With our first post in July, we introduced you to our upcoming title Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, and for our second post in September, we touched a bit on the genesis and character design of the Rocketbirds. In this third post, we wanted to talk a bit about the cutscenes and music videos we created for the game.
But first, here is the preview trailer of the game!
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken takes you on a cinematic platform adventure through Albatropolis, as you hunt down the Penguin’s corrupt leader, Putzki. Along the way you’ll have to kill many penguins, solve puzzles, incite revolution, and maybe pilot a few jetpacks.
Originally, for Rocketbirds: Revolution! (the Independent Games Festival 2010 triple finalist browser game) we created the first opening sequence (‘Robot’ music video) as a way to keep people interested while the first game assets were being streamed to people’s computers. When we’d completed it, it worked well to bridge the waiting time (it’s a lot more entertaining than watching a download status bar), but it also helped us infuse attitude to the game’s presentation and provide people with a more complete gaming experience. This has prompted us to provide all our cutscenes in this cinematic format – and yeah, making them was a lot of fun too!
Our movies start out as rough thumbnail sketches, which we cut and scan together into storyboards and weave into an animatic, which allows us to time the shots with the music. During this stage, most of the creative magic happens, as we can work and iterate very quickly. Once we were happy with the shots, we’d start fleshing out all the required assets for each shot and bring all the pieces together. Here are the comparative shots in those clips:
The other type of cutscene we call “talking heads” – these type of scenes are pretty easy to do since we use the actual fully-rigged game character assets to act out the scenes. First, we start with the script and storyboard and do the voices – then produce an animatic to check the timing. Some of these clips remain animatics until almost the very last moment, so we can stay flexible in moving / removing these to suit the structure and pacing of the game.
We introduce the game’s two antagonists in the animatic strip above. Just like Hardboiled Chicken, both Putzki (Penguin) and Brno (Albatros) needed to be larger than life. I thought it’d be funny if the bodyguard, Brno, was such a bad-ass that he wasn’t afraid to slap his own boss (Putzki) around a bit. Putzki too, with his posters naming him, “Our Fearless Leader” had to be a first-class yellow-bellied twit, having a Paxton-freak-out moment, obviously borrowed from “Aliens,” in this scene.
We’re very proud of this title! Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken will be coming exclusively to PSN October 18, 2011.