User stories

Steve Hinan's Metal Multiball

May 8, 2019
5 min read
By
Rokoko

Before Steve Hinan ventured into the world of independent game development, he worked as an Environment and Lead Environment Artist at Electronic Arts on titles like FIFA and SSX. He recently transitioned out of AAA development and has started his own indie game company, Steve Hinan presents. His first indie title, Metal Multiball, puts gamers smack dab in the center of a metal rock concert, but all of the musicians and equipment are all a part of a virtual pinball game!

As an indie developer, resources and budget can be extremely limited and Hinan wanted add mocap animations to the musicians in his game. AAA companies like EA have easy access to motion capture studios that require multiple people to run it. However, Hinan needed to find an alternative method given the cost and lack of additional manpower. He chose the Smartsuit Pro because it offered him an inexpensive mocap solution that he could operate on his own.

"With access to using the Smartsuit Pro and Rokoko Studio software I have access to real motion capture… this is amazing that it exists and I can do it all by myself"

By using the Smartsuit Pro, Hinan can get a full motion capture animations of the musicians playing their instruments in sync with the music being played. Before having access to this tool, he had to hand key the animations. However, it proved to be difficult to get the animations to sync up to the music. With the suit now his workflow consists of recording the motion data he needs while listening to a song, exporting the recorded animation from Rokoko Studio and importing it into Maya for clean up, then exporting it from Maya and importing it into Unity to add final touches before building it into the game. The whole process is smooth, easy and seamless - it’s much easier and quicker than hand keying animations.

We asked Hinan why he decided to create Metal Multiball as a Virtual Reality game and he made the point that only in VR could you get that true feeling of being transported right to the front stage of a Metal concert. Players from all over the world can share similar experiences while playing this game and express their love of Metal music. He believes one of the true powers of VR is its ability to bring together sub-cultures from around the world to experience live performances together. This is a game for Metal fans and Hinan wants to share his love of Metal music through it.

Metal Multiball is available for Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Gear VR. Check it out here!

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