Autodesk 3ds Max
Posted: Nov 18, 2007
Published by: the area
Homepage: Visit the page
Software: Autodesk Maya
The artists at Naughty Dog are skilled at meeting the challenge of developing games that take full advantage of the unprecedented power and graphics capability of next-generation consoles. That's not surprising, given that they have plenty of experience in that area: with each new generation of the Sony® PlayStation® game console, they've developed a brand-new franchise that was optimized to harness the hardware's potential, starting with their Crash Bandicoot series for the PlayStation 1 in 1996, and then moving on to their Jak + Daxter series for the PlayStation 2 in 2001.
"As game hardware has evolved over time, so has Maya, whether it's through the features the software offers or through our ability to customize the software to meet our needs," says Evan Wells, Naughty Dog co-president. "One of the things we were concerned about when we started to develop this game for the PS3 was that because of the hardware's capabilities, the environments in this game could be much larger and more realistic, and the graphics and characters could be much more realistic and complex, than those we developed for previous-generation systems. We were happy to see that the evolution of the hardware hasn't prevented us from achieving the level of detail we want to achieve in Maya."
The hero character of this as-yet-unnamed game is a treasure hunter who finds himself stranded in a jungle on an island as he searches for a highly valuable, long-lost cache of historical significance. Given the game's setting, one of the things Naughty Dog is focusing on is creating extraordinarily lush and highly detailed backgrounds.
In addition, the team has used the Maya API/SDK to write file translators that make working with their game data a breeze. "It's easy for our programmers to work with the Maya data format and to write tools that allow us to use the power of the PS3 to its full advantage and get a larger quantity of more detailed and complex graphics on the screen," Wells states.
Another robust feature that has proven helpful in this project is the software's rigging capabilities. As Wells explains, "The game's hero character isn't your typical commando or space marine. He's much more fallible and gets by through tenacity and, sometimes, by the skin of his teeth." As such, the animators have been challenged with the task of showing that level of struggle and emotion through the character's body and facial animation.
It's this high level of speed and efficiency that the team values most about Maya. "That's really what it comes down to: how fast you can create the content which, because of the hardware's increased capabilities, can be more detailed and complex than ever before," says Adams.
Newest users comments View All 7 Comments