Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
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# 41
11-28-2012, 07:29 AM
Well, with regards to the cinematics...

The new ones are skippable and somewhat better assembled than the 2800 ones but they feel like they don't put a lot of faith in themselves.

I think the problem is that the animations are frequently a little silly or odd and the devs reach to provide characters with a new hand gesture every three words.

I think it'd be much less distracting to have characters who are generally more stationary and more stationary camera angles during cutscenes (the lips moving is enough) and then make them shorter but more frequent.

I have my own thoughts on this I'd show off if they ever attach the cutscene tool to the Foundry but I think they're not letting the script sell it and it produces physical acting that looks like Shatner resisting mind control.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
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# 42
11-28-2012, 08:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squidheadjax View Post
I do wonder how much of the budget for the FE's is spent on staff time tortuously flogging the scripting engine they have in place* into spilling out the low-quality, unskippable cinematics?**

Probably not quite as much as making the unique areas, but those are ripe for reuse and, as far as I've seen, it seems like only the Deferi planet surface and the Vault have been properly reused at all. So I'd say it's less bad RoI then inefficient use of resources.

Which is kinda sad, because the Romulan series was really, really good, to the point that I find several of the cutscenes to not just be watchable but rewatchable***. Also the 2800**** now that I've played it for the first time last week, though I could have lived without the nigh-infinite loop of fetch quests and the WAFITM were back in formidable force.

*Which even devs once complained about.
**Wacky arm flailing inflatable tube men!
***Silly Colonel, you should know better than to waste time monologuing in a setting with transporters...
****That Vorta was just so delightfully bitchy.
*****Asterisks look like tribbles.
Everything in this post is true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivenneanthony View Post
Get your facts straight about Star Trek. It was not a money making scheme. It was one person vision / idea.

CBS turned it into a making making scheme during the original movies.
-vivenneanthony 2014
Career Officer
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# 43
11-28-2012, 08:11 AM
I liked how someone described the Vorta from the 2800 as being a holdover from 90s rave culture, doing the Bob the Builder dance.

http://youtu.be/SD1ENnVnMXM

As soon as I saw the video, I was almost convinced it was intentional.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9,648
# 44
11-28-2012, 08:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
I liked how someone described the Vorta from the 2800 as being a holdover from 90s rave culture, doing the Bob the Builder dance.

http://youtu.be/SD1ENnVnMXM

As soon as I saw the video, I was almost convinced it was intentional.
Oh my god it's true!!!

Now where's my tinfoil hat? It's conspiracy time!
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivenneanthony View Post
Get your facts straight about Star Trek. It was not a money making scheme. It was one person vision / idea.

CBS turned it into a making making scheme during the original movies.
-vivenneanthony 2014
Career Officer
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 861
# 45
11-28-2012, 10:57 AM
I'm going to throw this out there, being neither a Foundry author nor a gaming insider:

What if there was one person hired who was really good at coming up with good, in-depth stories. Then, they were given, say, 10 different environments to place all those stories in. The stories would change, but you'd have the same basic terrain, maybe move some bushes around or something.

It wouldn't be a flashy artistic thing, but you could get some in-depth story telling and, at least in my mind, it would be a lot cheaper than designing a completely new set for every episode, so ROI would be higher. The "Planet Hell" set on TNG that was reworked for whatever the uncomfortable environment of the week was what brought this to mind.

Good idea? Bad Idea? Should I be put in the agony booth for even suggesting such a thing?

Porthos is not amused.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 940
# 46
11-28-2012, 11:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squidheadjax View Post
I do wonder how much of the budget for the FE's is spent on staff time tortuously flogging the scripting engine they have in place* into spilling out the low-quality, unskippable cinematics?**

Probably not quite as much as making the unique areas, but those are ripe for reuse and, as far as I've seen, it seems like only the Deferi planet surface and the Vault have been properly reused at all. So I'd say it's less bad RoI then inefficient use of resources.

Which is kinda sad, because the Romulan series was really, really good, to the point that I find several of the cutscenes to not just be watchable but rewatchable***. Also the 2800**** now that I've played it for the first time last week, though I could have lived without the nigh-infinite loop of fetch quests and the WAFITM were back in formidable force.

*Which even devs once complained about.
**Wacky arm flailing inflatable tube men!
***Silly Colonel, you should know better than to waste time monologuing in a setting with transporters...
****That Vorta was just so delightfully bitchy.
*****Asterisks look like tribbles.
I'm honestly a little confused by the in-game cinematics. I feel like they'd have been better served using pre-rendered cinematics, so they could animate the characters by hand.

It might have taken a little longer, but man would it have been so much better. It's so weird watching the awkward character animations, and the weird ways the ships fly along paths (or don't fly at all -- looking at you, U.S.S. Belfast-with-a-phaser-beam). The cinematics would work so much better if they dropped the in-game animations and just loaded up a hand-animated cutscene with dynamic camera angles.

Any animation graduate with experience in Maya or 3DS Max or whatever program they use could do it. The models are all already rigged for animation. Hire a fresh grad, sketch out some storyboards, and set 'em to work.
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Posts: 5,028
# 47
11-28-2012, 11:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by collegepark2151 View Post
I'm going to throw this out there, being neither a Foundry author nor a gaming insider:

What if there was one person hired who was really good at coming up with good, in-depth stories. Then, they were given, say, 10 different environments to place all those stories in. The stories would change, but you'd have the same basic terrain, maybe move some bushes around or something.

It wouldn't be a flashy artistic thing, but you could get some in-depth story telling and, at least in my mind, it would be a lot cheaper than designing a completely new set for every episode, so ROI would be higher. The "Planet Hell" set on TNG that was reworked for whatever the uncomfortable environment of the week was what brought this to mind.

Good idea? Bad Idea? Should I be put in the agony booth for even suggesting such a thing?
Well, I've said for awhile that I think it would be a noble effort to focus on recreating stock sets that are recognizable in Trek.

The rock formation from the Gorn episode (which was reused), the colony set that got reused, etc.

But I think there's an internal standard based around higher production quality than a TV show in some respects (the beauty of New Romulus) that prevents hitting the standards you get from TV shows in other respects (the quantity of output).

Granted, I THINK they can add a lot of stuff to New Romulus as time goes by.

What this comes down to is that we've been told that simple Kill 5 Targs mission on a prefab map takes 5 weeks to get worked into the game and goes through a lot of hands.

I think there's a need for a "fast track" option for some form of content that is more story based, like an official Cryptic Foundry account that is dolled up so as not to look like a Foundry account. Because then you could have somebody crank out a mission in a day and spend half an hour publishing it rather than have to swim upstream through code branch mergers.
Career Officer
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Posts: 5,028
# 48
11-28-2012, 11:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thratch1 View Post
I'm honestly a little confused by the in-game cinematics. I feel like they'd have been better served using pre-rendered cinematics, so they could animate the characters by hand.

It might have taken a little longer, but man would it have been so much better. It's so weird watching the awkward character animations, and the weird ways the ships fly along paths (or don't fly at all -- looking at you, U.S.S. Belfast-with-a-phaser-beam). The cinematics would work so much better if they dropped the in-game animations and just loaded up a hand-animated cutscene with dynamic camera angles.

Any animation graduate with experience in Maya or 3DS Max or whatever program they use could do it. The models are all already rigged for animation. Hire a fresh grad, sketch out some storyboards, and set 'em to work.
Well, stuff using our Captains couldn't be prerendered but I think the lesson there is not to rely as much on tricky camera techniques or animations for scenes that are NOT prerendered. And then maybe focus on making the more important scenes prerendered.

Our arrival on New Romulus as a cutscene is what it is for the most part. Because it includes procedural elements.

But D'Tan talking to the Tal Shiar agent doesn't need all that body language and I'd much rather they just ran some screenshots through Crazytalk like some of the Champions trailers did, barring the addition of better puppeteering tech.

A prerendered scene ran through Crazytalk would take substantially less time to produce. The worst risk is that it would eventually up the game's hard drive space requirements more noticeably than scripted cutscenes. But even if they went crazy with it, it might be half a gig a year.
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,028
# 49
11-28-2012, 11:27 AM
Here's what you'd get with Crazytalk and screenshots:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kACXP...NnzjALg2DAPznw

This was before I got a good mic, done on my old laptop. One of the guys from Leverage as Jake Sisko, who I thought had a kind of Tony Todd voice. Results would be better now that I've learned how to get more out of video editing.

In engine lipsyncing and emotes would get still better results but use resources that don't exist in the engine yet. This is screenshots with animation software that works fast, spliced with game footage. This would provide somewhat limited options for gesturing while talking but I think it looks better.
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Posts: 442
# 50
11-28-2012, 01:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
the lesson would almost be that Bioware wasn't Bioware-y enough, not that it was too Bioware-y, as some have claimed.
Bioware's problem is they ceased to exist the moment they sold themselves to EA.
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