Preloaded 1066 The Game

Things have been pretty busy here over Sliced Bread recently, and we are pleased to announce one of our favourites projects 1066 The Game has now launched. In partnership with Preloaded we created over 270 animated assets in just over 2-weeks. Preloaded did all the creative and site development, and we created the Norman, Viking, Saxon and Villager character animation elements.

Preloaded have created the web-based 1066 The Game to coincide with Channel 4’s 1066 documentaries. 1066 The Game puts the player into the muddy boots of the English, the Vikings and the Normans, to play through the actual battle situations of Fulford, Stamford Bridge and Hastings.

Using historically accurate troop formations, battle styles, troop makeup and featuring a voice-over by Sir Ian Holm, 1066 The Game is educational and battle strategy gaming at its very best.

To give the user a full game ‘simulation’ experience it needed a sufficient library of character sequences to make it work. Preloaded pre-planned them and we considered the best approach in getting them delivered in the timeframe. We did this by creating a generic character, then modelling and animating bespoke assets for each character trait, there was also a requirement to create a horse for the Norman soldiers. We devised a working pipeline that allowed us to manage all the game requirements from build to animation, and then finally to render. We also needed to consider the correct historically accurate shields, weapons, helmets the soldiers used. Using the render layers in Maya, we were able to turn on/ off the required elements after the animation move had been completed. All the sequences were rendered as vector for Flash.

Pre-planning pipelines and considering the best approach  is integral within any animated production. This is because once you are committed to production it is very difficult to go back and re-think the approach, timeframes for online projects seem to be a lot tighter than TV or film. We were very fortunate in this particular production that the ‘nice-to-haves’ (i.e. different ways of  the soldiers being killed) were also able to be delivered.