Medal of Honor and the Autodesk Pipeline

Uploaded by Autodesk on 28.02.2011

CRAIG OWENS: Medal of Honor has been around for a little
over 11 years, and traditionally was always set
in World War II.
When we first started talking about the franchise, we knew
we needed to do something fresh and different.
Today's gamer really can associate
more with modern conflicts.
So we brought it into today's war, specifically around some
of the operations that were going on in Afghanistan in
2001, 2002 time period.
HENRIK HALEN: For Medal of Honor, we definitely tried
going for realism.
We wanted the lighting and the fog and the atmospherics to
convey what Afghanistan really looks like.
In our case, it involved introducing global
illumination into the game, with Beast.
DAVE KINTNER: Beast is a global illumination solution,
or a lighting engine, from Autodesk.
HENRIK HALEN: With Beast, it's very similar to
lighting in real life.
You don't have to fake stuff.
You don't have to go in there and manually paint stuff.
DAVE KINTNER: Just a few years ago, we'd have to rely a lot
upon artists placing hundreds of lights at their level, just
to illuminate the space for people to play the game.
Now with Beast, it's literally out of the box.
It's a couple clicks of the button and we
have a playable space.
HENRIK HALEN: No matter what kind of big levels we throw at
it, we have levels with thousands of lights and huge
geometry counts, and Beast just eats up everything.
One of the ways we use dynamic lighting with Beast in the
game is we use Autodesk Kynapse for AI path finding,
which I think is the usual usage for it, but also to
optimize the way we handle the runtime performance.
When all the characters are running around, they actually
use Kynapse to find their way around the level.
And it turns out, where the characters are running is
where they actually need the lighting as well.
So we do a thing where we actually place the lighting
information at the locations of the Kynapse nodes.
And that actually gives us exactly what we need in terms
of character lighting.
So it's a very ingenious way of combining the two
DON LAWTON: I can tell you from personal experience that
Kynapse makes my life a lot easier as an AI engineer.
I don't want to have to be bogged down in the lower level
details of how you build an AI.
And so I can focus on what's important for our game.
Kynapse buys you some of the core aspects of what you need
for your AI, including path finding, dynamic avoidance,
the abilities to do traversals on a graph.
We were able to explore in the environment and find good
places for our characters to go.
At each point that we found along the traversal, we would
score it, based on a number of constraints.
If it has line of sight to the enemy from the shoot point,
whether the height angle is sufficient, whether it's in
the proper engagement distance.
And so, at the end of the entire process, we had
explored a number of nodes in the graph and we would take
the one with the best score.
And that would becomes the MPC's destination.
GERARDO ENZO SPRIGG: Early on, we noticed that unreals
terrain didn't light as well as its static meshes.
And we needed to bring in the terrain into Maya and actually
recreate it as a static mesh and then export it out.
The UV tools and the transfer attributes tool is really,
really helpful for that.
We required a lot of organic shapes.
And we required them in a way where we'd have to express
those shapes, but also keep them performant.
And I think Maya is really, really good at allowing us to
describe an organic shape in a way that is controllable,
And that helped us so much.
And it helped us in a way that relieved a lot of stress and
allowed us to just think about the art and focus on what the
game was looking like.
We use Mudbox extensively for the masking of the different
terrain pieces, as well as the macro normals
that we used in terrain.
It was so easy to work with, and it allowed us not to have
to shift gears in terms of UI.
When you're working on the game, all those seconds count.
And Mudbox was really helpful.
CRAIG OWENS: We have high
expectations for the franchise.
Medal of Honor is always about authenticity.
To be able to look at the modern theater board, and
being able to tell that in a story of a game was really
exciting for us.
I think we did a really good job.
It was a great first step for the franchise, and we're
really excited to see where the franchise goes from here.