And here we go, the end of the Episode 2 developer comments! :)
Voice actor interviews coming up next, unless you've found something else you want me to do first.
I've just realized it's already June. The game will probably be on sale by the time this comment is published. This was my first time working on a game, so in the beginning I made [lots of] blunders, and there were times I was afraid I'd be fired any minute, but in the end that didn't happen. (Smile)
My main responsibilities for this game was event movie animations and camera work, but since the majority of the work was done in advance, I haven't really felt much until now, until I got to watch the ad for Episode 2 and finally had that surge of pride that I'd actually made a game.
We used motion capture for the majority of the character performances in the event movies for this game, which means that the actual work of the animator often comes down to simply making small adjustments, animating finger gestures, or other such things that don't really stand out. We made most of the robot animations from scratch, so that was the most enjoyable part of the job to me personally.
We also used motion capture for the sword fight scenes, where we thought it was really worth it to fine-tune the movements and timing. Now the only thing left to do is pray that it'll look good when you all see it while playing the game.
Episode 2 is filled to the brim with action and drama, and it'd make me happy if you would enjoy those parts of it just as much as the gameplay.
Please do enjoy "not just a fantasy, but the future"!
Very nice to meet you. My name is Senda, and I was responsible for event movie animation and camera work.
We're at a point now where development on Episode 2 is done, the only thing left to do is wait for the relelase date, and when we open the drawers of our desks here at the office...there's the Episode 2 storyboards!! Turning those pages, we'll bring all those lovely days back to life as it were yesterday, saying things like:
"Oh, I made the movements for this robot!"
"I worked really hard on these camera movements..."
"Ah! It leaped! It leaped! It slashed! It slashed!"
"Car, car, car..."
Well, I might joke about it like this, but Episode 2 was my first time taking part in the development of a game. Before that, I'd only been on the player side, and now being on the developer side meant being in a new environment, being like "Hmm, what animations would look best here?", "What kind of camera work would best convey the characters' personality here?", "How should I position these...?", "What timing...?", "Oh! This neat little trick is...", spending every day studying and discovering things like this. (And I still am)
While you're all busy studying and analyzing the great tale known as Xenosaga, [partly] made up of the movies I created through trial and error and somehow being able to keep coming up with minor miracles, it'd make me very happy if we've also been able to make you feel delighted and moved.
I've only been going on about animations and camera work since those were my responsiblities, but there are many other parts of the finished Episode 2 that are worth looking closer at, worth playing with, and that have been powered up [from before], so please do try playing the game.
Now, which day was it again...?
Designer/Responsible for Effects
Everyone, nice to meet you. I'm Watanabe, responsible for effects. Huh, so you'll be getting this message when the game's already been released? In that case, I think playing the actual game would probably give you a clearer message from the developers than sitting around reading my words. (Smile)
That would probably be the note to end it on, but then again, I do have my thoughts on the things I've been responsible for, so...
For this game I've mainly been responsible for the event movie effects, and the real-time hardware effects used during regular gameplay. So when you think of effects like those, explosions would probably be the most noticeable ones, right? Yep, I've made lots of those, explosions and fires. From
gas stoves to explosions in space. There's explosions on parade all over the place, this is a world that's mad about explosions. (Smile)
There's also things like splashes and flying dust, which would also go into the "explosions" category as far as I'm concerned, and naturally they're quite flashy too.
No matter what discipline you're looking at (effects, maps, animation, etc.), they've all got their own stories to tell. Even with a single explosion, it goes through a sequence of flash-shockwave-smoke-disappearance. But if you focus too much on that, it'll turn out too bold when it's time to combine it with all the other parts, and there won't be any point. You need to keep striving to turn all of it into a single coherent picture in order to make it complete.
One of the themes we decided on early in the process for this game was to "make sure not to cause the player stress, by cutting excessive cinematics and giving a sense of speed!"
Because of that, we had to make quite a few painful cuts.
Even so, since we had contradictory instructions to "make it prettier and flashier!" and "Make the data lighter!"
(Even if it didn't help the speed much to reduce the processing...), it was a hard slog to try to balance those three tings.
As a result of that hard work, I think we managed to create effects that brought those three themes to life. Some of them might seem a bit plain, but I think they work well if you look at all of it as a whole.
In this work we call a "video game", there are messages from each designer in various places. I already mentioned this in the beginning of this comment, but please do pay attention to them!
Wow...seems like I ended up writing something serious after all...