Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Catch up!

I have a month's worth of posts sitting in my pending section. In the past I would back date them to post on the day they were created, but with so many now it is probably better to just post them as today's date. Over the next 2 weeks there will be posts covering May and the beginning of June. It has been a crazy 6 weeks!

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the AM games animation article, very cool, informative, and inspiring :)
    but it doesn't mention much about the darker side of game animation :D so anyway, here's what I think. game animation has indeed grown immensely in the past years, but it still has serious limitations. technological maybe? I don't know, because I don't know much about what happens with animation once it gets to a game engine... but, I think, game animation is a pretty weird creature, generally speaking. :D glitchy, twitchy, all sorts of... 'itchy... things can happen :D they'd be completely unacceptable in film, right? so we're used to accepting these problems because we understand the limitations and difficulties that come with real-time graphics, but... if we are to compare game and film, we should use the same standards of quality.
    so if there are problems with in-game animation, many times it's not the animator's fault at all, but the problem lies in all sorts of tech and gameplay limitations. the player has to be able to interact with those characters quickly and the results are pretty mechanical, the characters keep jumping from place to place, etc. also, I'm not sure why, but I don't see movement subtleties in games, maybe because the game engine requires lower numbers of keyframes or something??.. I don't know, but game animation looks pretty rough, in general.
    so I think game animation should be considered limited animation, the way TV animation is. it's limited by both gameplay constraints and in-game-optimization and probably other technological issues as well.
    last thing, character. you say that some people consider that because you get to play a game character for hours and hours, you get to have a better connection with it, or something like that. that there'd be a plus, compared to the shorter amount of time you get to 'communicate' with a film character. but... I've probably never seen a game character that actually has character, that would feel real, or be believable as a human being. and this, again, is not the animator's or director's fault, but, I think, has more to do with the fact that games work so differently from films. which is why not only animation, but also game stories are also dealing with some major issues. events happen not initiated by characters' needs, but based on gameplay logic. a game is not a story, at heart, but interactivity. in film, it's all about story. and characters. in games, all content is based on gameplay. so game story and animation are almost abstract and mathematical, in a sense...
    one example and I'm done :D a lot of game characters are just idling around... not doing anything meaningful. and that, sometimes, is just because giving them actual functionality would be way too complex. but some other times it happens for a good reason: they have to be there so the player can activate them, interact with them, etc. they have a game-purpose, they're very necessary, and without them, probably the game wouldn't work. or you'd have to rethink the game completely. but imagine such characters in a film, they'd be completely ridiculous and unacceptable :D "whatcha doing around here Mac? Idling around?" "yeeeaaaah.... been waiting all day for the damn player to show up so I can give him his useless quest thing..." "how do you know it's a 'him'?... what if it's a girl?..." "neeeeaaah... haven't seen a girl around these parts for an age..." :P
    anyway, all these being said, I'm still probably going to be curious enough one of these days to work as a game animator :)