Scaleform Middleware Helps Augment Reality Through Immersive User Interfaces in “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — October 19, 2011 — Eidos-Montreal, a Square Enix company, used some of the latest game development technology from Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), to develop the critically acclaimed “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” video game. Autodesk Scaleform middleware helped the developer build immersive user interfaces (UIs) — from interactive world objects and the hero’s Augmented Reality bioengineered enhancement, to basic menus and heads-up displays (HUDs). Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk MotionBuilder software were used to create and populate the game’s large futuristic world.
The latest game development technology from Autodesk was used by Eidos-Montreal to create immersive user interfaces for Deus Ex: Human Revolution(TM). Image courtesy of Eidos-Montreal
Augmenting Reality With Autodesk Scaleform
Eidos-Montreal used Augmented Reality — one of lead character Adam Jensen’s mechanical enhancements — as a central source of game feedback to the player. Created with Scaleform, this important UI provides Adam with information about his surroundings, including which objects he can interact with and how they can be used. The team also applied UIs created with Scaleform to many of the game’s interactive world objects. For example, players can interact with computers in the game. What appears on-screen is a Flash movie, rendered into a texture and then applied to the object.
“From the early days of development, we had very high requirements for the game’s UIs,” explained Julien Bouvrais, director of technology at Eidos-Montreal. “With a cyberpunk setting and Adam’s Augmented Reality, user interfaces were a key element to nail from the get-go. We investigated a few middleware solutions and found that Scaleform was the best choice for us.”
“Over the course of the game’s development, we produced and tested many different versions of the UIs,” continued Bouvrais. “One of the great advantages of using Scaleform is that users with Adobe Flash experience will feel very comfortable with the middleware. Using ActionScript in Scaleform allowed for very fast prototyping and helped us deliver the high-quality UIs that shipped in the game.”
Setting the Stage With Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max
The tremendous scope of the futuristic world in “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” includes thousands of characters. The number of models required to create and populate such a world made productivity a key concern for Eidos-Montreal, so the studio chose to equip its team with the latest releases of both 3ds Max and Maya software.
“Our strategy is to have great artists working with great tools to obtain the highest possible level of productivity,” explained Frederic Chappart, technical art director at Eidos-Montreal. “Having a selection of Autodesk software to choose from gave our artists the flexibility to use the right tool for the job. The latest releases of the applications gave them access to the full potential of the software.”
“ Autodesk FBX asset exchange technology provided a faster and more convenient way to transfer models between Maya and 3ds Max,” explained Laura Gallagher, character modeler at Eidos-Montreal. “This enabled us to move back and forth between packages, using the tools we preferred in each application. With well over a thousand characters to create, that flexibility was invaluable.”
Animating the Conversation With Autodesk MotionBuilder
Eidos-Montreal felt it was important to remain true to the original title’s four pillars of game-play mechanics: hacking, stealth, combat and social. The social game mechanic offers complicated conversation trees — created with Scaleform middleware — when talking with nonplayer characters (NPCs). Players are offered dialogue options when responding to an NPC. Each response may cause the NPC to react in a different way. Eidos artists needed an easy and effective method of creating conversations with multiple outcomes.
“When it came to our conversation mechanics, MotionBuilder was the tool for the task,” said Francine Mangin, senior animator at Eidos-Montreal. “MotionBuilder enables users to more easily work with different takes and poses, which is necessary for a conversation system that is designed around multiple outcomes.” MotionBuilder software was also used for motion capture cleanup and retargeting.
About “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”
The critically acclaimed “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” offers players multiple and vastly different ways to play. Challenging the foundations of gaming, this video game provides an immersive experience where every choice has a lasting consequence. “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” weaves a deeply emotive and captivating story, taking place in the year 2027 – a time of great innovation in neuroprosthetics, but also a time of chaos, conspiracy and a new social divide. Gamers play as Adam Jensen, a man cybernetically augmented against his own choice, who finds himself in the middle of a mysterious, global plot to which he holds the key.
Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries -- including the last 16 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects -- use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit www.autodesk.com.
Founded in 2007, Eidos-Montreal is a leading video game development studio in Montreal. Embracing the philosophy to always pursue excellence in the development of games and create immersive, captivating experiences for players, Eidos-Montreal made its mark on the video game world with the release of its first video game, “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”. Eidos-Montreal is part of Square Enix Europe.
About Square Enix Ltd.
Square Enix Ltd., a part of the Square Enix Europe business unit, develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX®, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content in Europe and other PAL territories as part of the Square Enix Group. Square Enix Ltd. also has a global network of leading development studios such as IO Interactive™, Crystal Dynamics® and Eidos Montréal. The Square Enix Group boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property including: FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 100 million units worldwide, DRAGON QUEST® which has sold over 58 million units worldwide and TOMB RAIDER® which has sold over 35 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix Ltd. is a London-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.
More information on Square Enix Ltd. can be found at http://www.square-enix.com/eu/en/.
Autodesk, AutoCAD, FBX, Maya, MotionBuilder, Scaleform and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Crystal Dynamics, Dragon Quest, Eidos, Final Fantasy, IO Interactive, Space Invaders, Square Enix, the Square Enix logo, Taito and Tomb Raider are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Square Enix Group. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.
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