By: Matt Lopez (Level Designer)
Objectives and Findings
The purpose of this research assignment and dive was to study how dogs traverse and platform in real life environments as well as see how other studios are handling virtual dog animation and movement. Popular studios for dogs include Infinity Ward and Bethesda for Call of Duty and Fallout respectively. John Wick 3 had action scenes that were filled with dogs moving in a confined market space and doing a lot of platforming and aggressive movements. The dogs that were in the movie are also comparable to Rose’s size and make a great reference for animation as well as what is possible for a dog of that size to do. The dog agility compilation video shows several breeds of dogs performing top tier feats of agility and provide great references for distance and height a dog can jump. It also brings into question if Rose will be able to swim as the layout the level designers have for the demo level does have a river, but it is unplayable for now. In regards to the west minster dog show compilation, like the other compilation, they showcase many different breeds of dogs making various movements through a fixed obstacle course. One can really see the similarities as well as the differences in each breed and what they are capable of. There is a dog within the showcase that is comparable to Rose’s size and watching that run allows for some parkour ideas or how we can make sections in regards to speed being the main idea.
Things that I noticed and to keep in mind, in order for dogs to do some of those feats in the compilation video need training and exercise to maximize their abilities. Furthermore, most dogs to get the insane air and climb up walls do need to gain momentum and speed prior to making the leap. That means in the game, if we want to make the dog movement believable to an extent, we may have to make distances and heights that would be traversable to a dog that is Rose’s size. The see-saws in the Westminster Dog show also provide an idea for platforming or a weight puzzle the player could do in order for Rose to progress. We could utilize the push and pull mechanic to create that physics-based puzzle if we were to further develop it. Dogs also move fast when they really have to and it would be awesome to create a speed-focused area, perhaps to outrun a growth of sorrow. Also, since dogs are smaller than humans, we should try to utilize Rose’s size to allow exploration of areas that are accessible to dogs, but not humans such as vents or doggy doors. Overall, there are a myriad of spaces and platforms we can create since we are working in relation of a size of a dog rather than a person.,