ANNOUNCEMENT: This forum has been archived and its community moved to the Star Wars Gamer forum. mark read register faq members calendar

Thread: An honest question to Zanzibar about Simpsons wrestling
Thread Tools Display Modes
Post a new thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Old 06-26-2001, 09:46 AM   #1
Posts: n/a
Post An honest question to Zanzibar about Simpsons wrestling

Hey Zanzibar,

Anyways, I have been reading some gaming magazines, 3 to be exact. And after taking the averages, the game averaged 1.5 out of take, F--------. For the most part, half of the article was about the poor models in the game. Now I am wondering, you did do the characters for EP1, and you said you were working on this i think, so, if you were, and you were still doing the character models, why do you think they gave you such a bad rap? Ok, I admit the models were rather lacking, but still weren't really bad, but the articles spent half the page talknig about the models. Just a question, by the way, I heard your real name was Ray West, is that true?

  you may:
Old 06-26-2001, 05:18 PM   #2
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 296

Well, quite simply, Simpsons Wrestling was a half-a$$ed title. I haven't read the magazines yet, but some of the online reviews did indeed talk about the models and how bad they 'looked.' And yes, the models did indeed 'look' bad, but what MADE them look bad is up to interpretation. Was it the model CONSTRUCTION that looked bad (modeling), or the model DISPLAY (rendering/game engine), or the model ANIMATION (animator)?

See, Simpsons Wrestling was a Playstation 1 title through-and-through. Fox Interactive told us they wanted the game to look as much like the show as possible, and that included the black-line drawing around the characters. Those two items - PSX1 and Black-line techniques - are basically mutually exclusive, due to the limited processing power of the PS1, but Fox was adamant that this game come out for the PS1.

As a result, in order to keep the framerate parameters we *thought* we would need, I was given a low-poly count per character, between 500-700 polys. That's not a lot for a fighting game, and ESPECIALLY for a game that was going to be COMPLETELY lit at all times. A lot of games can get away with low poly counts because the games were dark - we couldn't. That said, I think the models actually look a lot like the characters when viewed up-close, and were approved by Film Roman (the Simpsons team), AND matched the turnaround images from Film Roman we used as reference. So I am of course biased, but the construction of the models themselves I don't think is what the reviewers were talking about.

The models were indeed RENDERED badly in the game engine. The black line caused TREMENDOUS Z-sorting problems, where the same line would seem to flicker from one frame to the next. Not to mention that the game ran in low-res instead of unfortunate side effect of the black line processing. The programmers thought they could coax high-res out of the PSX early on in development, but that went away. Plus the fact that at low-res, the natural antialiasing that the TV gives you is virtually nonexistent - it works VERY well at high-res.

As for the animation, yes, a lot of the animation was half-a$$ed as well, and I can take responsibility for that. We had a REALLY tight deadline, so the impetus was to "We need to get the characters moving and fighting ASAP, make the animation work, it doesn't need to be beautiful, we'll clean it up later." So we based our early animation on gameplay needs, not on adhering to a strict 'animator's' code of not moving onto the next animation until the one you're working on is 'right.' Well, no good deed goes unpunished, as our programmers came back later and said 'Don't adjust the animations, there's already too much memory allocated to the anim lists, in fact you need to comb through and DELETE a buncha keyframes per anim to make them fit.' So, bad animation got even worse, as a lot of the in-between frames went away. Yes, the animation was FUNCTIONAL, but it wasn't pretty.

All in all, I was disappointed in Simpsons Wrestling from the beginning. We built a pretty nice engine for TPM, where we had large levels to explore, lots of people to interact with and talk to, and some nice detail. The big problems we DID have with TPM were player control and collision detection. So, naturally, what contract do we get next? A game with NO exploration, NOBODY to talk to, and VERY LITTLE detail due to PSX limitations. AND, a game that RELIES HEAVILY on player control and collision detection. Oh, and throw on top of that the fact that we needed to be done in 12 months, so that we don't have time to re-write bad code, we just had enough time to put a few band-aids on it.

And I cannot confirm nor deny my 'TRUE' identity
Zanzibar is offline   you may:
Old 06-27-2001, 02:42 PM   #3
Dave Maul
@Dave Maul
Posts: n/a

Heheheh, nice one Ray, he'll never... oh... sorry
  you may:
Old 06-27-2001, 03:21 PM   #4
Pedro The Hutt
@Pedro The Hutt
Jedi Knight
Pedro The Hutt's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Indu San
Posts: 3,044
Clever Dave... real clever .
Pedro The Hutt is offline   you may:
Old 06-28-2001, 09:59 AM   #5
Dave Maul
@Dave Maul
Posts: n/a

I do try
  you may:
Post a new thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Go Back   LucasForums > Network > LucasForums Archive > Star Wars: Classic Gaming > 2. Star Wars Gaming > Episode I: The Phantom Menace > An honest question to Zanzibar about Simpsons wrestling

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:14 PM.

LFNetwork, LLC ©2002-2015 - All rights reserved.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.