Have you always wanted to be the master of your own kingdom? Yes! Well, we were lucky enough to be the masters of our own kingdom and bring to life Empire: Four Kingdoms in a 30" animated game trailer.
We developed the storyline together with the Goodgame team, and while doing so it quickly became evident we’d need to animate a whole bunch of characters. First of all, there was the king doing his magic moves, but we also needed a princess, an army of soldiers, and numerous townspeople in order to fill up the scenes. We experimented with motion capturing and predefined walk-cycles but decided to animate every single character manually frame by frame. Only this way, could we ensure perfect comedic timing and the cartoonish-style animation … especially for the chicken.
The story follows a king building his own empire, simply with the snap of his fingers. But behind every magic trick you see, there are many secret tricks behind the scenes – and a lot of hard work. Very early in the process, we decided to design the entire town in 3D, instead of just dressing for the individual set-ups.
This way, we could work with the camera like in a real environment, where one is free to move the lens wherever they want and wherever it is right for the scene. We ended up having almost 500 individual textures and close to 13 billion polygons in one single shot.