Practioner Research - Rockstar Games

posted under by Philip Howlett
My interest in games and everything associated with them spawned from the day I had the original Nintendo. Since then I've spent the majority of my spare time enjoying them. One series of games in particular has dominated my life more than any other. Unfortunetly, my life is about to take another set back on April 29th when the next one comes out. Grand Theft Auto, made by Rockstar games is probably one of the most eagerly awaited games of all time. My fondness of Rockstar games goes beyond the games they make however.

Rockstar have a particular attitude towards the games they make, and it sets them apart from much of the competition. Their catalogue of games set out to shock more often than not. Manhunt, Bully and GTA have all had their fair share of negative press. None of this has prevented them from creating hugely successful games, and instead it's made them one of the major players in the gaming industry. They're now a world wide company with offices across the U.K, U.S.A and Japan employing hundreds of people.

When researching Rockstar I was amazed to find they actually have offices based in Lincoln and Leeds. Not very far away at all. It's encouraging to see that games companies aren't concentrated mainly in the States or Japan as I expected them to be.

I like the bravery of Rockstar, in that they'll put content in a game which most developers would shy away from. They're the rebels of the gaming industry, and not only do their games shock, they also take advantage of the latest technology. GTA4 in particular is set to contain the largest gaming city in the series so far, containing more detail than ever before. NPC's think for themselves and the city should feel more alive than ever. They've even created their own game engine, named RAGE which I've seen in action once before in their table tennis game. My last point of interest is their use of the Euphoria animation system. Where as most games make use of predetermined/drawn animations and a physics system, GTA4 will let Euphoria process any animations. Rather like the rag-doll engine seen in Unreal games, bodies will now react in more realistic ways.

I respect Rockstar for their determination to takes things slightly too far. While they might be slightly arrogant and unprofessional at times, they know how to create a successful and enjoyable game. Sandbox environments and the latest technology. Thats the kind of company I'd one day like to be involved with.

Euphoria Animation Engine


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