During my time at Eurocom I worked on the 2010 Wii remake of the classic James Bond game GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64. I had previously worked as a Compositor and a Character Animator in the same company and this project was the next big thing for me. Eurocom originally wanted to outsource the material to a post production company but I really felt that we should do it ourselves. I knew this was the opportunity for me to do some cool work in motion graphics and I was determined to keep the material in-house. After talking with my manager and creating a demo with the great help from the team, upper management decided that we will produce the videos ourselves. I was quite excited to jump into production.
There were 7 movies in total: 6 level briefings and the main intro titles for the game. The art direction and style of the level briefings was approved by our client, Activision, and from that point the movies were quite straightforward to make. It was still a lot of work and overtime because the volume of work was quite big for one person. Eventually Eurocom hired a motion graphic artist to help me out with this: Vector Meldrew. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I’m glad that they did. I wouldn’t have been able to finish the material all by myself on time for delivery. The real challenge was to create the intro titles. We sent our concepts to Activision but we didn’t heard from them until quite late into the project. When we did heard from them it turned out that they did not liked our proposal. We were back to square one. It was quite challenging to get a concept approved and the clock was ticking. The concept was eventually approved and getting the movie out of the door was the next challenge.
Fig. 1 Art Direction inspired on the MK12 guidelines for the Quantum of Solace film.
Eurocom had their own motion capture studio but they did not had a render farm. A render farm is a room full of computers designated for the sole purpose of rendering. Production houses usually have a one, but game developers usually don’t because the game is rendered in real time on console or PC. I worked in a post production house before and I realised that I would have to build my own render farm if I were to be able to deliver anything at all. Thanks to the help of our great IT department and the engine programmers I was able to build my render farm using 6 computers from the motion capture room. They were not particularly fast but they surely saved me a lot of time.
All the teams were working extra hours to get through Alpha, Beta and eventually delivery. Overtime is a common thing in game development, everybody is working hard to release a product that often takes many years and it has to be as polished as possible. Once the game is released and on the shelves you feel a great satisfaction of having your work out there. It makes all the effort count.