Posts Tagged ‘Ubisoft Reflections’

How Grow Home Uses Maths To Generate A Personality

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, colourful procedural climbing game Grow Home [official site].

Put simply, BUD is a box suspended over legs and is held together by springs. In practice, BUD is an ungainly robot child, staggering and tripping his way around a low-poly world. BUD is the star of Ubisoft Reflections’ Grow Home and Grow Up, all grinning face-grille and gangly limbs. He’s a kind of super-ambulant WALL-E, able to run, scale walls, leap and fly, in a stumbling and toppling off things kind of way.

It’s hard to begrudge BUD for his drunken awkwardnesses, though, because as you attempt to control him they form a sense of a delightfully clumsy personality: BUD’s drunken awkwardnesses are BUD. But he’s not carefully hand-animated. BUD is a bunch of maths, or more precisely:

THE MECHANIC: Procedural animation

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The Division Wants To “Feel More Like A Shooter” In 1.4

Ubisoft are trying to make The Division [official site] “feel more like a shooter” again, they say, similar to how it feels while you’re still levelling up. They’ve been talking more about Update 1.4, the patch so important that Ubi delayed two upcoming expansions to focus on improving the base game. A public test server will launch on Monday but, for now, here’s more on their plans.

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Inside Ubisoft’s Dedicated Driving Team

There are strange things going on with the buggy I’m driving. I’m in a field, somewhere in Ghost Recon: Wildlands’ digital Bolivia, and the vehicle is transforming while I drive it. The power, suspension, steering – everything’s changing. It’s not a bug. Next to me, the driving team at Ubisoft Reflections are fiddling with my poor ride using their vehicle editing tool, which lamentably doesn’t have a fancy name.

Reflections have been making driving games since 1995’s smashing Destruction Derby and are probably best known for the Driver series, the last of which was Driver: San Francisco, popping into existence all the way back in 2011. A dedicated driving team still exists at the studio, but now they’re using their expertise in games like Watch Dogs 2 and the latest Tom Clancy romp.

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Have You Played… Driver?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Inspired by ’70s car chase movies I haven’t seen, Driver was about going undercover as a getaway driver and tearing down backalleys with a car whose backend seemed to have a mind of its own.

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Wot I Think: Grow Up

Grow Home was born of an experiment in procedural animation, almost accidentally creating a lovely game to support it. Grow Up [official site] was born of a desire to make a sequel to Grow Home. I think this captures the key differences between the two games. Here’s wot I think:

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Grow Up, Okay: Grow Home Sequel Released

Two words for you, reader, you and your video games: Grow Up [official site]. That’s a joke really undone by capitalisation and our standardised linking, isn’t it. Otherwise it’d be hilarious, wouldn’t it. You’d be like “Whaaat! How dare you! And on a video games site!” then I’d reveal that really I was talking about the sequel to Ubisoft’s splendid physics-o-platformer Grow Home and you’d be like “Oh gosh! I thought…!” and we’d laugh and laugh. Well, so much for that. The point is, Grow Up is now out and that’s good news, isn’t it.

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The Making of The Division: Underground

Beneath The Division’s mighty impressive facsimile of New York lies a continually shifting labyrinth of sewers, subways, secret chambers and the very roots of the city itself: the pipes and machines that keep it ticking. Underground, a new expansion which launched at the tail end of June, is The Division with a procedural twist; a bit of chaos injected into the orderly, crafted world.

The dungeons of Underground sit in a strange place between procedural generation and the curated environments that you’ll find above this subterranean world. They are controlled, but also assorted in random, surprising ways. Ubisoft Reflections recently pulled back the curtain, explaining to me how the sausage is made. And, apparently, it all begins with Lego.

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