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Maya Used for LucasArts' Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

Game being released for Nintendo's GameCube By DMN Staff Writer
Alias|Wavefront's Maya software played a pivotal role in the development of the Nintendo GameCube title Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader.

The game, published by LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC and developed by Factor 5 LLC, is one of 18 GameCube launch titles set to come to market in North America between now and the holiday season. Early media previews are highlighting Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader as the title most likely to influence console buyers to invest in Nintendos next generation console. GameCube became available November 18.

The game's origins go back to 1997, when LucasArts and Factor 5 embarked on a mission to capture the essence of the original Star Wars movies in a console flight-action game. In 1998, they released Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for Nintendo 64. The game, which featured detailed graphics, soon became a favorite of both Star Wars and Nintendo 64 fans. Both these groups have been eagerly anticipating the day a follow-up title would be released. Early reviews of the game claim that it has been worth the wait. Says online game magazine GameSpot: ?Factor 5 has brought Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader to the GameCube in a flurry of blaster fire that sets an impressive standard for both Star Wars games and GameCube titles at large. Gaming Age concurs, stating: ?Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader is definitely the best GameCube game hitting at launch.

The Role of Maya When it came to creating Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, the task facing Factor 5 contained two considerable hurdles. First, the target console was still in development. Secondly, at nine months, the deadline was looming very near. Therefore Factor 5s main challenge was to quickly estimate what types of content the hardware would be able to accommodate.

Says Thomas Engel, director of technology at Factor 5: ?Because we were developing for a new target platform we had little foreknowledge of what would be required and so we needed a product that could expand with our evolving project requirements. Our pipeline had to be constructed in real time and Maya let us adapt our software tools quickly.

At Factor 5 a team of three modelers and seven animators used Mayas polygonal modeling and character animation tools to create the games deadly walkers, attacking fighter ships -- both Imperial and Rebel -- and the behemoth Death Star itself. Mayas MEL scripting language made the pipeline more efficient by enabling programmers to create scripts for repetitive tasks as well as by allowing them to take control of the Maya interface and extend it for their purposes.

?The games industry is so dynamic that you need tools that can morph controllably under your feet while games are in production, explains Factor 5 President and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader Director, Julian Eggebrecht. ?No software can have all the answers up front. Maya gives you the extendibility to create the tools you need that will allow your team to finish the task at hand.

About Alias|Wavefront As the worlds leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias|Wavefront develops software for the film and video, games, web, interactive media, industrial design, and visualization markets.

Games customers include Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., Core Design Limited, Electronic Arts Inc., Factor 5 LLC, Kodiak Interactive Software Studios Inc., LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC, Midway Home Entertainment Inc., Naughty Dog, Inc., Nihilistic Software, Inc., Nintendo, RareLtd., Retro Studios Inc., Sega Corporation, Single Trac, Sony Computer Entertainment, Square Co., Ltd., Timeline Studios, Relic Entertainment and Westwood Studios.

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Related Keywords:Maya, Star Wars, Nintendo, Gamecube, LucasArts


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