Saturday, March 15, 2008

GDC '08: Monster Lab, I fancy the animation!

Another game that I've been lucky to be part of is a title called "Monster Lab" for the Nintendo Wii and DS, developed by Backbone Entertainment Vancouver, and animated by me. Well, not entirely by me, as much as I'd like to take credit for everything, game development is a serious team effort. With an animation team of only three animators, (with a fourth animator near the end of production) getting this game looking it's best was a tall order, but I think we managed to pull it off! Thanks to a strong art department consisting of concept artists, modelers, riggers, texture artists, animators, and environment artists.

Featuring a large chunk of NIS animation and a fair amount of gameplay animation, Monster Lab is part of the rare few in Vancouver that utilize only key-framed animation for all aspects of the game, as opposed to solely mo-cap, or a combination of both. It's an animators dream if not a preference most of the time to create a characters motion from scratch, rather than using recorded information from an actor. Working on Monster Lab provided that opportunity for creativity which animators (such as I) need to survive. The game was animated entirely through Autodesk Maya with a variety of tools created by our Technical artists to help in the work-flow and pipeline. There's enough NIS animation in the game to rival Saturday morning cartoons!

All smiles: Monster Lab Producer, with the 1UP Crew.

Backbone's presentation at GDC was pretty solid, drawing attention from various media outlets such as 1UP (seen above), and Gametrailers (Seen below). The game has come a long way since I joined the production a year ago, and it was definitely a fun ride.

Monster Lab is a unique action RPG not only for it's art style, but it's quirky mini-games, combat, and monster customization. And though it's targeted towards those around the age of 10, I'm sure older games would find it somewhat entertaining.

I'm terrible: video from Game Trailers.

1 comment:

niS said...

The game looks good man, definitely buying it!