With the advent of 3D animation, a whole new realm of possibilities has been opened for the savvy business. Not only can presentations and explanations be laid out in a precise and clearly understandable fashion, but even somewhat quirky approaches like mascot association or catchy visual motifs can be produced in a professionally acceptable manner. With this newfound versatility at the fingertips of every cutting edge company, it comes as no surprise that 3D animation has quickly become the corporate standard for a vast spectrum of uses.
Perhaps the most traditional example of 3D animation in business can be found in architectural and medical illustration. Virtually eliminating the need for complex diagrams and long-winded explanations, professionals can now present their materials in a manner that even their investors can understand, without losing any of the technical accuracy demanded of their trade.
These models and video compilations can even go further than real-life examples ever could. For example, surgical procedures can be slowed down to a fraction of their real time speed, so a student can fully analyze the techniques used. The potential for distractions or accidents during a filmed procedure are entirely eliminated, so even the focal clarity of the procedure is enhanced.
The precision of 3D modeling allows for an astounding degree of accuracy in designs. Buildings can be mapped out using real-world coordinates, right down to the window frames and lampposts. Whereas a traditionally created scale model was limited by the size and ability of the materials, 3D models can be scaled infinitely on-screen, so every minute detail can be analyzed, recorded, and corrected with ease.
Once these fully realized models have been created, the aspect of movement can be brought in. With an illustrated diagram, gaps between pictures can become gaps in understanding, and basic concepts become lost in the cracks. Combining a well thought-out oral presentation with a completely comprehensive, frame-by-frame animation increases viewer understanding tenfold, and even presents a convenient way to provide the entire explanation to them for re-watching at their leisure.
Once a 3D animation studio has completed the project, you have the option to redistribute it infinitely at little to no additional costs. You obtain the option of distributing via compact DVDs or flash drives, or even uploading the piece to a video hosting website, and simply emailing links. Whereas a pamphlet or packet may be thrown away to conserve desk space, or lost amidst a pile of papers, proffering a digital version presents a far cleaner option. And what could possibly be easier to keep organized than a single, all-inclusive 3D animation?
With a high-tech marketing package always at your fingertips, you will never be at a loss for words - you can just show them what you mean!
Creating a hit game in the modern industry requires a lot more time, effort, and funding than many people realize. From concept art creation, to analyzing the user interface and creating the code base, to the final animated polish and shine, every piece has to be meticulously placed to create a buzz in the modern market. So, after putting your all into creating your masterpiece, how can you guarantee you’ll have an audience? What steps can you take from the start to make your title a success?
The first, and easiest, step would certainly be an online presence. Create a Facebook page, start up a blog, spread the news! Not only is this a great way to reach your audience, but it is also one of the best ways for your audience to reach out to you. Most gamers have been around the block long enough to know what really makes a game tick- they just need to be given a voice.
Giving your audience a way to contact you before your game hits the market allows you two privileges- realizing ways to improve before your game hits the virtual shelves, and letting the fans feel like they are a part of the magic as well. Creating a closeness with your audience will keep them interested longer, and make them more likely to bring up the website to their friends because YOU have become their friend of sorts. Put a face to the franchise, and you’ll become more than just another game.
As this trend in social connection continues, some companies are taking even more direct routes to talk with their fans. Holding web-based Q+A sessions on Reddit’s ‘Ask me Anything’ subsection has seen an enormous spike in popularity recently, since devoting a few short hours to answering questions on the popular forum can bring in thousands of new fans easily, due to the high traffic of the website. Some even take it one step further, by linking to donation websites and allowing fans to directly affect the quality of the final game.
As an industry member AND a hobbyist gamer, I definitely support it when developers reach out to fans. I lurk the blogs of my favorite game creators, post when I feel my insight can really impact the success, and even pitch in some pocket change on occasion, if I know I can help the process along. Of course, I’ve seen the receiving end as well, and realize that those eager fans can really be fountains of useful information, able to add upon ideas with astounding amounts of insight. If you have already summoned up the courage to make that title happen, then opening yourself up to the fans is simple. Make yourself available, and they will come to you.
When most people hear the term ‘AI’, the image that comes to mind is that of a bad Sci-fi movie from the 80’s. Back then, our idea of artificial intelligence was a computer screen with a face, telling you what your schedule was for the day. The modern truth is- the real advances in AI can actually be seen in video games.
All right, so the talking screen thing still hasn’t taken off. But the computer-controlled characters in video games have been getting more and more complex as electronics become more powerful. These artificial players are able to navigate through the in-game world and interact with real players in an increasingly realistic fashion. But this kind of ability does have its drawback, mainly the sheer amount of time and manpower required to program that sort of intelligence.
A revolutionary step forward occurred recently, when the popular mobile development kit, Unity, introduced a plugin involving a few powerful pieces of AI assistance software. The hope is that these toolsets will allow developers to write in any restrictions and desires without having to worry about cobbling together code, or painting themselves into walls, since the system easily integrates itself right in.
The question now is: how much of an impact will this release have on the mobile industry? From my observation, innovation in AI has started to stagnate for the past five years or so. With the vast improvements in 3D graphics programs soaking up the limelight, many studios are finding success in flashy looking games with older-gen mechanics. If the graphics are enough to pull a person in, then why bother spending all that time to develop innovative gameplay?
Luckily, I think this trend is starting to fade because of the ever-expanding mobile gaming industry. Sure, the look of the game means a lot to the player (it would feel odd as a 3D artist to say otherwise), but the purpose of a game is to be played. Without new and interesting gameplay, it might as well just be a movie. So why let that part slide? Why not take a chance with a more challenging concept, and innovate the field? In a technological era where the sky really is the limit, and each new device adds a new tool to the table, there’s no reason why we can’t push those boundaries, and create entirely immersive in-game worlds.
How far do you think AI will evolve in the next five years? Ten? Let us know what you look forward to in the future of games!
Zco Corporation is a custom software company with headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA specializing in mobile app development, enterprise software, and 3D animation.
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