuses on the narrative, providing us with the history of this monster the fans at Gamescom created. The Eldan sure aren't sounding like a benevolent advanced species if this is the sort of thing they were doing with their advanced technology. The hints here are that this was the pinnacle of a project and that it was only part of something much larger, possibly connected to the eventual fate of the Eldan. They gave us another animation video to go along with this. Not as flashy as the birth, but the 2nd angle gave me a smile.

The final entry talks about encounter design. It takes us through a summary of the meeting held with the combat team that leads to the final product. Important details are used to make decisions. What level the encounter should be. How many players will be involved. What level of organization is needed, and how long the fight should last. There is a passing mention of tuning the telegraphs to give the players the right window to evade dangerous attacks without feeling like it's too easy. And a fun video of a group fighting the fan's creation is the final product. My favorite part of the video is the elegant landing after the death blossom attack. I assume that if he wasn't defeated during that self-stun that he would have gotten up, given his nano-brain a good shake and went back to the shooting and chomping.

This final entry was posted on May 16th 2012, so I'm a bit ahead of myself. I think this is the last we will hear from Metal Maw until we are face to face with him in game.

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