Gag reels in game credits have been a dream of mine for quite some time, but the work required to make them happen isn’t likely to be a great incentive for game developers. Obviously to animate a gag reel would end up being a complete waste of man-hours, that is if the facial animation wasn’t rendered in real time. In a game like L.A. Noire, for example, the MotionScan technology allowed developer Team Bondi the ability not just to animate the final in-game cut scenes, but those that actors flubbed a line or made a mistake.
The game itself might not have been the type of detective action game many hoped for (read our review), but if there’s one area that L.A. Noire excelled it was the facial animations used in the game’s many interactive cut scenes. As a result, the gag reel featured above is structured much like a Hollywood film’s outtakes with actors breaking character, apologizing, and blabbering on.
What’s more impressive than Team Bondi and MotionScan owner Depth Analysis’ willingness to let these L.A. Noire outtakes be seen by the public is how realistic the flubbed lines look. For a game where even the most subtle of facial reactions were important, to see that even eye rolls of embarrassment are possible makes the Motion Scan tech all the more impressive.
Unfortunately, an L.A. Noire sequel seems highly unlikely given that Team Bondi went bankrupt in 2011, although the studio and assets were acquired by KMM. A company called Depth Analysis, however, owns the Motion Scan technology, but unfortunately they too ran into some financial troubles after L.A. Noire didn’t meet sales expectations.
Rockstar Games, who published L.A. Noire, does own the rights to the IP, but with so many products — both present and future — on their slate, it’s likely to be a long time before we hear even a peep about pursuing a sequel. It’s a shame that such an intriguing, and potentially revolutionary, technology is falling by the wayside, but there are plenty of developers that will be following in Depth Analysis and Team Bondi’s lead.
Would you like to see more developers release gag reels like this one? Does it break the narrative if you see these voice actors break character?
Source: Depth Analysis
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