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By Kingpin
Moderator
#209529
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This Friday, some of the cool cats at Terminal Reality will be sitting down to talk about the making of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. The event will begin at 10:00am at Collin County Community College (2800 East Spring Creek Parkway Plano, Texas) in room C104, and will be hosted by the following Terminal Reality staffers:

Robert St.AubinConcept Artist
Ian McIntosh – Sr. Character Artist
Tomas GonzalezSenior Animator
Glenn GambleSenior Effects Artists; Senior Environment Artist

If you live in the local area then this is a must for those eager to find out what went on behind the scenes of the production of the game.

If you wish to know more, the event has been given a facebook page: LINK

Special thanks to community member and Terminal Reality staffer, Skankerzero for the tip.
By Ghostbuster87
#209608
ask them if they have any intent on patching the xbox 360 version so we can get the last 2 achievements
None of the people attending this have anything to do with faulty programming.
And not to sound pessimistic but even if they did I'm sure they wouldn't give us a clear answer on the issue anyway.
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By DinkyInky
#209630
I plan to attend. If they will allow recording devices, then I will see if I can record it and then post it on the web for those that can not attend.
Whee! :cool: Awesome! Cause sometimes it stinks living "where there's more than corn(but not much)".
By jettajeffro
#209632
I plan to attend. If they will allow recording devices, then I will see if I can record it and then post it on the web for those that can not attend.
Whee! :cool: Awesome! Cause sometimes it stinks living "where there's more than corn(but not much)".
Hey, no Indiana Beach jokes.
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By DinkyInky
#209683
Whee! :cool: Awesome! Cause sometimes it stinks living "where there's more than corn(but not much)".
Hey, no Indiana Beach jokes.
I'm allowed! I live in Indiana! I used to go there every summer with my family. I had to listen to my younger siblings taunt me with that jingle every time that blasted commercial came on!
By progolfercd
#209690
it is up to atari, in my speculation atati agreed to distribute the game and they failed as a publisher to promote the game on tv and radio ( they did promote it at E3, pics are on my facebook :P). if they do plan on making another game with the colaboration of sony they may pick a different distribution/promotion partner. ill ask anyway since the 20th will be a saturday. what 2 achievements can't be done? a sequeal is probably talked about (GB3 anyone?) its all up in the air. ill see what i can do about getting your questions answered, i know all of those guys and more at TRI *stay classy GB forum*
By ghostbusters121984
#209852
I gave my brother-in-law Ghostbusters the video game for Christmas last year and recently bought the strategy guide, which has walkthroughs, and not just for the Wii and PS2, but for the 360, PS3 and PC. Whereas the Wii looks more cartoony, the PS3 version really does look more like the Ghostbusters themselves and even THAT blew me away. My brother-in -law wants to purchase the PS3 because of its blue ray capabilities, but secretly, I know he wants to get Ghostbusters: the video game for the PS3
By Roy Karrde
#209949
Just got back from the event, there wasn't really any place to ask questions about DLC as most of the questions were more specific on the original project. No pictures or video were available except from the guys running it, but one of the things I did see was concept art for Sam Hain. There was ALOT of concept art shown, especially in the beginning, they talked about how they wanted to have the cultists to have elongated jaws, as well as displayed several different monsters that never made it into the game that would have been made into Lost Island. For example there was supposed to be a monster that looked alot like a Big Daddy in Bioshock with two round slime tanks on each shoulder feeding into his head. They also had a grunt worker, that was supposed to be taking care of the Slime Lab, and had large wrench like tools to hit you with. There was also like a Lab Technician/Summoner who would have been seen watching over the vats. The idea being that the lab being fully functional with ghosts still taking care of it in the afterlife.

Another piece they showed was what was supposed to be used instead of the the baby Slor monster. That being a "Mother" Terror Dog, think something like the Alien Queen crossed with a Terror Dog.

Also the Shark we saw in one of the first pieces of Concept Art along with Sargassi was supposed to be in the grave yard. The idea was that the shark would dive under ground with the tombstone on it acting as the Shark's fin, showing you where it was. And you were supposed to catch it to help Sargassi.
By NR1
#209954
Just got back from the event, there wasn't really any place to ask questions about DLC as most of the questions were more specific on the original project. No pictures or video were available except from the guys running it, but one of the things I did see was concept art for Sam Hain. There was ALOT of concept art shown, especially in the beginning, they talked about how they wanted to have the cultists to have elongated jaws, as well as displayed several different monsters that never made it into the game that would have been made into Lost Island. For example there was supposed to be a monster that looked alot like a Big Daddy in Bioshock with two round slime tanks on each shoulder feeding into his head. They also had a grunt worker, that was supposed to be taking care of the Slime Lab, and had large wrench like tools to hit you with. There was also like a Lab Technician/Summoner who would have been seen watching over the vats. The idea being that the lab being fully functional with ghosts still taking care of it in the afterlife.

Another piece they showed was what was supposed to be used instead of the the baby Slor monster. That being a "Mother" Terror Dog, think something like the Alien Queen crossed with a Terror Dog.

Also the Shark we saw in one of the first pieces of Concept Art along with Sargassi was supposed to be in the grave yard. The idea was that the shark would dive under ground with the tombstone on it acting as the Shark's fin, showing you where it was. And you were supposed to catch it to help Sargassi.
Yep, I just got back myself and I can verify everything said above. Sorry, they would not allow recording devices.

It was really cool. A lot of the presentation was very technical stuff for people actually interested in getting into graphics and animation, but it was still very insightful for those of us just interested in the game itself. The Dallas Ghostbusters where there and some were in full gear too.

Glenn Gamble, Senior Effects Artists/ Senior Environment Artist, talked about how they came about making the cool animations for the Proton Pack for the game (mainly the cyclotron opening up to cool down the pack). According to him, a major standing rule from Sony was that the Proton Pack not be change or modified in any way. It had to stay true to the movies. Apparently, he was involved in a car accident and while he was at home recovering, he had a dream about him playing the completed game that involved having the Proton Pack transform into a giant gun to defeat the boss. He called up his department lead to describe this dream, but his boss was convinced that Glenn had just been watching too much Transformers (He was wearing an Optimus Prime shirt, BTW). Anyway, they did some tests and such, and then they decided that they would put it in the game without telling the publisher or Sony and see what they said in one of their meetings. Long story short, they loved the idea, and that is how the current pack in the game came to be along with all its other features between the different weapons types.

Robert St.Aubin voiced the Chairman Ghost. Ian McIntosh was the main guy behind the character models for most of the human characters in the game, plus he was whom the security guard at the start of the game was modeled after.

Another point of interest was the whole Atari/ Activision Blizzard issue. According to the developers, development on the title never stopped during the entire process of locating another publisher. They likened it to someone working at a book store or coffee shop when their supervisor wasn't around. You know what your job is and what you need to do even if your supervisor isn't right there standing over you watching. In fact, because of the delay, they were able to add the sewer level under the Museum, Chairman boss fight, and add a lot of polish to all the completed parts at that time.
By NR1
#209976
Any mention of the parade level?
Nope. This was not discussed.

Also, they had nothing to say about GB3 or a sequel to the game. The only thing even said on this subject was that they know only what is on the Internet about the rumors 3rd film. In other words, nothing.

They did show off some nice concept art ideas for the Stay Puft Minions. I can't exactly recall if they wanted to have several different classes of marshmallow minions or that those were all rejected ideas with the final two-legged minion winning out in the end. There were some with tentacles, others that appeared to be golem-like, and others humanoid looking. One looked like a little monkey that Robert St.Aubin created and that he wished had made the final cut. He imagined that they would climb through the windows and throw marshmallow goo at you. According to him though, it would have been much more difficult to animate them, because of the complex walking pattern (4-legs, rather than 2), plus the tail.

They also showed off ideas for the "pause" HUD system. As we all know, the PKE meter eventually won out in the final game. Other ideas tossed around included having the player pull out the Tobin Spirit Guild and flip through the pages and another idea was to have the Rookie pull out the "Ghostbusters Field Manual & Log Book." The general idea was that either one would act as a type of bird watchers book for ghosts. The PKE meter won out mainly because the developers wanted the player to feel like the Ghostbusters were carrying everything on them and not just pulling items out of thin air. You can visually see the trap, pack, and PKE all on the Busters during the game. Robert St.Aubin compared it to how James Bond pulls his wrist watch up to the screen in 007: GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64 to act as the pause screen.
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By malorkus
#210077
OK, long time lurker, first time poster. So, bear with me. I attended the event earlier today too. It was impressed upon us more than once that recordings of the event could get the hosts into big trouble. So, even if a recording existed, it could not be shared. What I can do; however, is give you a complete break down of what happened at the presentation. If you actually read all of what I have typed below and still have questions, I'll do my best to answer. Also, I guess if you haven't played the game, the following will likely contain some spoilers for you. Here goes ...


A Bunch of Short Guys (ABOSG) presents Terminal Reality to present the Making of Ghostbusters the Videogame


Introduction by ABOSG representative (9 minutes)
Announced raffle tickets for Terminal Reality giveaways (6 copies of the Xbox 360 version of the game)
Materials are proprietary - no photos of the screen, no recording
Promoted paying memberships in the ABOSG club
Discussed other club business
<Loud applause as several members of the Dallas Ghostbusters arrive - in full uniform>



First Speaker - Robert "Bobby" St.Aubin - Concept Artist (31.5 minutes)
Talked about his career background
Played a video of the intro to the videogame
His job responsibilities - visual continuity, designed characters & environments, UI, HUD, effects
He worked on pause menu design (concepts and in-game assets) and achievement/trophy logo designs
He showed the release version of the achievement/trophy artwork
- original design was retro/pixel art/8-bit design, but looked blurry/muddy when ported to the consoles
- final achievement/trophy design was meant to look like an 80's style sticker pack
He voiced one of the ghosts - The Chairman ghost from the museum
- no speaking lines, just screaming & laughing
He then played a video of concept art stills set to the song Savin' the Day
- featured art from all 3 concept designers (Bobby, Sonny, & Grant)
- art from all levels, in order (Hotel, Library, Museum, Island, Cemetery)
Went to the movie first for concept art inspiration
- they decided they didn't want to base the whole look of the game's baddies on the female Gozer incarnation from GB1
- so, they pretty much threw out her as an inspiration (as well as her floating crystal environment)
- they did keep the Terror Dogs as visual touchstones however
- the boss from the lost island level was basically a Terror Dog "Queen" (ala Aliens)
- the "queen" in his concept art looked more Terror Dog inspired
- in the final game, of course it's a slor
Talked about the concepts for cultists
- showed several cultist concepts from before the team had established what the Gozerian look should be
- he credited grant with establishing the "face of Gozer" - an elongated mouth in sculptures, etc.
- his followers would emulate their god by attaching weights to their jaws to stretch them out
- his followers in life were awarded their prize of becoming powerful cultist ghosts in the afterlife
- one pic showed a cultist ghost with weight attached to jaw
- one showed a cultist ghost with black slime cloak
- one depicted a more alien looking cultist ghost since Gozer is from another dimension, but this look was not used
They had 2 classes of Gozerian cultist ghosts (a thin one and a short, fat one)
- the short one was a melee class that would charge and smack the player
- the thin one was to be a summoner that would float high and throw fire at the player
- their design was tied into the Lost Island level (in the "slime labs")
- the tall one would have long delicate looking "tuning staffs"
- these staffs would be for adjusting slime level instrumentation, etc at the higher levels of the slime lab
- the short one was a worker class to work at the bottom in the pits, cranking on bolts and carrying heavy things
- his weapon was multi purpose - a heavy wrench looking staff for turning bolts & attacking player
- originally, the player would encounter these ghosts going about their slime lab work in the afterlife for Shandor & Gozer
- he showed a design for a heavy style cultist with glass orbs/vats of slime on his shoulders
- the general looks of the lab, the staffs, etc was referred to as "Shandor Tech"
They developed a Gozer script/language/alphabet which can be seen on cultist clothes
Next he went on to talk about the PKE meter/pause menu
- the pause menu was originally based on the Tobin's Spirit Guide (traditional old, moldy tome look)
- would work like a bird watcher's guide
- another design was to model the pause menu after a WWII field manual (a manual for new recruits)
- the choice of making all necessary readouts visible on the proton pack drove the pause menu towards integration with the PKE
- he had several pieces of art exploring how the PKE meter could incorporate the pause menu
- he imagined that the PKE meter could act as more of a PDA
- one design has the PKE meter's screen sliding out to reveal a screen (like a cell phone with hidden keyboard beneath)
- but, eventually, they just upgraded the PKE meter design such that the whole face of it was now a digital screen
He showed some concept art for the Proton pack beam upgrades & area effect blast from multiplayer mode
They has a slightly different shotgun blast effect in game before it became the blue Shock Blast
The concept art showing Pappy Sargassi fishing for a Great White shark with tombstone dorsal fin was originally for the Graveyard level
Publisher fell in love with the Pappy Sargassi concept art, so he was definitely going to be placed somewhere in the game
- Sargassi eventually ended up in the Hotel (of course)
- originally the player was meant to help Pappy catch his prize shark in the graveyard
- originally a tombstone in the graveyard would start digging across the dirt towards the player and startle the player by surfacing as a shark
In the final game, Pappy's backstory was that he owned the hotel seafood restaurant, but didn't like the direction of it since his departure
Someone asked why with Murray and Aykroyd was there no Landshark joke, but Bobby said very few Terminal Reality people had any contact with the actors
Pappy was just a random ghost concept created during early design brainstorming
There were many different types of Marshmallow minis that would spawn from StayPuft
- it was simpler to just settle on the one small design
- Bobby really liked one that resembled a monkey, which would smash windows and throw "poo" at the player



Second Speaker - Ian McIntosh - Senior Character Artist (25 minutes)
Talked about his career background
Terminal Reality actually sought him out as someone who could make really accurate likenesses for their game
He was told that the direction would not be stylized - humans should be as photo-accurate as possible
He found reference material on the actors from the 80's and early 90s (including screen captures from DVDs, etc)
Most old photos and DVD captures have lower resolution, so that made his job of creating skin textures more difficult
- a lot of paint by hand for the textures
He started by making a generic head topology (an Adam head and an Eve head) that could then be sculpted into any head
His work was done in Maya (not a sculpting application)
Took about 2 days to sculpt a given character's head
The hair was modeled either by himself or Jesse Sosa
Ian didn't model the character bodies (with the exception of the main ghostbuster flightsuit body)
He actually even modeled the skeleton inside the bodies for joint accuracy (this is rarely done in games)
Interestingly, while he was clicking through character model folders, there was a Rick Moranis/Louis Tully folder
- there was no Sigourney Weaver/Dana Barrett folder
Polygon count for characters was about 20,000, head alone was about 2000 (used all quads on the heads, no triangles)
He was much more comfortable in Maya (and didn't use 3D Studio Max)
- many of the artists at Terminal Reality do use 3D Studio Max, however
- Using Maya allowed him to do some of the rigging for the animations since those too are done using Maya at Terminal Reality
The statue of Liberty was modeled for one of the environmental shots
He then pulled up the character model of one of the museum security guards (as prompted by his girlfriend in the audience)
- one security guard's likeness was modeled after Ian himself
- the other guard was modeled after Jesse Sosa (another Senior Character Artist)
- the hotel manager's likeness was based on John O'Keefe
- a news broadcaster character model was based on Hunter (a level designer)
There were very few instances where a character's likeness wasn't based on an actual person
The Ilyssa character was not directly modeled after one individual (she was a composite of 3 real people who he did not name)
All of the characters' facial animations are achieved with bone animation
He then showed a couple of very high resolution character "posters"
- one poster showed Peck, the mayor, and the 2 security guards
- the other poster showed the 4 ghostbusters
- zooming in on the walkie talkies revealed that Ian had placed a logo on them featuring his initials (IFM)
Cinematics were outsourced



Third Speaker - Tomas Gonzalez - Senior Animator (35.5 minutes)
Talked about his career background
Talked about how he likes Maya better than 3DStudio Max now for character animation
- most animation in modern movies uses Maya
He ran a basic character animation cinematic of a figure walking up to a mini fridge
- the character takes a drink from the fridge, wipes his mouth, looks both ways, then places the drink back inside
- Tomas reveals that the player's character was originally going to do this as he first entered the Firehouse
- then, he would meet Janine, who would tell him to make sure not to drink anything from the refrigerators
- she explains that chances are that anything in there could be something Egon is working on
They used mocap for most animations, not hand animation
He presented a demonstration of the tool they used to map mocap data to a character animation rig
- showed how they could take the original mocap animation and enhance it to give it more punch
- the animation showed the character's movement during release of the capture stream
Tomas was responsible for animation the Rookie character's movements
Originally, the player would be able to move around/run, but would stop and fire a stream from a fixed position
- test group feedback showed that people wanted to be able to run-and-gun (shooting & trapping while moving)
Tomas then ran a file showing the animation of the character running while aiming
- he described the difficulty in animating the character aiming correctly while running in any direction
- the automated blending the application offers for these animations needed manual tweaking to get the right result
- they had a run system, walk system, walk with PKE, walk with proton gun, etc. (a large animation tree)
He then showed a progression of animations by Paul Allen
- the scene was the hotel elevator scene where Venkman first encounters Ilyssa
- the first play through showed no character expressions and very little personality in their movement
- Paul obtained the mocap for the Ilyssa character and used bits of it to embellish the elevator scene
- progressive runs of the same scene showed all the neat characterization that was added
- the iconic Venkman swagger was added in (from Venkman character mocap data)
- you will see that swagger animation in several parts of the game
- finally, Ilyssa's facial display of disgust towards Venkman was added in
He had a bunch of StayPuft and Slimer animations he wanted to show, but his time was up



Fourth Speaker - Glenn Gamble - Senior Effects Artist, Senior Environment Artist (30 minutes)
Described the various roles he performed during the Ghostbusters project
He showed a still of the Sony Proton Pack prop compared with the final in-game model used
- at first they were instructed to make the game model accurate to the movie (a mandate)
- some subtle changes were made at first to make the model "read better" in a game context
- example is that the four red lights on the cyclotron were enlarged so they are more easily seen
- he described to his boss his vision of the whole pack transforming into a gun during a fight with Gozer
- his art director told him he'd been watching Transformers too much
- but then, he added in an "overheat" animation to the pack (against the mandate)
- the publisher ended up loving it and went on to green-light multiple weapon states, etc.
- the meson collider was originally to have a Van De Graff generator added to the pack
- the publisher thought the Van De Graff generator looked too fragile
- eventually it got a "jacob's ladder" with electric arcs instead
- they wanted this proton pack state it to look potentially dangerous (hair singeing)
He clarified that the dark matter generator is not a freeze gun, it just crystallizes ectoplasm (he said, winking)
- however, it does use a blue motif and modifies the pack with radiator grills from an air-conditioner
Slime blower just repurposes bits from GB2 onto the pack
He then demonstrated some of the effects animations for the Shock Blast/Dark Matter gun
- the muzzle flash from the Shock Blast (Dark Matter gun)
- the Dark Matter gun was originally a freezing/cool motif that the publisher wanted them to get away from
- he ran the projectile animation from the Dark Matter Gun, but it didn't render properly
He then showed some fire animations for Time Square (fire + smoke + embers)
- he showed how he added a ripple effect to the smoke
The stairwell sequence in the game is a nod to GB1 (tell me when we get to the top floor, cuz I'm gonna puke)
- the 4 floors you use are the only ones in high polygon count (10,000 polys per floor)
- the next 4 floors down were only 1000 polys
- below those floors is just a displacement map giving the illusion of more floors below
There were 12 environment artists on the project
He then showed a still of the sewer level which was cut then added back in (when the game got delayed)
- the sewers were inspired by the 2nd film with the pink slime running under the streets
He said that the best & worst experience of the project was getting the GB license
- it was a dream come true, but also a huge responsibility
- he also didn't want to be known as the guy who destroyed the proton pack prop (in case anything were to happen to it)
The Dallas Ghostbusters got to visit Terminal Reality about 1.5 years before the game shipped
- the developers ran after them to capture the sounds of someone running in full gear (in the sound studio)
- they were filmed getting up from seated position (in full gear) as reference for the animators
He mentioned that Yahtzee's review of the game (Zero Punctuation) kind of made him sad
- Yahtzee later admitted that he'd never played past the 2nd level
He commented that Terminal Reality doesn't have any more inside scoop about GB3 than anything we can all read online
He mentioned how the Angry Video Game Nerd came out of retirement for the game
The development cycle was 2.5 years (which later got extended to 3 years)
He talked a bit about the Activision merger situation (no new revelations though)
He mentioned Sony's interest in delaying the game so it would release for the 25th anniversary
The 6 month delay allowed the sewer level to come back in, another boss fight, and more polish
He loaded up the level where the rookie repels and fights StayPuft on the side of the building
- He ended by showing the animation for the StayPuft splatting, saying it was his favorite



Wrap-up by the ABOSG representative (5 minutes)
He reiterated about how much trouble they could get in if audio or pictures of the presentation ever hit the web
Then they gave away the Xbox 360 copies of the game
Two trivia questions were asked:
- Q: what are the names of the 2 stone lions outside the New York Public Library
- A: Lady Astor and Lord Lenox, or Patience and Fortitude
- Q: How many people worked on the project at Terminal Reality (A: over 80)
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By RedVirtue
#210101
I was actually going to ask about the parade level too. Too bad there was no mention. I'm highly entertained though with the info you guys are sharing though. The transitions that eventually led up to the PKE pause screen was interesting. A "Mother" Terror Dog = Terror Dog + Queen Alien!? WOWZERS!!!! That is freakin' tight.
By skankerzero
#210166
Everyone always asks about the Parade level. I know I've posted about it before.

When given the extra 6 months, we were faced with a decision:
a: Make the parade level fun. (it was not)
b: get rid of it and focus on polishing and adding to what we already had.

We chose b. A couple of the polish passes that were added as a result:
a: Even more destruction in Times Square.
b: The underwater theme in the Hotel when you're chasing Sargassi.
c: The spider web theme in the Hotel before the Spider Witch.
d: Boss fight in the sewers.
e: Countless reevaluation and polish on existing levels, bosses, and cinemats.

I was in charge of the crowd systems, and I was sad to see them not get shown off, but in the end, it was the right choice to take the level out.
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By RedVirtue
#210343
Thanks, skankerzero! I didn't get to read that. I just want to thank you again though for all the hard work that went into the game. It's given me a lot to look forward to as a fan, after the long dry-spell the franchise has had.

Are those clown ghosts in the online versus mode from the parade level?
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By Kingpin
Moderator
#210347
malorkus, thanks for the blow-by-blow account of the event. :)

I can provide a bit of elaboration on a few things, as not everyone knows them (no, I wasn't at the event):

Jesse Sosa is our very own Skanker.
The cutscenes were outsourced to Rainmaker, the present incarnation of Mainframe Entertainment, creators of ReBoot.

Skank, the parade level was definitely worth sacrificing if it allowed all of that to be implemented.

What about it wasn't fun?
By skankerzero
#210399
Are those clown ghosts in the online versus mode from the parade level?
Yeah. There were also marching band ghosts that my old high school band recorded sounds for. The female possessors from the parade were put into the museum when Ilyssa gets possessed. Not sure if the

We had a ton of parade balloons and floats too. Even one with Pap Sargassi and an awesome Santa float. One of the balloons was my penguin that I try and put in every game I work on. That one ended up under a bed (Ray's) in the firehouse. One of the balloons was Blinkers: The Science Pup; Ray's favorite cartoon dog growing up. It was a loose nod to RGB. You were supposed to fight him as the level boss.
What about it wasn't fun?
Nothing really specific. It just felt like that level was being forced in because it was an idea from one of our old producers. No one really had a strong vision for it. In the end, so many different layouts of the level had been tried and it just wasn't worth saving.

You guys should see all the other stuff that didn't make it. We were setting up a Stay Puft chase through Manhattan but it was biting off a bit more than we could chew for the time we had.
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By sonicblaster59
#210405
Originally, the player would be able to move around/run, but would stop and fire a stream from a fixed position
- test group feedback showed that people wanted to be able to run-and-gun (shooting & trapping while moving)
WOw. I'm really glad the focus group helped talk you guys out of the Resident Evil (stop and shoot) mechcanics.

That would have made the game even more difficult in parts, like the library end boss. How you would be able to complete that fight "without running and gunning" would be beyond me.

EDIT: to be fair. None of the GBs really "runned and gunned" in the movie.

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