PSU Interview: Stranglehold
(continued from previous page) ...to get their hands on Stranglehold because we believe that this it is going to set the bar for next-gen action games!
We thought it would be interesting to send this last question out to the team. Here are a few responses from some of the different disciplines:
Animation: On the animation front, the biggest challenge was the volume of animation required to complete ONE environment interaction. Take, for example, the ability to swing from a chandelier. That took over 100 poses to allow the player to aim in all directions while on the chandelier, plus a jump to, dismount forward and backward, and grenade throws.
Or the banister slide... Jump on animation with no weapons, single pistol, dual pistol, and shotgun. Then a set of 15 poses per weapon class (45poses). Grenade throws, and dismount animations per weapon class. So over 50 animations just for the player to slide down a banister and shoot at the same time.
Basically any interaction animation was to be multiplied by four.
Audio: One of the challenges from a sound perspective was to try to recreate as realistic of a representation of normal sound occurrences in real life, within this digital world. We wanted the player to feel like they were in the center of a big city, or walking along a harbor, or caught in a rainstorm. We had to start by really listening to what it sounds like in those places and situations -- so for example, if you were walking down a street in Hong Kong, you would hear cars, trucks, and motor-scooters driving by, as well as the occasional horn honk, plane flying overhead, emergency sirens wailing in the distance, dogs barking behind fences, cats yowling in alleyways, a baby crying or a domestic quarrel coming from an open window... we had to listen for the whole spectrum of sounds that were possible in the real world. Then we had to come up with ways to create a package of sounds and effects that, once placed around the map, would come together to create a spontaneously random, realistic surround sound experience.
While it may ultimately be a subtle effect in the game, on a subconscious level, it adds a lot of substance and realism to the events taking place in the game.
Cinematics: I think one of the biggest accomplishments the cinematic team had was staying true to John Woo’s style in this regard. I know it sounds cliché at this point to say it but every nuance and every aspect in the creation were not overlooked. From mimicking his stylistic camera’s, and the quick, intense cuts that build up an extreme amount of tension before unloading on a group of baddies in the Mexican Stand offs. Also the extreme attention to detail that the facial animators put into mimicking Tequila’s every phoneme and gesture definitely has proven to raise the bar for the next-gen of gaming!
PSU would like to thank Brian, Eddy and the rest of the Stranglehold team for participating in this interview.
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