It's been almost a year since we saw the revamped art style for Chris Hecker's game of espionage game, one that is relies less on blowing stuff up and more on observing simple behavior.
Many who like what they’ve seen thus far were a tad bit concerned; despite the very blocky aesthetics, the original art style was extremely expressive. As such, some worried that having fine detailed models would be a distraction and basically get in the way.
But thanks to just released videos that shows two of the redesigned characters in motion, all fears can finally be cast aside.
First we have the talk animation for Mr. A. As Hecker explains in hushed tones (not sure if it's in line with the secretive nature of the game, or if he just needs a better mic), the name has yet to be decided upon, plus it just sounds all mysterious and cool like:
Next we have Ms. B. As with her male counterpart, we get to see a side by side comparison of how she originally looks, and like before, the increase in graphic fidelity is indeed an improvement and not detriment:
Hecker goes into greater detail over at the SpyParty blog:
"… we want the animations to have that same “illustrative” quality we’re going for across the SpyParty art style. We don’t want them to be too realistic or motion-captured, which I think leads to a bit of a dead look; these are all bespoke hand-animated movements. At the same time, we don’t want them too exaggerated or cartoon-y, so we’re using reference videos of people doing similar motions so we can anchor ourselves with plausibility as we get a grip on the style. Hitting just the right tone and avoiding the uncanny valley on one side, and cartoons on the other, takes constant vigilance and attention to detail across every aspect of the visuals, from pixel quality to the movements."
SpyParty will be at PAX Prime at the end of the month, where it has become a staple of sorts for the past few years. Though the build on-hand will feature the original, blocky look that everyone is familiar with. Hecker has previously stated that it's going to be a while before the new art style is fully integrated in the final game.