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- Behind the Scenes -

The Gundam CD-ROM Game
    The game immediately thrusts the player into the role of a civilian caught in the middle of a tremendous civil war. The player has to quickly master the Federation's newest prototype, the Mobile Suit Gundam, in order to fend off ferocious attacks from the forces of the Duchy of Zeon.

    Both new and seasoned gamers alike will marvel at the level of detail that Presto has put into the game. All of the environments in Gundam 0079 are fully rendered and highly detailed, using the same technology and expertise that gave Buried in Time such a realistic feel.

    To fully immerse the player into the Gundam universe, the game features an interactive interface that will allow the player to actually feel the danger in Gundam's cockpit. The game flows at an incredible pace and the non-stop action forces the player to continually make decisions that will directly affect the war between Zeon and the Federation. Not only will the user be able to employ strategy during the combats and use different weapons, but logic and intuition puzzles will arise at different points in the game that will increase the challenge to the player. In addition, multiple options at key branches and some randomized scenarios will appreciably enhance the playability of the game, allowing the player to come back to the game several times. With its compelling synthesis of strategy, action, and engaging story, Gundam 0079 will stun hard-core gamers and anime fans alike.

The Making of Gundam 0079

Pre Production  |  Production  |  Post Production

The Preproduction Phase
    Previous Gundam releases have never portrayed the story with the photorealism of cutting edge computer graphics. In order to finally bring full computer graphic realism to the incredible Gundam story, Bandai brought together the animation powerhouse Sunrise Studios with the renowned multimedia talent at Presto Studios.

    The project started with the Writing phase. The process of writing the story accelerated when two Japanese producers joined the Presto development team. Kouichi Inoue, a longtime producer from Sunrise and Sei Okazaki from Bandai, brought an incredible amount of experience and knowledge of the Gundam universe to a group of Presto game designers eager to create a groundbreaking CD-ROM. Farshid Almassizadeh, the Project Manager for Presto's Gundam game, called upon Victor Navone, the creative director for the game, and Eric Dallaire, the lead writer, to meet with the Japanese producers daily to forge a storyline. Together, the team worked for four months to write a story that preserved the original plot elements and characters that made the animated series a phenomena, but also weave in new threads to make the game itself unique. With Kouichi and Sei, Presto finished the exciting script for Gundam 0079: The War for Earth and began the long phase of graphics production.

    One of the hardest issues tackled by the creative team during the preproduction period was the question of the characters. One of the strengths of the Gundam series was the blurring of the concepts of good and evil - the involved story depicts a struggle between ideologies, a human drama that transcends the screen and speaks of the tragedy of human history. In order to sustain the level of reality that Presto and Sunrise wanted to achieve for the game, it was decided that the characters would be depicted as live actors, something that had not been done in any previous Japanese iteration of Gundam. A long casting process finally yielded a varied group of talented actors to represent the original cast of the anime. Using compositing technology, real-life characters such as the Federation's nemesis Shar Aznabull, and the courageous White Base captain Noah Bright later would be incorporated into the game's computer graphics.

Pre Production  |  Production  |  Post Production

The Production Phase
    Drawing on its own multimedia experience, Presto initiated a structured chain of production to create the graphics and materials necessary for the game. Once writing was complete, the Design stage kicked into high gear. Constantly in contact with designers from Sunrise Studios to ensure authenticity and quality, Victor Navone embarked on a daunting task to design the entire game, from the background buildings to all the different hulking Mobile Suit units. Victor's duties as designer and creative director would keep him involved throughout the entire project.

    As Navone furiously produced detailed sketches, 3D wireframe models were created that exactly duplicated the designs inside the computer world. Like architects, modelers were responsible for building the geometry for every wall, floor, and object within each of the environments. Lead modeler Jose Albanil and Leif Einarsson would build every object to the smallest detail and pass the finished models onto the Texture department.

    Art Director Frank Vitale and Derek Becker would take the models and begin to create intricate texture maps. These maps would be applied to the wireframe models created by Jose and Leif to give them a realistic look. An example of the Texture department's attention to detail is the Gundam Mobile Suit itself. In addition to all of the different metallic textures wrapped around the models, textures for dirt or burn damage were added to make the Mobile Suit really appear as if it had just endured a battle.

    Once all the elements of the scene had been created by the modelers and texture artists, the production baton was passed on to the animators. It was the job of the animators to take all of the elements and models for a scene and position them inside the computer world. The two lead animators on the project, Shadi Almassizadeh and Eric Fernandes, worked like directors on a cinematic production, setting up the lighting within an environment, moving the Mobile Suits, and coordinating the camera motions for every animation.

    The animators were assisted by a new technology known as Motion Capture, which allowed them to hook sensors to a live actor and capture raw movement data. As the actor mimicked the choreographed moves of the Mobile Suits, the data was processed by the Silicon Graphics computers and assisted the animators in the creation of the incredibly realistic animations.

Pre Production  |  Production  |  Post Production

    Once all of the graphical resources were finished, an enormous amount of post production work remained. The task of editing all of the scenes, dialogues, and combats fell on the capable shoulders of Tim Tembruell. Once the scenes were complete, he edited them together like a cinematic movie, ensuring that the pacing of the game would be smooth and fast paced.

    In order to add an extra layer of realism to the entire production, music and sound effects would be needed throughout the game. To create the most riveting soundtrack possible, Presto Studios contacted Jamey Scott, a professional composer and musician to score the entire game. Drawing on his many years of experience in the music business, Jamey set about to create a heart-pounding soundtrack to accompany the fast action of the game. To appease long time fans and add extra authenticity, Jamey remixed many of the sounds from the original anime series into the game, including thruster noises, explosions, and beam saber strokes.

    While Jamey composed Gundam's music, programmers at Presto worked furiously on coding the different iterations of the game. The game would first need to be released in Japan for the Mac and Pippin platforms and then onto the Playstation system. Many programmers burned many long-wicked candles to ensure that quality products shipped on time. Supervised by Project Manager Farshid Almassizadeh, the team of Chris Griffith, Kevin Baird, and Tom Greene hammered out the Mac and Pippin version. Simultaneously, Vince Weeks worked for months to complete the Playstation version of Gundam.

    Gundam 0079: The War For Earth represents the culmination of two years work for more than thirty proud Presto employees, actors, and affiliates. We hope that the final product reflects our respect and love for the Gundam story and that you thoroughly enjoy your experience with the Gundam world.

Pre Production  |  Production  |  Post Production

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