Developing a complicated, high-tech action game with robust physics, stunning graphics, and a lore-accurate Star Wars story? Oh, that’s tricky, but doable. Getting those wipe transitions correct? Dear Lord.
That’s what developers at Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, think, anyway. Talking to PC Gamer, Respawn’s lead technical designer, Brandon Kelch, said that making it so the game was able to do seamless transition wipes like in the films was a difficult, long process.
“The wipe in film is so easy-well, I don’t know if it’s easy, but in film you just take two different pictures and you have them both and you just wipe them across-but in games, you have to render both of those things at the same time,” he said. “You have two different cameras running with the game running in two different environments to be able to wipe that across. So that was a really kind of an interesting technical challenge.”
Early in the development process, Kelch explained, he made a prototype version of the feature that actually did transition from a still screenshot of the former scene to the next scene, but the transition was too jarring, so he was forced to do it the hard way with the help of fellow developer, programmer and technical director Jiesang Song.
“I’m pretty sure when I told [Jiesang] that we were going to do this he was just like, ‘that’s a terrible idea,'” Kelch said. “And it was like, well, we got to have the Star Wars wipe, like, you gotta have it.”
And so the game does. It just took them literally months to figure out how.
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