Makes more sense than you think.
By Alice Lynton on September 22, 2013 at 7:36 am
Rayman creator Michael Ancel has said the engine used to make platformer Rayman Legends might be recycled for Beyond Good & Evil 2, should that ever be officially greenlit.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Rayman Legends is a platformer, and Beyond Good & Evil 2 will, presumably, be a third-person action game, unless Ubisoft has actually gone off its rocker – so how can the tech be adapted? The answer to this is found in the details: Rayman Legends is gloriously beautiful, is it not? And it’s gloriously beautiful not just because Ubisoft Montpellier are artists of the first calibre, but also because the engine, UbiArt, is a very, very clever piece of tech.
“I think UbiArt, when you see it the first time, is really amazing. You don’t even have to pause the level. You can put an object or an enemy where you want, even while you’re playing. It gives you the opportunity to try new things and do things very fast and improve all the time. All these elements make the iteration process very fast and easy to use,” Rayman Legends lead game designer Emile Morel said in an interview with Edge.
UbiArt’s key differentiator was inspired by a trip to Weta Digital in New Zealand, where Ubisoft staff got the idea to program an engine to automate repetitive tasks previously performed by hand.
“I think it’s very interesting to see how much you can integrate and put artificial intelligence in the tools so you can really order the computer to do things. It’s a very interesting way of working, to see where and how humans are involved in creation [and where the computer takes over],” Ancel said.
And that’s what makes it a good piece of tech to make any game. On top of that, Ancel said a 2D platformer and a 3D action game have more in common than you’d think, at the development level.
“There’s not so much difference between the two because, as soon as you start the process of sharing human [development] with the computer, you can translate that to more complex games. We have done research and it’s something we are working on, but I can’t mention too much about that,” he said.