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Creating First Person Movement for MIRROR'S EDGE

DICE has taken the first person genre to new grounds with the free running first person adventure MIRROR'S EDGE. Learn what some of the challenges were and how we successfully overcame them when creating a believable first person full body experience. There will be a demo of the animation tools and pipeline that were used to create all of the in-game animations. The session will also cover what DICE did to create and sustain a creative environment throughout the project and see examples on how some of our moves evolved from prototype to a final feature.

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Creating First Person Movement for MIRROR'S EDGE

  1. 1. Creating First Person Movement for MIRROR'S EDGE
  2. 2. Mirror’s Edge
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Intro </li></ul><ul><li>DICE </li></ul><ul><li>The Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Team structure </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Tools and pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>Iteration </li></ul><ul><li>Final Thoughts </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Located in Stockholm, Sweden </li></ul><ul><li>Owned by Electronic Arts since 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>260 employees </li></ul><ul><li>Battlefield and Mirror’s Edge </li></ul>
  5. 5. Agenda <ul><li>Intro </li></ul><ul><li>DICE </li></ul><ul><li>The Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Team structure </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Tools and pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>Iteration </li></ul><ul><li>Final Thoughts </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Vision The KAOF’s <ul><li>Through the character experience </li></ul><ul><li>First person free running </li></ul><ul><li>The chase – “fight or flight” </li></ul><ul><li>Heightened senses </li></ul><ul><li>experience </li></ul><ul><li>∂ </li></ul>
  7. 7. Through the character experience <ul><li>Redefine 1 st person </li></ul><ul><li>True immersion </li></ul><ul><li>Became a mantra on the team </li></ul>The Vision
  8. 8. <ul><li>More like a 3P adventure game, translated to 1P perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Parkour-like moves </li></ul><ul><li>Allow the things you always wanted to be able to do in your ordinary FPS </li></ul>First person free running The Vision
  9. 9. <ul><li>Momentum is rewarded </li></ul><ul><li>Assess the situation </li></ul><ul><li>When the odds are against you – the chase begins </li></ul>The chase – Fight or flight The Vision
  10. 10. <ul><li>How Faith percieves the world </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on whats relevant, the rest become peripheral </li></ul><ul><li>Clean and fresh </li></ul>Heightened senses The Vision
  11. 11. Agenda <ul><li>Intro </li></ul><ul><li>DICE </li></ul><ul><li>The Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Team structure </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Tools and pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>Iteration </li></ul><ul><li>Final Thoughts </li></ul>
  12. 12. Team structure
  13. 13. Team structure <ul><li>5-6 people </li></ul><ul><li>Team seated together </li></ul><ul><li>Always one designer, one animator and one engineer assigned to a feature at the same time </li></ul><ul><li>Agile development, using scrum </li></ul><ul><li>The movement team was a perfect fit for the scrum format </li></ul><ul><li>2 Week cycles, 2-3 moves </li></ul><ul><li>Allowed for fast iterations, design adjustments etc. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Agenda <ul><li>Intro </li></ul><ul><li>DICE </li></ul><ul><li>The Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Team structure </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Tools and pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>Iteration </li></ul><ul><li>Final Thoughts </li></ul>
  15. 15. Prototyping <ul><li>Initial concepts </li></ul><ul><li>First pre-visualization </li></ul><ul><li>Animate perception </li></ul><ul><li>First Person Mesh </li></ul><ul><li>The Whiteroom </li></ul>
  16. 16. Initial Concepts
  17. 17. Previsualisation First Iteration
  18. 18. Previsualisation Second Iteration
  19. 19. Previsualisation Final Version
  20. 20. First idea, do some mocap, parent the camera to the head, done! Animate First Person Perception
  21. 22. Second idea, put some aim constraint on the camera. Animate First Person Perception
  22. 24. Third idea, animate it by hand and make it look cool and believable! Animate First Person Perception
  23. 26. Animate First Person Perception Same goes for all 1p animations
  24. 28. First Person Mesh <ul><li>Realistic appealing First Person mesh </li></ul><ul><li>No volume loss </li></ul><ul><li>Muscle and tendons </li></ul><ul><li>Something happening under the skin </li></ul>
  25. 29. First Person Mesh Comparison
  26. 30. First Person Mesh Final Version
  27. 31. The Whiteroom
  28. 32. The Whiteroom
  29. 33. Agenda <ul><li>Intro </li></ul><ul><li>DICE </li></ul><ul><li>The Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Team structure </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Tools and pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>Iteration </li></ul><ul><li>Final Thoughts </li></ul>
  30. 34. The Tools <ul><li>Support all projects on DICE </li></ul><ul><li>Support different engines like Frostbite, BF2 and Unreal3 </li></ul><ul><li>Scaleable rigs </li></ul><ul><li>Created for Maya in MEL and API </li></ul>
  31. 35. The Tools <ul><li>Design to fit first/third person animations </li></ul><ul><li>Both realistic and stylized animations </li></ul><ul><li>Deal with many characters for cut scenes </li></ul><ul><li>High frame rate (no playblasts) </li></ul><ul><li>No Maya referencing </li></ul>
  32. 36. The Tools
  33. 37. Agenda <ul><li>Intro </li></ul><ul><li>DICE </li></ul><ul><li>The Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Team structure </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Tools and pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>Iteration </li></ul><ul><li>Final Thoughts </li></ul>
  34. 38. Iteration <ul><li>Movement was a key area of focus </li></ul><ul><li>Most moves iterated on 5-6 times </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to detail </li></ul><ul><li>Motion sickness </li></ul>
  35. 39. <ul><li>Context sensitive animations </li></ul><ul><li>Layered landing animations </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy landings / skill rolls </li></ul>Jumping
  36. 40.
  37. 41. <ul><li>Impact animation </li></ul><ul><li>Guided camera </li></ul><ul><li>Aiming </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamically triggered </li></ul>Wall runs
  38. 42.
  39. 43. Vaulting <ul><li>Fixed metrics at first </li></ul><ul><li>Became fully dynamic </li></ul><ul><li>Choose animation based on height, speed and obstacle shape </li></ul>
  40. 44.
  41. 45. Agenda <ul><li>Intro </li></ul><ul><li>DICE </li></ul><ul><li>The Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Team structure </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Tools and pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>Iteration </li></ul><ul><li>Final Thoughts </li></ul>
  42. 46. Final Thoughts <ul><li>Successful production methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Strong belief in the game concept from the beginning to the end </li></ul><ul><li>First person restrictions sometimes very challenging </li></ul><ul><li>The whole production – a learning experience </li></ul>
  43. 47. Questions?