Late nights, early mornings. That’s GDC for ya. Had Jack in the Box for the first time the night before too, interesting stuff. Don’t have em in Boston.
Started off my day by checking out the panel on Real Time Cutscenes in Final Fantasy 13. This team is so talented. Everyone’s been talking crap about FF13, but they put a lot of care and detail into the game, gotta give em credit for that, I sure will. The speaker talked about these 3 teams.
Basically, anywhere where you can’t move freely, is a cutscene, that was acted out by someone. All of them.
The cutscene is then crappy rendered on screen using the motion captures from the actors.
Some props they used.
Some resource documents used for MoCAP prep. Scripts, and etc.
Afterwards they overlay the real models, textures, and use a Phoneme Analyzer to sync up the lips to the voices. It was pretty impressive. I had just played through an hour of Final Fantasy 13 before I left to go to GDC. Seeing how they made that exact scene from ground up made my day.
Went to the keynote talk given by Sid Meier on the Psychology of Game Design. A lot of things on balancing and bitchy playtesters. That was pretty funny.
And apparently, now I know everything. Thank you Sid Meier.
Went to the IGDA general meeting. We’ve come a long way. Congrats to Darius on getting on the board. You’ve done a lot for n00bs like me really.
And then, I went to the Final Fantasy 13 Panel, oh jeez…where do I begin. So the director comes out, and says, HEY, BUY FINAL FANTASY 13. I’m like, haha, ah that’s funny. HEY, YOU GUYS ON LAPTOPS, BUY FINAL FANTASY 13 ON AMAZON RIGHT NOW. Oh, haha, ohhhh kay, that’s enough. I’M GONNA SHOW YOU A COMMERCIAL NOW. Huh…? OH THERES AMERICANS IN THE AUDIENCE, I’LL SHOW THE AMERICAN ONE TOO! Hey, what about, the game? Wait, huh? Were game devs here, we were interested enough to come to your panel, course were gonna buy the game, thanks…I guess?
And then he starts, he goes over some of the history of final fantasy and his own history. And then he went on to Final Fantasy 13. The whole thing was more of a Post Mortem on Final Fantasy 13 than an explanation of the Crystal Mythos and how it relates to all the games, is what I had expected.
The whole reduced emphasis on towns.
And this slide, it hurt me pretty bad to see this. Me and the people sitting around me, just kinda, looked at each other in disbelief. Was he making a joke? Huh? Then again, they own Eidos now and such, maybe those are the only “western” games they seem to know about now. My heart sank.
Anyway, then he played that Leona Lewis song and closed up for questions. The first guy, this crazy nerdy asian guy (no, I’m not talking about me), RAN up to the mic saying, “I spent 120$ US on the Japanese version because I hate the voices and that stupid Leona Lewis Song. Why did you make the game so linear, blah blah”, and so on and so forth. Forgot what the response was, but it wasn’t a really cohesive answer. Add that to the crappy translation, and well, I walked out because I couldn’t watch anymore.
My friend Rich said I should have asked “Hey, I’ve been making comparisons as well with JRPGs like say, Street Fighter 4 to WRPGs like Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age”. Maybe that would have tipped him off. Honestly, probably stupid but I really wanted to work for Square Enix someday, but not like this. They have such an amazing development team too, it’s a bit of a shame. Bitter but, these are all just my opinions. From my point of view, he kind of went against everything Sid Meier said in his talk about Game Design.
I went to the Game Design Challenge 2010. The theme this year? A game involving Real World Perma Death. I was wondering if one of them was going to kill someone. I probably wasn’t alone. Among the challengers were Jenova Chen of Flower and Kim Swift of Portal. Jenova Chen won with his game Heaven(Death)ville. A stock market facebook game based on buying your dead friends. Hilarity ensued.
Went to the GANG (Game Audio Network Guild) awards afterwards. The Audio community is so tight with each other, nice guys they are. Again, Uncharted 2 kicked some more ass.
Then I saw Palm Trees for what might have been the first time in my life.