The developer of Black Myth: Wukong has released a prank video for Chinese New Year, outlining a fake approach to motion capture.
In the video, an actor standing in for Feng Ji, producer and director at developer Game Science explains that most motion capture setups are designed for bipedal, humanoid figures. Black Myth: Wukong, however, is based on Chinese mythology, where many of the central characters are superpowered, quadrupedal animals, which would require a whole new approach.
That new approach, as it turned out, would involve fitting an army of cats into tiny mocap suits and capturing their movements. Predatory, unpredictable, and aloof, the cats might have been the perfect development partners were it not for their lack of desire to provide useful capture for more than a few minutes at a time before taking a lengthy nap. Nevertheless, Game Science says it was happy to opt for quantity over quality to help bring its virtual animals to life.
Unfortunately, the idea didn't work out. Gameplay footage seems to show the Monkey King gearing up for a boss fight against a sword-wielding tiger, but the animations quickly glitch out, and the apex predator finds itself floating chaotically towards the sky. Eventually, the camera tracks away from the screen to reveal a deserted studio, the fake staff having given up on animal animation to open a restaurant instead.
It's a little tricky to tell exactly where the development expertise ends and the prank begins, as it's not as though four-legged friends haven't leant their mocap efforts to games in the past. In the end, however, Game Science confirms that the video is a work of fiction "with absolutely nothing to do at all with [...] how we are working on the game." And while the studio says it knows fans will have wanted to see more of the game, it's "working hard" on the project, which it says will be "well worth the wait."
Black Myth: Wukong isn't expected until 2023, so here are some new games 2022 to enjoy while you wait and check out our pick of the best mythical movies