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Zombies Hate Devlin - Singularity Dev blog

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Zombies Love Devlin

By Jason Mojica: July 09, 2010


Raven Software Blog

In the beginning of the game the player is flying over the island of Katorga-12 when their helicopter crashes after being hit by what appears to be an EMP. Devlin and Renko (the player) are the only two people who survive the crash.

While developing the character of Devlin, we wanted him to be someone you could rely on and build a relationship with, kind of like... a kick-ass bromance. One of the first things we did with his character was to put him and the player in a situation where they would have to rely on each other to survive. In this particular situation Devlin holds a door shut against zombies pushing from the outside, and the player protects him by killing the zombies that pour in through the windows. Afterwards, Devlin offers a plan that he and the player have to execute at the same time. This is a great fast paced high intensity moment that has many layers built into it.

Here is the break down of the scene.

The setup

click image to enlarge


In the beginning we had Devlin already at the door by the time the player reached his location. After a few iterations we realized that this seemed anti-climactic, and the player tended to sit back and watch him get attacked by zombies. We fixed this by adding Devlin busting through the door once the player has walked into the area.


After we figured out how the intro was going to play out we took it to the mocap room. With our very talented mocap actors, we set up props in relative space according to a 3D export of this scene.

Next the Designer or Animation Lead runs through the sequence a few times with the Mocap actors. During our different takes we can direct the actors to look at something specific in the scene or act a certain way according to what is supposed to be happening. In this case we added cardboard on the floor so Jeff (Mocap Actor) could slip when the zombies first slam into the door. In addition to the cardboard we had Jeff look at the windows as the zombies came through them. These small touches along with some great voice acting brought Devlin's character to life

click image to enlarge


After the motion capture gets cleaned up, another animator will go in and create all of the door animations so they line up with Devlin's movements.


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Really well done, loved it. It's great to see how you came to that last scene, especially for someone not working in the industry. Two points of criticism though. First of all, the reload animation seemed kind of static or whatever compared to the rest. Might be good to motion-capture even the details. Secondly, once the player picks up the machine gun, the game kind of freezes for half a second, which completely ruins the action for me. You're reminded you're just playing a game / watching a movie of a game, which i had just forgotten. But great work!

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