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The Picture Worth a Thousand Bugs: A System for Rigging Complex Game Missions
Price $5.95
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SKU GDC-05-114
The Picture Worth a Thousand Bugs: A System for Rigging Complex Game Missions,

Programming, Lecture

Bruce Oberg
Scapegoat, Sucker Punch Productions
This lecture presents a system for managing complex mission structure within a game. The system is called “the macro,” and it was used for all the gameplay logic in “Sly 2: Band of Thieves” (released in 2004 for the Playstation 2®.) The Sly 2 macro enabled a team of five riggers to implement and debug over 80 missions in less than eight months. The macro in an abstraction for maintaining player progress through Sly 2. It answers basic questions such as “what has the player completed” and “what can the player do now”. It also handles complex issues such as how to handle player death. It manages how events in the game are distributed to logic that needs to deal with them. The design of the macro lends itself to a very informative graphical representation of the current player state, inspiring the title of this lecture.

This talk shows how large scale, heterogeneous mission rigging can be structured for efficient implementation. The mission rigging secrets of Sly 2 are revealed, as well as other aspects of the Sly 2 production pipeline.

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