Week March 3

No fewer than three all-night sessions this week preparing for the publishing meeting on February 24. This was the last in-process check before the long straight run leading up to E3. Our producer Herve Albertazzi and Phillip Campbell presented Omikron to the leading Eidos managers for the first time. The first feedback indicates very positive responses.
The latest version of the game includes several innovations:
- more than 500 passers-by and vehicles have been placed in the city and move freely through the streets. The intelligence management necessary in order to avoid collisions between 500 hierarchically organized objects in a 60 000 face decor is a technical achievement in itself, which specialists will appreciate.
- implementation of our dynamic loading system. The hero can now move freely through the city and enter any building (there are more than 100 in the first district). The major innovation is that this technology means loads that are perfectly transparent for the player. No waiting time, and great diversity of sets, characters and textures.
- our first shoot sequence has been installed. The player can shoot at several enemies in one of the Anekbah supermarkets. Precise detection of collisions, enemies in Motion Capture, characters coming out of the set and rolling over crates – in short, the demo gives a pretty good idea of what the shoot scenes in Omikron will be like.
- Installation of the cinematographic real-time sequences. With the help of RAM and IAM, our two dedicated programs, we have integrated some 3D real-time cinematographic sequences for the first time. The result is really spectacular. In particular, we have integrated the supermarket demon who jumps out at the player from a wall of crates, and a Motion Capture sequence of the player's wife throwing herself into his arms to kiss him. The main thing is to stay in real-time throughout these sequences and thus maintain complete freedom with regard to camera position, just as a cinema director would do.

But the major progress for us is the integration of the sequence in the player's apartment. For the first time, we have created a complete and complex interactive scene entirely with IAM. All events are managed by script: doors open in front of the player, he can open cupboards, drawers, look in wardrobes. He can also take 3D objects directly in his hand, lie down on the bed, go for a pee in the bathroom, etc.

The best news is without any doubt the fact that it took less than one hour to script this whole scene. Which means that all our hopes for IAM, our adventure editor, were justified. It has proved to be an adaptable and pleasant tool that is also simple and reliable. It will be a real pleasure to script the adventure part of Omikron.

Graphic production should come to an end in about two months. After numerous tests we have finally found our hero, the first character in the game that the player can incarnate as. Loic designed him and Philippe made him. This first character was extremely important because he will doubtless be the base for a marketing campaign.

That's the news for the week. Lots of good things have been done and hopes are running high for the months to come. For us, the months between now and Christmas will be a race against the clock.

Autor: David Cage
Source: Quantic Dream

11/01/1999 Eidos Interactive ships Omikron: The Nomad Soul
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Week March 3 Tuesday, March 03, 1998

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