Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Inspiration: Rockstar North

Rockstar north is one of the oldest and most prestigious games development companies in the world, as well as being the largest in the UK. Their Grand Theft Auto series is amongst the most popular in the medium, and they meet with critical acclaim upon every release. The studio was founded in 1988 as DMA design. Eventually the studio grew into Rockstar Games, and as they expanded and opened up other studios, the Edinborough studio became known as Rockstar North.

The Grand Theft Auto series is infamous for its violence and controversy, but also famous for its technological advances. As a frontrunner in open-world gameplay, Rockstar is often at the centre of gaming news with advances in engine technology which allow for a greater level of immersion.

Relatively recently they included a real-time character physics engine called Euphoria in Grand Theft Auto IV. This piece of technology seamlessly blended the animations of the team with physics driven motion, to create stumbles, falls, and allow previously complex motions like climbing steps to be more easily achieved.

Above all this, Rockstar values storytelling as their most important asset. This is key to their success in recent years. Their writing and animation is cinematic and pulls few punches on subject matter, painting a stark picture of the lives of its protagonists. Their games blend gameplay and story into a smooth whole, and I would love to be able to work on similar projects myself.

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