3DFILMMAKER

Ego Central to Machinima Filmmaker Ken Thain

Saturday, September 08, 2007

And then it was done

Well the cinematic design team is pretty much hands off now on Mass Effect. It's going through the development cycle of release candidates until it hits gold and will be on the shelves November 20th.

It was an extremely exciting and challenging journey. I've estimated that if you put all the digital acting we implemented back to back, which includes full voice, body and face performance you would have well over 24 hours of continuous digital acting. And that's not including all the non-verbal performance of the characters around the speaker. A feat not to be taken lightly.

Throughout production the cinematic design team has had some incredibly interesting discussions and gained some very valuable perspectives. Our role in the production of BioWare's games is so unique that we are constantly challenging our assumptions and ideas. Our role at it's most basic form is implementing story content within the game, but, as is recognized industry wide, there is always a question of the how's and why's of 'story' within games. I have some idea's on this based on our experiences that I'm pulling together now the project is done, but my point being that coming in from the machinima world this experience has opened my eyes to a lot of new possibilities in storytelling. Deeper forms of storytelling that touch upon the element of personalized experience and emotional connection that was never possible before. I strongly believe machinima, both as technique and medium, is a powerful device in exploring and achieving some of these possibilities. ..more to come on this topic.

There is a good overview of some of the stuff we did on Mass Effect on the 1UP show, episode 97. Once its loaded in, fast forward to about 18:20.



Now on to DragonAge!


2 Comments:

  • At 12:43 AM, Blogger Ricky Grove said…

    Good to have you writing here again! Somehow "congratulations" doesn't quite work in acknowledging the huge amount of work and thought that went into the cinematics. For what it's worth, "Congratulations" to you and to the whole team. You've got quite a remarkable group of people there. No wonder the cinematics are looking spectacularly cool! Thanks for posting the vid.

    If you get a chance stop by the new site Jason, Ingrid and I have created.

    http://www.machiniplex.com

    Some good work going up soon. And I agree with your thoughts on machinima.

    -Ricky
    (aka gToon)

     
  • At 10:32 AM, Blogger Colin and/or Michele said…

    Hello Ken--

    I saw you present at last year's machinima festival in NYC and thoroughly enjoyed your insider's account of cinematic design for "Mass Effect"--congrats on finishing that particular project!

    I'm really interested in your comments about machinima affording us deeper forms of storytelling and am looking forward to you posting more about that. It gels with my own thoughts about how much of meaning making today operates *well* beyond the level of the alphabet and conventional reading and writing.

    cheers,

    Michele

     

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