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steky

Broken Age frame rate 15fps vs 60fps

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Last week I had the extreme good fortune to attend GDC and see Raymond Crook's talk on "Animation Style and Process for Broken Age"

In his talk Ray spoke about how the character animation in Broken Age runs at 15fps, so it has more of a hand drawn feel and works better with the flip book animation. He showed a side by side of what the game looks like in 15fps vs 60fps. I personal really like the feel of the game at 15fps but couldn't help think that the game looked really slick running at 60fps and that some people might prefer the game at that frame rate.

I guess what I'm getting at is, would it be possible to have an option in the game to pick what frame rate? Would this be something that people would like to have as an option? Maybe someone from Double Fine could post the side be side clip, so that people could see for themselves?

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Would this be something that people would like to have as an option? Maybe someone from Double Fine could post the side be side clip, so that people could see for themselves?

Personally, I wouldn't be interested in that option as DF have made a creative choice to go with 15fps and I'd rather experience it as intended. I would be interested to see that side by side, though. Perhaps the talk will go up in the GDC vault at some point?

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I never even noticed that the frame rate was low in the game, which suggests that it was probably the right choice for the game - it didn't stick out.

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I never even noticed that the frame rate was low in the game, which suggests that it was probably the right choice for the game - it didn't stick out.

This. I had no idea either, nor did I think anything was off with the animation.

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You probably don't notice it is because only the animation movement is 15 fps while the rest in the game is 60 fps.

It's probably 15 fps because thats closer how the animations are created by the developer while at 60 fps a lot of the movement will need to be calculated and might look less good then it could be unless they would spend even more time on the animations.

A lot of games have animation system locked at lower fps. Think animations are often locked in games at 30 fps while the rest of the game is 60 or higher.

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Yes, it's only the animations. It's noticeable when you look at visual effects, for example, because they still run at 60 FPS, which can look a little strange. Some people thought that was a bug at one point.

15 FPS animations came online near the end of Act 1 so many of the animations were authored without that in mind. Some of them had to be revisited so that they looked correct at that frame rate.

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Yes, it's only the animations. It's noticeable when you look at visual effects, for example, because they still run at 60 FPS, which can look a little strange. Some people thought that was a bug at one point.

15 FPS animations came online near the end of Act 1 so many of the animations were authored without that in mind. Some of them had to be revisited so that they looked correct at that frame rate.

So out of interest, was the animation for Act 2 done at 15 FPS to start with? I'd imagine animating at 60 FPS then converting to 15 FPS would cause problems like not hitting a key pose correctly. That must have been tricky.

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Yes, it's only the animations. It's noticeable when you look at visual effects, for example, because they still run at 60 FPS, which can look a little strange. Some people thought that was a bug at one point.

15 FPS animations came online near the end of Act 1 so many of the animations were authored without that in mind. Some of them had to be revisited so that they looked correct at that frame rate.

So out of interest, was the animation for Act 2 done at 15 FPS to start with? I'd imagine animating at 60 FPS then converting to 15 FPS would cause problems like not hitting a key pose correctly. That must have been tricky.

We author the animation at 30 fps in Maya and it's exported at 30fps, but the engine samples the animation down to 15fps at run time. The exception to this is the camera, the camera runs between 30 and 60. Also the root motion of the characters stay at between 30-60. This is to avoid the strobing effect that the characters would have if the camera was moving at 30-60. The re-sampling was purely and aesthetic choice. It blended better with the replacement(Flipbook) animation on the characters.

I hope this helped answer your question.

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Yes, it's only the animations. It's noticeable when you look at visual effects, for example, because they still run at 60 FPS, which can look a little strange. Some people thought that was a bug at one point.

15 FPS animations came online near the end of Act 1 so many of the animations were authored without that in mind. Some of them had to be revisited so that they looked correct at that frame rate.

So out of interest, was the animation for Act 2 done at 15 FPS to start with? I'd imagine animating at 60 FPS then converting to 15 FPS would cause problems like not hitting a key pose correctly. That must have been tricky.

We author the animation at 30 fps in Maya and it's exported at 30fps, but the engine samples the animation down to 15fps at run time. The exception to this is the camera, the camera runs between 30 and 60. Also the root motion of the characters stay at between 30-60. This is to avoid the strobing effect that the characters would have if the camera was moving at 30-60. The re-sampling was purely and aesthetic choice. It blended better with the replacement(Flipbook) animation on the characters.

I hope this helped answer your question.

Ah cool, that make sense. The exciting world of frame rates :-P I didn't fully understand how the camera movement part worked when you explained it at your talk but I get it now. Can't wait to see it all in action in Act 2!

Do you have any idea if your talk will be up on GDC Vault? It would be cool if it was one of the free talks, so other backers could get to see it.

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Yes, it's only the animations. It's noticeable when you look at visual effects, for example, because they still run at 60 FPS, which can look a little strange. Some people thought that was a bug at one point.

15 FPS animations came online near the end of Act 1 so many of the animations were authored without that in mind. Some of them had to be revisited so that they looked correct at that frame rate.

So out of interest, was the animation for Act 2 done at 15 FPS to start with? I'd imagine animating at 60 FPS then converting to 15 FPS would cause problems like not hitting a key pose correctly. That must have been tricky.

We author the animation at 30 fps in Maya and it's exported at 30fps, but the engine samples the animation down to 15fps at run time. The exception to this is the camera, the camera runs between 30 and 60. Also the root motion of the characters stay at between 30-60. This is to avoid the strobing effect that the characters would have if the camera was moving at 30-60. The re-sampling was purely and aesthetic choice. It blended better with the replacement(Flipbook) animation on the characters.

I hope this helped answer your question.

Ah cool, that make sense. The exciting world of frame rates :-P I didn't fully understand how the camera movement part worked when you explained it at your talk but I get it now. Can't wait to see it all in action in Act 2!

Do you have any idea if your talk will be up on GDC Vault? It would be cool if it was one of the free talks, so other backers could get to see it.

It will be up in the Vault at some point. I uploaded all of the slides to the GDC folks last week. I don't know exactly when they will have it available though.

Thanks for coming to the talk I appreciate it.

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Awesome, it was one of my favorite talks I got to see at GDC. Thanks for hanging around after the talk, it was really nice to get to meet you :-)

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Of course, you won't be able to see the difference via video -- as the video will be running at its own framerate, too.

Also: 15fps FTW. Just like traditional animated films.

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I have nothing to add, but it was informative. I'm chomping at the bit to see Brandon's, Raymond's etc talks at GDC cause I live in LA and can't go.

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