Prince of Persia The Two Thrones
Q&A Animation and AI
Matthew Clarke : Lead AI and Gameplay
Wade Konowalchuk: Animation Director
Q: One of the most important hallmarks of the POP franchise is the quality of the animation of the Prince and the enemies. How were you able to perpetuate the amazing work done on the previous games for POPT2T?
W. K.: For Prince of Persia The Two Thrones, our goal is to raise the bar of quality once again in terms of animation. With our team of highly trained animators, we were able to create sets of hundreds of new animations with the Prince of Persia touch, like the Speed Kill moves, the Dagger plant move, the 45 degree rebound or the sliding moves etc...
Q: In regards to the introduction of the second main character, the Dark Prince, what are the main differences with the animation created for the Prince? Will the Dark Prince use the Speed Kill System?
W. K.: The Dark Prince is a corrupt version of the Prince, more sadistic in nature than our hero; we wanted his animation to reflect his personality. He feels absolutely no remorse and it shines through in his movements. The Dark Prince will use the new Speed kill System we've been creating for Prince of Persia - The Two Thrones. This system will allow players to perform very dramatic moves that will take your enemy down in a single shot. The Dark Prince Speed Kill System will reflect his furious and brutal personality in every way: from its unique control system to its animations or the violence of his finishing moves.
The Daggertail, his chain-like mid range weapon is not only a deadly weapon, but will also serve as a tool in order to manoeuvre in the environment in a very efficient and acrobatic manner to access places the Prince cannot.
Q: what are the other animation improvements for POP T2T?
W. K.: The in-game cinematics was another area in which we wanted to improve upon. Too often when an in-game cinematic kicks in, the player wants to simply skip it. For POP T2T, we really wanted to make the cinematics as interesting and fun as possible for the player to watch, so that they will understand the story fully. We focused heavily on the characters' acting abilities, and also on making the movement as accurate and believable as possible.
Q: In POP T2T, the Prince and Dark Prince seem to be very powerful with their new moves. How will the enemies be able to face the 2 princes?
M. C.: In answer to the new moves developed for the Prince and the Dark Prince, the enemies needed to be enhanced with a new AI system, so we completely reworked this important feature of the game. POP T2T definitely puts forward tough and rewarding enemies to play against.
Q: When you say tough and rewarding enemies, can you give more details?
M. C.: In POP T2T, each enemy has a personality of its own. We designed them to be strong and intelligent to make the Speed Kill System both challenging and satisfying for the player. Also, in POP T2T, we are introducing the Sand Gate system, which allows the Sand Gate guards to call for reinforcements when they detect the Prince.