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Monday, November 26, 2001

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Unreal II Tech Talk
11:37 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

Tolstiy's Place recently spoke with Scott Dalton, Chris Hargrove, and Aaron Leiby of Legend Entertainment about some of the technology behind Epic's upcoming Unreal II. The interview focuses on the particle and skeletal mesh systems that Legend developed for the game.

In answer to a question about the choice of name for their skeletal mesh system, Hargrove explains:

The name "Golem" comes from Jewish legend, although its modern meaning has more in common with a creature from fantasy mythology. In fantasy terms, a golem is a soulless being made of some earthly substance (like clay or stone) which is given life by some magical or divine process. The entities of our mesh system start out as "lifeless" mesh models which are then given life through the creation of artist-controlled entity scripts (for animation and other effects). So the name seemed pretty appropriate.
Epic went on to develop their own skeletal animation system for the Unreal engine - it made an appearance in Epic's Bonus Pack 4 for Unreal Tournament - but it will be Legend's system that appears in Unreal II. Later in the interview, Dalton explains:
Our initial drive to include both the particle system and GOLEM were those of time and resources. Initially an advanced particle system wasn't something that Epic was interested in pursuing. We'd had a lot of good experience using the one Aaron created for Wheel of Time, so it was natural for us to want to take what we learned in that system and expand upon it to fit the design needs of Unreal 2. I believe that Epic realized the versatility of the system after seeing it in action and decided to pursue one themselves. GOLEM was created so that we could have in house control over our skeletal system and drive its feature set and schedule based upon our needs for this project. We've been very happy with the results and I think that gamers will be too. Not only are we doing some great stuff in Unreal 2 with this tech, but mod authors have some new toys to play with as well - and that's on top of all the great new technology that Epic has brought to the table.
For the rest of the interview, including more detailed tech talk about these new systems, follow the link below to Tolstiy's Place.

Unreal II
Tolstiy's Place: Unreal 2 technology stuff

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