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Developer Ninja Theory was an early pioneer of performance capture, but with a team of just 13 people working on their new PS4 and PC title Hellblade, they’ve had to discover new ways to implement the technology without spending too much cash or manpower.

Their impressive solution is outlined in a fascinating new developer diary, which walks through every major challenge in capturing and digitizing and actor’s performance and the hacky, DIY solutions the team implemented to get there. Whereas most dev diaries tend to focus on how impressive a game is and how many resources the team had at their disposal, this is a refreshingly open look at the limitations Ninja Theory had to work around, and it’s actually a great watch as a result.

I won’t spoil the specifics of their homebrew setup—it’s much more fun to watch it all unfold in the video—but I will say that it involves wardrobe poles from Ikea,  a flowerpot, iPads, and lots of stickers. Even more impressive is the glimpse at the finished product at the end, which is every bit

Sure, it’s a little depressing seeing a developer who’s been responsible for great, highly polished games like DmC: Devil May Cry butting up the constraints of a smaller budget, but there’s something heartening about their refusal to cut back on their vision. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story, right?

Hellblade is due out on PlayStation 4 and PC later this year.

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About Josh Harmon

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Josh picked up a controller when he was 3 years old—and he hasn’t looked back since. This has made him particularly vulnerable to attacks from behind. He joined EGM as an intern following a brief-but-storied career on a number of small gaming blogs across the Internet. Find him on Twitter @jorshy

Hellblade dev diary shows how to do performance capture on a budget

It's one of the most fascinating behind-the-scenes looks at guerrilla AAA game development you'll ever see.

By Josh Harmon | 04/28/2015 12:45 PM PT

News

Developer Ninja Theory was an early pioneer of performance capture, but with a team of just 13 people working on their new PS4 and PC title Hellblade, they’ve had to discover new ways to implement the technology without spending too much cash or manpower.

Their impressive solution is outlined in a fascinating new developer diary, which walks through every major challenge in capturing and digitizing and actor’s performance and the hacky, DIY solutions the team implemented to get there. Whereas most dev diaries tend to focus on how impressive a game is and how many resources the team had at their disposal, this is a refreshingly open look at the limitations Ninja Theory had to work around, and it’s actually a great watch as a result.

I won’t spoil the specifics of their homebrew setup—it’s much more fun to watch it all unfold in the video—but I will say that it involves wardrobe poles from Ikea,  a flowerpot, iPads, and lots of stickers. Even more impressive is the glimpse at the finished product at the end, which is every bit

Sure, it’s a little depressing seeing a developer who’s been responsible for great, highly polished games like DmC: Devil May Cry butting up the constraints of a smaller budget, but there’s something heartening about their refusal to cut back on their vision. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story, right?

Hellblade is due out on PlayStation 4 and PC later this year.

0   POINTS
0   POINTS



About Josh Harmon

view all posts

Josh picked up a controller when he was 3 years old—and he hasn’t looked back since. This has made him particularly vulnerable to attacks from behind. He joined EGM as an intern following a brief-but-storied career on a number of small gaming blogs across the Internet. Find him on Twitter @jorshy