Cuando un juego despierta interés, surgen las preguntas: técnicas, doblaje, diseño, expectativas. Un experto para cada respuesta.
Last week, Revogamers had a Developer chat with Dean Scott, producer for Codemasters, and four members of Climax, the studio behind Overlord: Dark Legend. Check our chat quotes out to learn new, in-depth development details, including experience with the Wii graphics hardware, game customization or new details on Wii Remote’s use, all of this filled up with our best readers’ questions.
Chat members: Dean Scott (Producer, Codemasters), Jim Walker (Producer, Climax), Rudi Perilli (Code Lead), Phil Mansell (Design Lead) and Ric Turner (Art Lead).
(Development status, time) Jim Walker, senior producer, Climax: It’s going very, very well, we’re on track for a summer release. The game is looking spectacular for a Wii title. We’re very happy with the content, so very well. Developing it for 13 months. A little bit more to go. Don’t have a release date from Codemasters yet.
(Development issues with the Wii, get over them). Walker: have we had problems with the Wii? No, it’s an interesting platform, fun to develop for. Technically it’s also an interesting platform to develop for code-wise. Also, you can have lots of different types of games. No issues to mention, it’s a fascinating platform, so much go to think outside the box, which makes the development exciting.
(Graphical effects they’re using?) Rudi: the advanced effects are custom. Our main focus was to have a lot of enemies and a lot of minions. In complex shading we had to low it down a little bit. We’ve got a lot of things going on at screen, we think the game needs a lot of visual feedback to the player, specifically with the Wii remote. When you fight an enemy, it needs to get some feedback to the player, whether that’s some special effects or vibrations. We “went to town on” adding lots of “global” effects, not necessary making individual effects.
(Visual effects) There’re a couple of things that we did to help, there’re separate processes like the really good shadowing system on there. It would go, generally, with “next-gen” games and PC hardware, but we matched to get it working on the Wii hardware. We’ve tried to make it pretty much for the environment, to give that rich and luster feel. (Shadows from trees and leaves) Walker: yes, our real-time shadow system, that’s exciting, different; it gives us a really nice look. We’ve got bloom effects, 20 minions, 10 enemies on screen. We’ve worked to push the hardware, and there’s a lot going on.
(Use of the TEV unit, we saw advanced effects on GC, nobody using on the Wii) Yeah, we did use the TEV stages, which is essentially the graphic hardware of the Wii has. We did that quite a lot, especially to integrate: we had some real time code which generates them, so the shadows could work with that material like on the fly. That’s it, the way that we managed to get our interesting shadowing system was by manipulating the hardware with the TEV stages. (From scratch) It’s designed very much for the Wii hardware, it’s a custom code written specifically to get high performance out of the hardware.
(More on tech) Ric: The level of detail that we’ve got on Wii is probably unparalleled at the moment. It’s thanks to the engine that we’re using, but it also is thanks to the techniques that we’re using, as well. We’re using a lot of instant shading, we’re doing visual calling, so when you go around corners things are added on the fly. We’ve managed to pack in an abnormal amount of data in only 64 MB around, so it’s quite an accomplishment.
(Artistic aspect) We had to respect the line of Overlord one. We’ve come with a vibrant, maybe more caricatured style than the original Overlord title.