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Pann

By official request: Questions for Nicholas McBride

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Animator Nicholas McBride is ready to take your questions to answer on-camera in an upcoming video. What burning questions do you have for Nich about 3ds Max, rigging, character complexity, the development pipeline, career advice, etc.? 


Valerie "Pann" Massey, Director of Community
 

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How fluid do you expect the transitions between skills to be? Are we looking at skill combo animations as linear or branching?


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Can you guys do holiday outfits for our characters?

 

I always think Christmas elf ears are always so cute.

Please.  No.  TIA.


Maybe it not about the happy ending. Maybe it's about the story.

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What are some of the unique things you came up with along the line of character complexity?

 

What direction do you feel that the skill animation development is leaning towards? (i.e. focus on graphics? focus on colors? focus on simplicity?)

 

And thank you Pann. Love these opportunities you offer us that are outside of your job requirement.

Edited by EDM

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How do client performance considerations inform decisionmaking on the art side of the house? Are there times when you say "that would be a really neat thing to do in a single-player game but I can't afford it if we're going to have mass combat"?


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How much freedom over individual movement design choices do you have?  Are you told make this animation happen and look cool, or are you given explicit detail for the movement of each axis.

 

What is the mock up process for animation?  Do you do a lot of online research to ensure fluidity and realism is achieved, or do you just go with what looks good?

 

How early in the design process do you add your input?  Do you have a say in ability function or just the animation parts?

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I'd like to ask about what motivates and inspires the spinning attack animations and attack frames. And also, are you making or interested in making any thrashing right left attack animations for characters like the knight, where they can strike with the sword and shield in rapid succession?


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Okay, serious question:

 

Maybe it's just me, but in every MMO that I've ever played, the first thing to feel 'stale' are the animations.  Quirky mannerisms become an annoying 3D animated gif.  The more exaggerated the animation, the sooner it seems to get old.

 

Do you have any strategies for combating this type of animation fatigue?


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More than awhile ago I picked up a copy of an MMO builder and naively gathered a small team to build a game. Design and concept is one thing putting all together with no training or funds is like climbing a mountain in a blizzard...with no rope....naked.

 

Many lessons learned over that year.

 

I bring this up because Pann wanted us to ask about rigging and such. So my questions are:

 

How long did it take you to be relatively competent?

 

Is there a program that you recommend as a good starting point?

 

Lastly have you worked with any of those MMO engines/tool kits and if so what was your experience?

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How hard is it to have 2 models represent a single character, and how would you go about doing that in a game like this? So far I think there's been a little bit of an awkward valley where its not quite right, and I wonder what that means for whats missing from the execution of the concept.

 

When a character comes out with multiple legs, does an animator cry?

Edited by Zomnivore

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