News

Short round, get my whip and next generation animation technology

Posted by: Chuck at 4/28/2006 12:20 AM
While the next Indiana Jones movie is still something of a pipe dream right now, it looks like Lucasarts isn't going to be hold back with their new Indiana Jones video game as they announced today that they are partnering with NaturalMotion Limited to use their euphoria animation engine.  While they didn't include any screenshots or movies of the game in action it will be shown off at E3 this year and we'll be sure to check it out to see what the fuss is all about.


LUCASARTS AND INDIANA JONES® WHIP INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT FORWARD WITH GROUNDBREAKING EUPHORIA TECHNOLOGY FROM NATURALMOTION LTD.

All in-game characters act like real people with this revolution in behavioral simulation, ensuring a different experience every time you play

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – April 27, 2006 – LucasArts announced today that Indiana Jones’ first expedition on Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 will feature the revolutionary euphoria behavioral-simulation engine from NaturalMotion Ltd., creators of the award-winning Dynamic Motion Synthesis (DMS) technology. For the first time ever, euphoria enables interactive characters – from Indiana Jones himself to the foes he pulverizes – to move, act and even think like actual human beings without the limitations of traditional animation. Characters move and adapt realistically to their given situations on the fly, resulting in a series of experiences and payoffs that will never be the same twice. As one of only two publishers with early access to the technology, LucasArts is well advanced in integrating euphoria into Indiana Jones’ 2007 next-generation adventure.  

Imagine a swaying rope bridge. With euphoria in action, characters visibly attempt to balance themselves, their feet stumbling, their arms flailing, and their hands reaching for security as the unpredictable movements of the bridge threaten to send them plummeting to their doom. Perhaps they all survive. Perhaps they all fall. The use of euphoria means the action isn’t scripted – it’s simulated – so you’ll never be able to predict exactly what will happen, no matter how many times you’ve experienced a certain scenario.  

“With euphoria, A.I. drives character behaviors so that there’s a different payoff every time. The depth of this character interaction gives us true next-gen gameplay that you simply couldn’t do with earlier generations of hardware,” said Peter Hirschmann, vice president of product development at LucasArts. “We’ve been working with NaturalMotion since 2004 to help bring their groundbreaking technology to games, and there’s no better character to demonstrate it than Indiana Jones.”

“We have big plans for euphoria, and we are absolutely thrilled to be able to show it off in the first next-generation release from LucasArts,” said Torsten Reil, CEO of NaturalMotion. “LucasArts is an excellent partner with a real passion to raise the bar for next-gen games, and we look forward to working with them to apply euphoria technology to its games for years to come.”

LucasArts will demonstrate euphoria in action when it debuts its next-generation Indiana Jones game on May 10-12 at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, CA.

About LucasArts
LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems, computers and the Internet. Based in San Francisco, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts was created in 1982 by George Lucas to provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multifaceted entertainment company.

Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the world’s leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company’s global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; and Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties. Additionally, Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties and businesses. Lucasfilm’s motion-picture productions include five of the 20 biggest box-office hits of all time and have received 19 Oscars and 53 Academy Award nominations. Lucasfilm’s television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif.

About NaturalMotion Ltd.
NaturalMotion Ltd. is the first company to create 3D character animation software based on Dynamic Motion Synthesis (DMS), a technology that utilizes Adaptive Behaviors and artificial intelligence to simulate the human nervous system. Based on Oxford University research on the control of body movements, NaturalMotion’s first product, endorphin synthesizes off-line 3D character animation in real time. With customers such as Sony, Capcom, Namco and Konami, endorphin has rapidly become the tool of choice for many leading games and visual effects artists creating high-end animation. euphoria, NaturalMotion’s latest technology, is a run-time animation technology for game play and development on next-generation platforms, including PLAYSTATION®3, Xbox 360™ and PC. Also based on NaturalMotion’s DMS technology, euphoria uses the CPUs of next-generation platforms to synthesize interactive animations on the fly, resulting in truly unique game moments that occur during the player’s experience. For further information on endorphin and euphoria please visit NaturalMotion’s website www.naturalmotion.com, or join the 20,000 endorphin LE users at community.naturalmotion.com.