Developer Naughty Dog has detailed one of the many new features utilised in its upcoming PlayStation 4-exclusive clicker-clobbering sequel The Last of Us: Part 2 — motion matching. Speaking with GameSpot, co-director Anthony Newman revealed how the new system will go a long way in improving traversal animation.
The Last Of Us: Part 2 Motion Matching Revealed
It’s this technology for characters moving through a space like running, walking, jumping, and that kind of thing. In all our previous games there’s been this really distinct state machine where we say, ‘Play a run animation. Then play a turn left animation. Then play a turn right animation.’ The way motion matching works is it takes this massive bucket of animation, just hundreds and hundreds of animations, and chops them into little tiny bits.
When you define the path that a player or an enemy wants to take, rather than saying, ‘Play this and then play that and then play that,’ the system actually looks at the bucket of animations, finds the ones that matches the path that you’re already taking, and blends them together frame-by-frame.
It’s this totally new way of doing traversal. I think, as you play the game, you must have noticed just how fluid the player feels. With every foot plant, every turn, there’s as little blending as possible. That’s applied to our NPCs.
That’s applied to the horses. That’s applied to the dogs. We even have these dogs and horses and mocap suits running around getting the data that we needed for this really intricate system.
The Last of Us: Part 2 is scheduled to ship for Sony’s current-generation console on February 21, 2020. There’s five versions of the game available, including a US-exclusive Ellie Edition, and the game will ship on two Blu-ray discs.