From the soapbox #2
These days, while our programmers are busy adjusting our first 20 minutes of gameplay in The Guild 3, our artists are having fun being crazy and strapping each other… (wait for it!)
Further explanation: they’re strapping themselves for… motion capture! Yes, you read that right! We are doing some motion capture (mo-cap) for our character’s animations and the beautiful cut scenes in the game. As you surely know by now, we are a small developing team; we need to save time where we can 🙂 So, we decided to invest in some mo-cap material and give it a try! And boy, are we having fun while doing (see for yourself in the picture)…
For our medieval and realistic game of The Guild 3, the mo-cap technique was a good solution to capture a genuine feeling. It allows us to make more natural and precise movements for most of the animations, and it better reflects the motion of a human body. It captures every little basic movement, with 31 sensors on the primary bones of our body (head, arms, hands, legs and feet mostly) and it helps a lot for the animations. For example, just when you breathe in and out, your back, your diaphragm and most of your body is moving at the same time as your mouth. These sensors capture it all. Without the mo-cap, it takes a whole lot of time to ensure that every move is there.
So, how does it work exactly? Well, since we’re using a “sensor” system, when we have the set of straps on (with all the little sensors), it detects every few seconds where we are and where is our body with mini gps somewhere in the universe. After that, it sends all this information to our computer’s screen and onto our character’s skeleton. Then, after some “cleaning” (it means removing the key frames that are not necessary for the action), the animations come to life and are implemented in the game!
We are still testing and trying, but for the most part, it is a great investment of our time! And even more so, it allows all of our artists to try it and have fun with it because, even if it’s not everyone’s main affinity or talent, the mo-cap makes it accessible to all of them. They can act the part, clean it, or else. And rest assured that, even if we have major fun doing all of this mo-cap, we are always working hard for you, the fans! And we can’t wait for you to see the results!