Skyrim - Animating Skyrim
A Big Mountain to Climb: Animating Skyrim is the latest dev diary at the Skyrim Community Site (thanks, CountChocula). Again, there's a podcast, video and screens on a topic that most people will have a passing interest in, given the criticism of Bethsoft's previous efforts in this area:
Learning to Walk Again
“We kind of reinvented the whole thing,” says lead animator Josh Jones, “and started with a brand new animation system. From there it was like, what do we do with this?
“We have a lot of flexibility in terms of NPCs interacting with the environment, with each other. We have much more complex combat [in this game] than we had before.”
Every area of animation was examined and marked for improvements, right down to the most basic motion “graphs” like walking and running.
“The whole [movement] system that we have now is pretty cool,” explains animator Jeremy Bryant. “We've got directional walks in all eight directions, as well as directional runs. I'd say the motion set is probably the best we've ever had, in terms of how fluid it is.”
I'll throw a couple more items in here. Wired has another interview snippet about the "infinite quests":
You’ll never have to stop questing in the upcoming open-world role-playing game, to be released November 11 for Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3. Skyrim director Todd Howard told Wired.com in a phone interview Monday that the game will feature a never-ending stream of procedurally generated content, giving players an infinite number of things to do.
“The vibe of the game is that it’s something that you can play forever,” Howard said.
...and GameSpy has a disappointing article with no real answers on the potential "concerns" players might have. On whether the PC version is consolised:
Preliminary Verdict: Bethesda has already confirmed that enhanced textures, better effects, programmable keyboard controls, a PC-friendly user-interface, and mod tools will be available at launch. That's all good news. What vexes me like Commodus is knowing how good Skyrim could look and play after experiencing the eye-watering graphical goodness of DICE's Battlefield 3 – a PC first title that provides a sneak peek at the next generation in gaming. Yes Skyrim looks good. Todd Howard has even gone so far to say the PC version looks "way" better, so our fingers are crossed on this one. But the bottom line is Skyrim's potential as a PC first game is off the charts, and it's potential that will never be fully realized.
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3