Thursday, 7 September 2017

Games Animation at Jagex

Last week I was lucky enough to spend a few days working with the animation team at Jagex, led by the very talented Paul Brown.

Jagex makes many games but they are most famous for Runescape, the fantasy MMORPG developed and released by the company back in January 2001.  It's free to play Runescape, but players must pay extra to access a premium version, allowing Jagex to make a convincing claim that they invented the now-ubiquitous "Fremium" business model back in 2001.

Games animators have a unique challenge - how to animate realistic and believable motion that can be played back in real time in the game engine.

In the case of Runescape, the game's architecture is over 15 years old, making the challenge of updating the materials even greater.

Jagex is making the transition from Jaged, their own in-house proprietary software, to Autodesk Maya, which has many benefits for animators but also brings its own challenges.

Overall I was really impressed with the skills of the animation team, and I'm pretty sure I learned as much (if not more) from them as they learned from me. 

Many thanks to the team at Jagex for a warm welcome and a great introduction to the world of animation in video games.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, follow this link.  To apply, visit the official page here

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