Motion capture is the way of the future, according to game developer Naughty Dog, and judging by the success of their Uncharted franchise they might not be far off the mark. In a recent showcasing of some of the mocap technology currently being used by the studio, Amy Hennig, Uncharted 3’s Creative Director talks via the official Playstation blog about the franchise and what to expect from their upcoming titles. She explains how Naughty Dog have developed a “unique process for motion capture and for performance capture in games”, referring to the studio as “ahead of the pack”.
The first game in the series, Drakes fortune was produced with in a very “outdated and uncomfortable place to perform”, something which would have severely hampered what the studio was trying to reproduce onscreen. Hennig tells of the ever important acoustics which were so poor that in-game speech had to be added independently at a later stage. She also emphasises the importance of casting, being quoted as saying “…if u cast well you can write any piece of crap and they’ll make it sound wonderful, trust me ive done it”. Lets hope this is not an indication as to the attitude taken with Uncharted 3, but im sure it was more an indictment of the importance of casting.
For the second game Naughty Dog sought the resources of House of Moves studios who provided them with the ability to simultaneously record dialogue and actors movements.
Following the enormous success of the second title, Naughty Dog has moved into their own state of the art mocap studio. Hennig and her team liken the experience to shooting television rather than film. Large scripts are looked over in favour of a basic outline with scenes written on the go, giving the team much more flexibility to adapt the story and write in characters.
The actor Nolan North who takes on the role of Nathan Drake has nothing but praise for Hennig and her team. He explains of the “freedom and beauty”, in being a part of the production process, as well as the growing trend for actors to want to be part of the video game mocap technology.
This looks like one epic game that will blow most others out of the water. Time to get out Among thieves and get re-acquainted before the release of this monster.