Animations – Angel Falls Project

impulse_splash

If you’re a fan of Novalogic games, you’ve probably played the Delta Force franchise and Joint Operations branded games.  Within these games, you might also notice how the movement of your solider seems a bit static, rigid, or stiff.

Nova games have all pretty much been the same in this aspect with improvements later on in the series like Delta Force Black Hawk Down and Joint Operations.

Here are a couple youtube videos showing Novalogic at work with some motion capture for Delta Force Black Hawk Down. There are a handful on youtube, but just wanted to post two.

Come 2007, word was out that Novalogic had purchased some motion capture equipment/software. Here is the press release from 2007.

Article found here, http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=12423#.UEaMA42PVGw

“Representatives from motion capture firm PhaseSpace have have announced that California-based game developer NovaLogic (Delta Force franchise, Comanche 4) has purchased an Impulse motion capture system for use on future game development projects.

PhaseSpace, which specializes in developing new technologies and products for emerging motion tracking markets, counts among its clients a number of notable organizations and institutions, including University of California – Berkeley, NASA, and Lockheed Martin, as well as German publisher 10tacle Studios and Belgian developer elseWhere Entertainment.

According to PhaseSpace officials, the company was approached by NovaLogic’s manager or network operations, Glenn Kronick, following his reading of a November 2006 article in Computer Graphics World regarding motion capture technology that prominently featured PhaseSpace.

Following a demonstration of the technology, NovaLogic purchased PhaseSpace’s Impulse motion capture technology, which will be used by NovaLogic to create more realistic in-game characters that show actual human motion, rather than just an approximation thereof. However, no information has been released concerning what current or future projects by NovaLogic will make use of this new technology. “

Now, to the meat of this story. Through our sources here at NovaCommand.com, we have learned that there are no rag doll, or rag doll type animations and in fact we are to expect the same type of animations that we have been use to in past Novalogic titles. I’ve also been told that animations were a key point Novalogic was trying to address but that it’s just a very expensive proposition.

With this said, there is good chance we’ll see the same type of death animations, gun reloads, running, leaning that we have all be accustom to in previous titles. If you watch the youtube video of Novalogic’s New Game Engine, you can see the soldier running into the Osprey. It’s the same animation used in Joint Operations. Here is a quick link to that video: http://youtu.be/9Yp2LEIJ4dw

In my opinion, this is very disappointing. It’s not a deal breaker for me but a let down for sure. I understand that many feel gameplay should win out over things like this, but if Novalogic cannot make this game feel and look new and different in other ways, this could be an issue for some fans.

Let’s hope the game engine has tricks up it’s sleeve and that the wide open maps, update graphics, dynamic weather, and other features will help make the Angel Falls project a success. If Novalogic can make Angel Falls a success, perhaps they can then fund and work on this animation issue. You have to give some to get some…

What are your thoughts? Are you disappointed by this? Is it a deal breaker or is game play ultimately more important?

What happened to the impulse motion capture tech that Novalogic purchased? Did they sell it? Do they not have enough resources to use it?

 

Animations – Angel Falls Project
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17 Responses to “Animations – Angel Falls Project”

  1. Ninjaman says:

    Wasn’t there a thread on Nova a while back that discussed Kyle going on some sort of X-box / Kninct course? Take a look at what can be done with “home made” motion capture via Kinect – its pretty impressive – I did wonder if this was why Kyle was doing something with Kinect.

  2. sog.pf says:

    Deal-breaker? That remains to be seen. If they decide to recycle the same old cheap animations from previous titles like you mentioned with the demonstration video, then that really, REALLY, will be disappointing.

    It’s important to move with the times I think. If Nova keeps cutting corners with recycled animations and other objects, then I’m sure their next title (if it ever comes out) will be their last.

    Sure, game-play is the critical key factor here, but without decent animations and physics engine, the game will be another miscarriage and the company will die, IMO.

    • eddyray says:

      thanks for your comment! I see your points and tend to agree that Novalogic needs a well rounded game in all departments. time will tell, and I think we are getting closer.

      • sog.pf says:

        Yes, exactly, well rounded in all departments is what it needs to be I think. What I meant to say was that us Nova faithfuls will most probably give the game a chance, but I don’t see Nova attracting new customers (which it desperately needs and I think will be key to the company’s survival) if their latest game looks like something from the late 90’s. Especially the younger gamers.

        I know graphics and animations aren’t everything, but they certainly play a part particularly with first impressions, which can be crucial.

  3. brym says:

    Gameplay certainly is more important. But at the same time, I want to be treated with something new. Not some recycled, half-arsed effort to save some money or other resources just to get a title out on time. This is disappointing.

    • eddyray says:

      Thanks for your post Brym :) . There will be a large amount of new models and missions. Let’s just hope the models are in the flavor of next gen and cross our fingers the missions are not duds.

  4. eddyray says:

    Yeah lol Super, that is Brent Houston… almost forgot that was him working the mocap suit! lol. Yes, make a good point, competition is stiff. Novalogic has to make themselves unique, different, and be true to what made them successful in the past. They may need to compensate in the animation category and concentrate or other features, maps, level design etc.

  5. SuperSixFour says:

    remember that very well, i’ve uploaded that 3 years ago. was from IGN. http://www.youtube.com/user/RSixCookie/videos?sort=dd&flow=grid&view=0&page=2

    don’t think there comes that part of animation again. darehackers worxx with that .bad stuff shows a lot of bonesystems and animation basics. http://www.tronzone.com/

    for sure new motioncaps but ragdoll? the new level for design goes straight into cross-platform gaming, and the animation is brand new. kyle freeman wrote in 2008/2009. “all animations and datafilestructures are brand new”. was asking about .bad and .pff file structures within the new stuff.

    • eddyray says:

      I hope you are right and we do see all new stuff. It seems Nova has been careful not to show very much regarding the solider and animations. I’m sure the engine is capable of many great features but will Novalogic have the resources both staff wise and financially to utilize all of them?

      Could Kyle Freeman be referring Richard Wong’s work back in 2008, this is from R Wong’s resume: “Rigged character models for animation”. This was outsourced work too….

      • DH says:

        Hi all

        Well, I guess they will have new animations in AF.

        Mike Curran was working at NL from 2005 to 2007 (found his resume):

        Novalogic, Calabasas, CA 2005–2007
        3D Modeler/Texture Artist/ Animator
        Delta Force Angel Falls (XBOX 360, PS3, PC); Delta Force Xtreme (PC); Joint Operations: Escalation (PC)
        * Created 3D models and textures using 3DS Max, Photoshop and Zbrush.
        * Co-developed new art pathways and tools for 3DS Max and proprietary software with engineers.
        * Worked with a Phasespace impulse motion capture studio.

        • eddyray says:

          Thanks for your comment DH. We’re still talking about 5 year old animations then… but if they haven’t been used yet, they will be new to us lol :) . The key line in the article I think is where I was told, “animations were a key point Novalogic was trying to address but that it’s just a very expensive proposition” . Those are not my words, but words from our sources who are on the development team within the past few years. Perhaps they were trying to update further what they created back in 07, 08? Time will tell I assume, hope I am wrong and we see new animations, that are more realistic, and exciting for gamers.

          • SuperSixFour says:

            you’ll see brent houston with new animated waistline, rofl. hope for some impressive new anims too, but on this market now? BF3, BF4, MoH2, BO2, MW4, Arma3 …

            hard for Nova.

            • DH says:

              To be honest, I don’t see any expensive proposition IF they already purchased such a mocap system. Take an actor and let him do the movements, maybe … yes, Brent Houston again as he did it for BHD at House Of Moves back then.
              But maybe it’s all totally different and somebody at NL simply mislaid the manual for the brand new mocap system and now they are screwed. :-)

  6. illuminator says:

    In my point of view, they won’t use this kind of very old animation. This new game engine video is over two years old. I guess, they will use any new other technologie (maybe ragdoll or any new animation). Could be a placeholder in the video (hopefully *gg*).

    Cheers
    illu

    • eddyray says:

      One could only wish however as of June 2012 the animation issue has not been resolved. Here is what the latest word is: Through our sources here at NovaCommand.com, we have learned that there are no rag doll, or rag doll type animations and in fact we are to expect the same type of animations that we have been use to in past Novalogic titles. I’ve also been told that animations were a key point Novalogic was trying to address but that it’s just a very expensive proposition.

      • Matt73 says:

        I’m sure Novalogic still has the phasespace motion capture suit. They probably wanted to use a more up to date suit rather than the older House of Moves suit they used through out the Delta Force and Joint Ops games. So they probably used a similiar style of suit but all the player and bot animations will be all new but with a sense of familiar to them so the veterans from DF and JO can smoothly ease into the game.

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