These last two weeks have seen the arrival from the US of Philip Campbell (level designer for Tomb Raider Gold) and Herve, our producer, for the recording sessions for the English version of the game dialogs.
Eight days of synchronized Voice and face Motion Capture recording, with an average of two actors a day for a total of about three to four usable hours.
(Click HERE for a look at the recording photos and new screenshots).
Given the technical difficulty of these sessions (real-time facial Motion Capture technology has never been used in a video game) and the amount of work to be done, rigorous organization and absolute concentration were essential.
The was therefore quite a sizeable film crew: Anne, our production manager, helped by Daniel for organizing recordings and coordinating logistics, two Actisystem technicians for Motion Caption, a sound engineer at the console, Xavier doing Direct-to-disk, a script girl, a video technician for the Beta filming (to be used for localization), Philip Campbell and myself as studio manager. Not to mention the actors, obviously.
16-hour days, 15-minute breaks for a sandwich at lunchtime, technical problems, in short, a real shoot.
Now we have the results, after six months of unrelenting writing for me and eight days of stressful recordings. We managed to meet our deadlines, in spite of the Motion Capture breakdown on the second day (the CNRS lent us a spare system) and last minute casting changes.
Philip and I very much wanted to have some real acting worthy of a film. So we worked hard on that, as well as on the facial expressions, in order to get the most out of Motion Capture. We asked the actors to act as naturally as possible, without hamming it, as is often the case in games.
Now we're really impatient to see the result in the game: more than 70 different characters, all with their own voices and facial expressions for each sentence.
After this (very) hard first week, Philip worked with Pierre on designing the shoot sequences of the game. Philip's experience on Tomb Raider was of invaluable aid and his work with Pierre and the rest of the team is going very well, in spite of the language barrier (Philip has promised to improve his French for the next time).
Otherwise, the development is coming along at its own pace. Olivier has been working on the plans for an anti-gravity bike for E3. Eidos is going to have a life-size statue of one made in order to hang it over our stand. We are also working on one or two other surprises for Atlanta…
The adventure for Section I is finished. I'm waiting for one or two new functions in IAM before starting scripting. It shouldn't take more than a few days.
Antoine has started work on the bare hands combat intelligence. We are agreed on the basic principles of the intelligence editor. It should allow us to configure the level of difficulty very easily and finely.
Emmanuel already has a first version that works on a 3-D board. The game has nice rendering with almost no blurring. Now there's just the colored lights and the fog to finish.
Francois has finished the passers-by intelligence. They can now perform actions in the city, like sitting down on benches when they're tired, stopping to ask for information etc. Now he'll be moving on to the adventure to relieve Fabien of some of his remaining workload.
Watch this space next week for new adventures.
Autor: David Cage
Source: Quantic Dream
11/01/1999 Eidos Interactive ships Omikron: The Nomad Soul
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