Le making of de Tomb Raider Angel Of Death
On dit souvent que quand on a rien de gentil à dire, il vaut mieux se taire (lesson que je ferai parfois mieux d'apprendre par coeur). ^_^
Fidèle à cet adage, l'industrie du jeu préfère en général passer sous silence les moments les plus ingrats, et encenser les succès. Par conséquent, les moments de vérité sont souvent rare mais toujours instructif.
En la matière, la production de "Tomb Raider Angel Of Death" est apparement un "accident industriel". Le jeu est tellement mauvais que ce fut le dernier Lara de Core Design avant qu'Eidos ne refile le bébé à un autre studio. Un véritable désaveu, pour qui sait que c'est Core à inventer la fameuse exploratrice britanique.
Alors, que s'est-il passé ?
“We spent an inordinate amount of time on the animation of Lara and designed the controls around the animation instead of designing the animation around the controls,” explained Jeremy Heath-Smith, Core Design’s co-founder shortly after the game was released.
“We got wrapped up in that whole beautiful big animation experience. I don’t know if we ever would have understood what we got wrong with the animation until the game was out. We could have easily used another two or three months. We could have used another year.”
After completing Chronicles at the back end of 2000, lead programmer Richard Morton moved over to Angel Of Darkness, and he was shocked at what he found. “The tech had to be completely rewritten from PS1 to PS2 and scrapped again when the Chronicles team started on the game,” he explains.
“We lost the first year due to Chronicles and only had the basic story, character models and concept art.”
It’s a classic tale of hubris, with Core’s senior management boasting of innovative features to the press while the artists and programmers tried to keep up with the grand design. “The phrase ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ springs to mind,” continues Morton.
“This, coupled with the management trying to cram every new game idea into the design – stealth from Metal Gear, character interaction from Shenmue, upgradeable attributes from RPG games, and so on. Instead of letting the team make a really great Tomb Raider game.”
Although Core was one of the first companies to receive PS2 dev kits, locking down code proved problematic. “The other main reason for the delay in my opinion was the tech side of things,” explains Morton.
“The PS2 hardware was still proving tricky to optimize and get the best results out of it. We were designing and building levels and characters without any real restriction on polygon budgets or memory limits, which obviously came back to bite us in the arse. Levels were shrunk and characters were dropped.”
The story that emerges from Angel Of Darkness’ ashes is a bleak one, with members of Core’s staff leaving due to the constant changes in direction and an upper management unwilling to listen. “We weren’t able to fully control the game as a team and there were far too many chiefs,” concludes Morton.
“As a result, the game lost direction. It was also technically a nightmare with some editors only coming online in the last eight months of development. We didn’t have full character control in until a year before the game’s completion – we’d been in development for ages before then.”
[ Next Gen ]