Team Bondi: We're Happy for Rockstar to Use MotionScan for GTA V

Team Bondi: We're Happy for Rockstar to Use MotionScan for GTA V

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The LA Noire developer says that MotionScan would lend GTA's character more humanity.

Team Bondi boss Brendan McNamara says that he would be very happy to see Rockstar use MotionScan, the technology that made LA Noire's facial animation so impressive, for the next Grand Theft Auto game. He thinks that technology would help players better relate to the game's many colorful characters.

McNamara said that he thought that Rockstar was considering the technology for all of its franchises, but he acknowledged that the size of the games meant that it wasn't a sure thing. "Grand Theft Auto is incredibly huge," he said. "So you've got all the problems of how big the cast would be and how many lines would you have to record and all that kind of stuff." He said that Rockstar was welcome to use the technology, but magnanimously said that it was ok if Rockstar decided not to use the technology.

As for why Rockstar might want to use MotionScan, McNamara said that it would add a level of humanity to the GTA experience and players would be able to get a sense of who a given character was and want he or she wanted more easily. "They don't have to make that decision about 'whether I like this guy' or 'do I actually believe them?'" He said. "They can make all the like or dislike decisions based on the actor's performance."

Of course, there are rumors that Rockstar relationship with Team Bondi is less friendly than McNamara seems to be implying. If supposed insiders are to be believed, Rockstar's experience with Team Bondi was so bad, that it doesn't want anything more to do with the studios. If this is true, it's almost certainly going to influence Rockstar's decision.

Source: CVG

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I'd rather them spend the money/time on an engine that doesn't spawn objects randomly beneath my car during a high speed chase because I'm driving faster than the game can draw them.
Also, perhaps if we're going aesthetics here, making clothes shopping a little more than "bland x" or "bland y". Seriously, the side-elements of GTA IV felt so phoned in at times. AND please devote some time to colorizing your world a bit more than brown.

As long as they refine it thoroughly. It was absolutely clear L.A. Noir's usage of MotionScan was still experimental; the textures still needed work, sometimes the animations faded and smeared out and heads still 'floated' around a bit on top of their shoulders. Plenty of work to be done.

Most jarring though was what I like to call the "rubber band effect". For example, at one point your partner makes a snide remark to Marcone's partner/bodyguard/whatever, and has this huge grin on his face. But just a second before the camara goes to Marcone, your partner's face snaps back into a completely neutral position like a rubber band. Safe to say that this looks pretty silly, and it happened quite a lot.

But if they can smooth those wrinkles out, then they really got a great technology in their hands for games like this and GTA. I never cared for the original GTA4, but the Episodes of Libery Cities had plenty of characters that I loved.

What I'd really like to see is characters with humanity.

They can be d, hand drawn stick figures, or use the latest technological wizardry, but most GTA IV characters were cardboard cutouts, and Niko even frequently reminded you he was flat and sterotypical.

Until they have humanity, they cannot have more of it.

Zachary Amaranth:
What I'd really like to see is characters with humanity.

They can be d, hand drawn stick figures, or use the latest technological wizardry, but most GTA IV characters were cardboard cutouts, and Niko even frequently reminded you he was flat and sterotypical.

Until they have humanity, they cannot have more of it.

This, so much.

And Team Bondi isn't helping, L.A Noire provided some of the blandest and most horribly written characters in a story driven driven that I've seen in a good long while.

Zachary Amaranth:
What I'd really like to see is characters with humanity.

They can be d, hand drawn stick figures, or use the latest technological wizardry, but most GTA IV characters were cardboard cutouts, and Niko even frequently reminded you he was flat and sterotypical.

Until they have humanity, they cannot have more of it.

I kinda liked the characters in the expansions, m'self. I don't know if you've played them, but they're quite colorful.

amaranth_dru:
I'd rather them spend the money/time on an engine that doesn't spawn objects randomly beneath my car during a high speed chase because I'm driving faster than the game can draw them.
Also, perhaps if we're going aesthetics here, making clothes shopping a little more than "bland x" or "bland y". Seriously, the side-elements of GTA IV felt so phoned in at times. AND please devote some time to colorizing your world a bit more than brown.

Agreed with you on the clothing thing. Coming off of San Andreas and how much customization and color were in there, it was disappointing to see a fraction of that in Liberty City.

So does that mean Team Bondi owns the rights or whatever to the whole concept of MotionScan?

I got the impression it was an outside company, not in-house research and development that came up with the technology.

OT: It wouldn't hurt GTA if they used MotionScan but I think effort should be spent on making the non-cut scene animations, specifically the faces, a bit better than the puppet mouths that were used in GTA IV.

Heh. I hope they add more humanity to the police force and civilian population, the characters you'll spend most of your game murdering in increasingly brutal ways. It's been a while since Rockstars last moral outrage.

OutcastBOS:

I kinda liked the characters in the expansions, m'self. I don't know if you've played them, but they're quite colorful.

I was speaking predominantly of GTA IV itself. I've heard good things about TLATD and TBOGT, but I had trouble justifying paying for them when I only got like 85% through GTA IV and gave up from boredom.

I keep thinking I should try them. It's just hard to beat that inertia.

What good are realistic looking faces if the characters are obviously just bland to the point of being unrealistic? It's more jarring than having 90s era early 3D faces. I'd wager this is actually the bottom of the uncanny valley. You clearly recognize the characters as human, but all those little details and actions that don't quite match up make you think that you're just looking at a robot wearing human skin as a mask. But hey, it can only get better from here on out...
On that note, CJ and Tommy seemed more real to me than Niko, not because their mass murdering antics were realistic, but because they fit the tone and gameplay mechanics of the game so much better. Internal cohesion does a lot to enhance believability.

Call me suspicious, but Team Bondi publicly boosting their tech for a different game series, especially when their relationship may be a bit rocky, strikes me as underhanded.

It is neat-looking tech, and with a little refinement I think it could go far. However it's also the sort of tech which becomes more complex as you need to cover more people with it, and for a game like GTA it may be prohibitive to use it for all of the interactive NPCs.

Zachary Amaranth:

OutcastBOS:

I kinda liked the characters in the expansions, m'self. I don't know if you've played them, but they're quite colorful.

I was speaking predominantly of GTA IV itself. I've heard good things about TLATD and TBOGT, but I had trouble justifying paying for them when I only got like 85% through GTA IV and gave up from boredom.

I keep thinking I should try them. It's just hard to beat that inertia.

Oh, if you want to get rid of boredom, The Ballad of Gay Tony is all about trying to return to the old days of GTA, hell, you even get a tank, a parachute, a shotgun that shoots explosions and a whole lot more. I liked The Lost and Damned, but it's gritty and depressing in comparison, but hey, bikers are awesome.

Personally I don't really want more realism. To me and many of my friends it seems that GTA has started down this "realistic" route and none of us are too thrilled about it. After the ability to do almost anything as CJ in San Andreas, GTA IV seemed vacant and boring. Personally I hope they take a page out of the Saints Row book and go back to some of the crazier things that used to occur in GTA.

And as a side note: bring back a purpose for getting hidden packages (or killing flying rats or whatever). GTA III had it right. You got rewards for finding all the hidden things.

Realistic faces are yesterdays news, now's the time for the revival of that old gta controversy and fun.

While realistic faces are a nice thing to have I think there are more important things they should focus on when making the next GTA. For example an interesting free roaming setting, interesting story and fun side missions. Vice City and San Andreas are still more fun than GTA IV. When something like that happens it means the developer failed.

OutcastBOS:

Zachary Amaranth:
What I'd really like to see is characters with humanity.

They can be d, hand drawn stick figures, or use the latest technological wizardry, but most GTA IV characters were cardboard cutouts, and Niko even frequently reminded you he was flat and sterotypical.

Until they have humanity, they cannot have more of it.

I kinda liked the characters in the expansions, m'self. I don't know if you've played them, but they're quite colorful.

amaranth_dru:
I'd rather them spend the money/time on an engine that doesn't spawn objects randomly beneath my car during a high speed chase because I'm driving faster than the game can draw them.
Also, perhaps if we're going aesthetics here, making clothes shopping a little more than "bland x" or "bland y". Seriously, the side-elements of GTA IV felt so phoned in at times. AND please devote some time to colorizing your world a bit more than brown.

Agreed with you on the clothing thing. Coming off of San Andreas and how much customization and color were in there, it was disappointing to see a fraction of that in Liberty City.

I'd love to see the variety we had with San Andreas in the next gta...without having to buy two separate dlc packs at $20 each.

Another thing that irked me going from San An to gta4 was that I get the feeling that gta4 already had too much humanity. Some games can get away with being serious, but in gta it feels a bit pretentious.

While I didn't care much about the realistic faces in LA Noire before I played it, or even during, afterwards I found other games incredibly jarring for not having it. As a result I'm torn between wanting every game to use it so I don't suffer from the immersion shattering effect of noticing the poor animation, or no game to ever use it again so I can hopefully forget about it.

 

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