Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MUA2: The Making of Psylocke



The Making of Psylocke: For this week’s dev diary on our newly announced downloadable character, Psylocke, we’ve gotten the deadly duo of Steven Vanseth and Steve Nelson to help us out. Take it away, guys!

What was the overriding “theme” or direction you tried to capture with Psylocke?

Steve Vanseth
Animator

Psylocke is a fan favorite, and I wanted to make sure I stayed true to her character and captured the appeal of her character. This started in the basic traversal. I really wanted to give her a strong feminine attitude. As for her powers, we felt it was key to play up her martial arts abilities as much as possible and incorporate her ability to create “psi” weapons.

Steven Nelson
Effects Artist

Violet. Almost all the characters in the Marvel Universe have a color associated with them or their power sets. This is almost always the first consideration in making a visual effect. Even when a character doesn’t have a theme color in the comics, we will give them one we think is appropriate. After that, I keep in mind what the character isn’t actually capable of. I try hard not to give a character powers that they don’t have, or that don’t make since in the comic book reality. Psylocke was a difficult case in which I had to fudge the visuals a bit to make the FX look interesting. Nothing really super about a person throwing a couple kicks in a row. But throw in an aura around their body at the moment of impact and a bright flash, and all of a sudden that kick looks a lot more powerful.



What’s something you worked on that did this particularly well?

Steve Vanseth
Animator

I’m really happy with the way her traversal animations turned out. She has a lot of character, and I think she really stands out from the crowd… just take a moment to look at her walk. On the powers side, I think her Triple Strike works really well. It combines everything we wanted to show in Psylocke: strength, appeal, and skill.

Steven Nelson
Effects Artist

I think that the “collect and smash” fusion that Psylocke performs came out pretty well. I had some challenges with the fact that she doesn’t exactly have “explosive” powers, visually. So I did a little cheating by giving her a transparent model trail to emphasize when she’s using her powers. That, in combination with creating a sword and slicing up some baddies, really sold the grandness of the fusion.

Now that Psylocke’s about done, what’s your favorite part?

Steve Vanseth
Animator

Surprisingly, I think finishing her walk was my favorite part. I think I enjoyed it so much because I was able to really play up her character and try and get a lot of her personality to come through that animation.

Steven Nelson
Effects Artist

I get really excited when people get that WOW feeling from something I have made. However, it’s tough to get the “aw, that’s not how they look at all.” I feel like I have done a good job of walking the line between bringing the effects from the static images of the comic book to the three-dimensional moving world of the video game. In the end, though, it’s you guys who decide whether or not I’ve succeeded. I will tell you this, though: Before I started work on this project, I had been slacking on my comic book reading. In an effort to get things as right as possible I am now re-addicted to my local comic book store and the pull list gets more ridiculous by the week.




3 comments:

Dr, Doom said...

The reinvention of her classic Ninja suit is fantastic. :)

centurion said...

@Dr. Doom - It certainly is :) The developers have done some remarkable work with the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Psylocke. They are to be commended for it.

Sky said...

I like how the designers gave Betsy a traditional Chinese Kunlun sword in her HOM costume & a Katana for the Hand uniform. Shows the level of detail in most of the characters.

I did always get confused on whether Kwannon's ethnicity was Chinese or Japanese.