Friday, March 1, 2013

TNA Wrestling

One of the projects I worked on was TNA Wrestling. It was the first such project I saw from start to finish, and was in that respect very educational.

I did a little of everything on the project, all the props and environments, about 40% of the animations, some character textures and some preliminary character modelling.

The game was released for just about every smartphone and tablet available at the time; so one of the biggest hurdles was compatibility, the game had to be pulled back from the maximum specs of high-end devices in order to fit on low-end devices.

These shots were taken from an early-model iPad, so the the textures come through pretty respectably.

This is the IMPACT zone, the main arena. I must have watched 8 full hours of the show trying to gather reference for the room. Part of the trouble is the room's about the size of a small high school's gymnasium, and made to look larger. Like everything from the show; we based the game on what the show was trying to fake, not what it actually was.

I'd like to clarify my contribution here: I modeled and textured the arena and the ring, and created the signs in the crowd, as well as the 'human torch" character texture. The crowd itself and the character models were made by other co-workers, and the screens are displaying stock TNA footage.

Another setback was shifting client demands, so extra gameplay modes like cage matches and tag team had to be added on short notice. Here's the cage, also done by me.

You may have noticed some changes in the Arena's color palette; these represented the various events taking place during the career mode. There were additional arena dressings unlocked via in-game advertisement cooperation, pitched in this screen:

What's convenient about this screen is that I made that render, as well as all the assets. What you see there is a classic Hogan costume, (which got sent back once for revisions, through a huge pipeline of contacts, by hogan himself.) a Jeff Hardy-themed ring, and an America-themed ring. I did a lot of the upsell stuff when the project was winding up. 

My art director and I joked a lot about what we called "Douchebag Art," the sort of hilariously over-designed graphics often requested of us. The upsell rings were something to behold, so I'm sad I don't have more screenshots of them. I did however keep a screenshot of my favorite version of the Jeff hardy ring, which was sent back due to a licensing issue on the 'mask' logo.

There were a couple environments featured in the career mode that I made as well; in a lot of ways these were more fun to work on, since they were better-lit, and by that point I was sick to death of black.

This is Hogan's office. There's actually a pretty nice potted plant in one of the unseen corners. Thanks to limited camera angles; I'm not sure it ever got in the game. That's kind of sad. 

Below is the 'back stage' setting, where Christy Hemme interviewed the wrestlers. I ended up doing all of her animations, it was a jarring shift from the meaty man-suplexes.

Another added feature was the custom character builder. I got approval to do some of the more unusual color options; which was exciting, as we were pretty sure they were going to be cut. Naturally, I went wild.

On the same subject, I also did the tattoo art. There were some pretty ridiculous ones.

Last up on the showcase for now are the weapons' classic baseball bat and folding chair. Mostly all I have to say about them is that they are hard to get a screenshot of; when the AI kicks you you drop what you're holding.

I may be able to get some animation examples in the near future; but that's it for now. This was an interesting trip down memory lane.


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