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MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh spoke to Free Realms' Lead Animator Floyd Bishop in this latest interview discussing the challenges and benefits of animating a game targeted at children.

Here are a few of the highlights:
 
“I was a character animator for the first Ice Age movie and also for many commercials,” said Floyd.  “With BottleRocket Entertainment, I was animating for a mature title where the ‘Wow factor’ was how visceral we could make the disemboweling but with Free Realms, our ‘Wow factor’ is all about the funniest pet tricks.”
 

“Adults react to over the top kill animations, violence like explosions and gore, which is why we have so many action movies and games with car chases, explosions and dramatic deaths.” Floyd elaborated, “Whereas children react to humor. The things children find funny are not the things adults find funny, but that is why we have the exaggerated super hero animations in Sunday cartoons and the cute animations such as a cartoony spider cleaning itself meticulously.”

 

Much of those cute animations are also seen in the creatures that inhabit Free Realms.  Rabbits and crabs in the world do things that delight children as much as the tricks their pets do. 

“Even the big scary monsters do cute and funny things,” said Floyd, “Our goal isn’t to frighten children but to delight them but it’s a fine line to walk between funny and so sugary sweet that kids hate them.”

When knocked out, the helmets of some Rob Goblins fly off and stick to their bottoms. One of the major bosses, Stoneheart gets attacked by birds and he waves his arms and tries to “shoosh” them away.

 

Mounts have their own issues altogether.  Avatars have specific animation on each type of mount as their movements are now dependent on the animation of the particular mount.  Depressing the forward key now makes the mount move, instead of the avatar.  Again, when designing for children, the animators could indulge in creative whimsy, especially in Free Realms with the size difference between the Pixie and some mounts.  When riding the T-Rex, for example, the Pixie is hanging on for dear life, his body and legs trailing in the air as they move.
 
You can find the full article here.
 

MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh spoke to Free Realms' Lead Animator Floyd Bishop in this latest interview discussing the challenges and benefits of animating a game targeted at children.

Here are a few of the highlights:
 
“I was a character animator for the first Ice Age movie and also for many commercials,” said Floyd.  “With BottleRocket Entertainment, I was animating for a mature title where the ‘Wow factor’ was how visceral we could make the disemboweling but with Free Realms, our ‘Wow factor’ is all about the funniest pet tricks.”
 

“Adults react to over the top kill animations, violence like explosions and gore, which is why we have so many action movies and games with car chases, explosions and dramatic deaths.” Floyd elaborated, “Whereas children react to humor. The things children find funny are not the things adults find funny, but that is why we have the exaggerated super hero animations in Sunday cartoons and the cute animations such as a cartoony spider cleaning itself meticulously.”

 

Much of those cute animations are also seen in the creatures that inhabit Free Realms.  Rabbits and crabs in the world do things that delight children as much as the tricks their pets do. 

“Even the big scary monsters do cute and funny things,” said Floyd, “Our goal isn’t to frighten children but to delight them but it’s a fine line to walk between funny and so sugary sweet that kids hate them.”

When knocked out, the helmets of some Rob Goblins fly off and stick to their bottoms. One of the major bosses, Stoneheart gets attacked by birds and he waves his arms and tries to “shoosh” them away.

 

Mounts have their own issues altogether.  Avatars have specific animation on each type of mount as their movements are now dependent on the animation of the particular mount.  Depressing the forward key now makes the mount move, instead of the avatar.  Again, when designing for children, the animators could indulge in creative whimsy, especially in Free Realms with the size difference between the Pixie and some mounts.  When riding the T-Rex, for example, the Pixie is hanging on for dear life, his body and legs trailing in the air as they move.
 
You can find the full article here.

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