Apparently, all it takes to build an army is one bald dude and a bunch of different outfits.
Polish developer and Epic Games subsidiary, People Can Fly, has revealed its technique for generating hundreds of different enemies for Bulletstorm without taking a bajillion years to do it, or using up all the system memory. The secret, as it turns it, is knowing how to accessorize well.
Using the example of the Bulletstorm's Skull Gang, People Can Fly said that it started with a basic model - in this case, a deliberately generic, bald thug - and then layered other elements on top to make them all different. The models might start out looking identical, but after some tattoo work, a snazzy new hair cut, and maybe a pointy collar or a bandoleer/shoulder pad combo and it's much harder to spot the family resemblance.
The accessories are randomized, making each enemy a little bit different, and People Can Fly can also tweak the size of the base model, making it skinnier or more rotund, as well as change the skin tone to whatever it wants. This method made it possible to make an entire army of foes, but only use one character model, leaving plenty of resources spare for more exciting things, like the multitude of explosions found throughout the game.
It's really interesting to see the tricks and techniques that go into building a game like Bulletstorm, and its actually quite remarkable how different a generic model can be made to look just be tweaking what it wears or its face paint.
Bulletstorm comes out for Xbox 360, PC, and PS3 on February 22nd.