Meet the one-man studio behind Cyber Shadow by Aarne “MekaSkull” Hunziker for the PlayStation Blog
I used photos of myself as a reference for drawings and animations, but I couldn’t (allegedly) run like a real ninja, so the animation ended up looking pretty stiff. My training project wasn’t just for training anymore. It was shaping into a game with slashing in addition to jumping.
This brief origin story for Cyber Shadow totally reminds me of The Making of Prince of Persia Journals 1985-1993 by Jordan Mechner. Early on in the book (and the game’s development) Mechner bought a camera to record his brother and other actors on film that he could then breakdown frame-by-frame and hand animate characters in Prince of Persia.
October 15, 1986
Bought a camera at Whole Earth. It was more expensive than I’d anticipated — $250 with the lens —but it’s a good camera, and I imagine I’ll find some use for it even after the game’s done.
I shot my first roll of film (David turning around) and had it developed at the local one-hour photo shop; I think this will work. The real problem, obviosuly, will be going from a sheaf og snapshots to the 280 x 192 Apple screen, and the loss of accuracy entailed therein. It almost makes me want to do it in double hi-res. – Page 40
October 25, 1986
Yesterday I implemented the running animation. Next I’ll do the jumping…then the stopping…then the “jumping from a stopped position”…oh boy, this is great! – Page 44
It is wonderful to see that nearly 35 years later, video game developers are still using the same techniques to capture the authenticity of real, human movement.
My other favorite tidbit from this blog post was that the game will run at 120fps on PS5 (and presumably on Xbox Series consoles). How cool is it that a game inspired by the 8-bit consoles of yore can run at 120fps?! Merging the new with the old can really be quite exciting.