This year’s GDC will feature a panel on women in gaming, with a fair amount of focus going on animating women characters in video games.
Ubisoft received a lot of flak last year when they stated that female assassins in their Assassin’s Creed: Unity weren’t possible because of the financial costs behind animating a character of the fairer-sex.
According to Naughty Dog’s Jonathan Cooper (Uncharted 4 animator,) it’s not that hard to animate female characters.
Speaking in a new podcast the Uncharted 4 animator discussed how easy it is to animate female characters in games.
Cooper explains that Assassin’s Creed III and its PS Vita counterpart Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation shared animations across the two playable characters Aveline and Conner. The Scottish developer claimed that it was fairly easy to share the animation features between the two characters and that despite their differing genders it was easy enough to add features to Aveline to make her her own womanly character.
He also speaks about the animation effects that go into games and how some of his previous colleagues would fret over getting animations perfect, something Cooper thinks isn’t the biggest issue with a game and shouldn’t be the focus.
“The ultimate goal is to get the best game in their [players] hands, rather than getting the best individual animations.”
Many players will happily take great gameplay over graphics and fancy animations any day of the week. Just take a look at the likes of Minecraft and Thomas Was Alone. Both feature fairly simplistic animations with the latter being absolutely minimal, yet they’re two of the highest rated games of all time.
Maybe other developers should take note: less fancy shine, more awesome gameplay.
Jonathan Cooper’s latest game is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End which is due out later this year, something he mentions in the podcast exclaiming “we gotta ship this sucker.”
We’ll have to wait and see if his philosophies are present in Uncharted 4, we’d love to see if he practices what he preaches because it would be a shame if Uncharted 4 were to look the part in the graphics department, but suck in terms of gameplay.
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