Former Mass Effect Animator Explains What Went Wrong With Andromeda

first_img Despite what you may have heard, Mass Effect Andromeda is a great game. While Bioware’s latest delivers a solid RPG experience, it does have issues. Most notably, the game’s facial animations. While previous games in the franchise have had their fair share of odd animations, Andromeda appears to have a great deal more. There may be a reason behind this, according to an ex-Mass Effect animator.Jonathan Cooper is currently an animator on the Uncharted series. Before that, he was an animator on the first two Mass Effect games. Yesterday, he got on Twitter to explain what he believes happened with Mass Effect Andromeda‘s animations.“Animating an RPG is a really, really big undertaking–completely different from a game like Uncharted so comparisons are unfair.” As he explained, a game like Uncharted 4 is “highly controlled.” Going through every animation on a game like that is possible since it is a very contained experience. That isn’t the case with massive RPGs.On that point, he said that “RPGs offer a magnitude more volume of content and importantly, player/story choice. It’s simply a quantity vs. quality trade-off.”Due to the quantity of animations in an RPG (Mass Effect 1 had eight hours, Horizon Zero Dawn, fifteen) designers (not animators) sequence pre-created animations together “like DJs with samples and tracks.” Given the sheer number of dialogue options and conversations, “dialogues are separated into tiered quality levels based on importance/likelihood.” This means that scenes with the lowest quality are handled by algorithms, and not by hand.Cooper believes that Andromeda “lowered the quality of its base algorithm,” and that Bioware “underestimated [the] task” of “hitting every line by hand.”Social media only makes things worse, according to Cooper. The amount of scrutiny Andromeda has gotten “is exacerbated by us living in an era of Share buttons and YouTube. Getting the lowest quality out to the widest audience.”Make sure to read Cooper’s entire thread on this topic since it really is quite fascinating. The Deadliest Assassins in Video GamesThe Best Buddies In Science Fiction Stay on targetlast_img read more