|Jet Li. He's da man...|
In the past Iíve always had to be concerned with camera angles, lighting and other aspects of filmmaking that one needs to be aware of. However, with computer technology those things are not an issue while doing the movements themselves. For Rise to Honour, I was able to focus much more on developing unique movements, and not have to deal with issues such as wardrobe, lighting, camera angels and more.
What are the main differences between working on a film and working on a game?
Working on a film, the set up necessary for an action sequence takes a long time, and we need to shoot the scene many times to get different angles. Alternatively, for Rise to Honour, the developers used motion capture for the action sequences, which utilizes a 360-degree system, with lots of pre-set cameras. With the motion capture system, the moves are captured accurately and I only need to perform a particular action sequence once and they have it in many angles, so there is no waiting time. It was quite fast. Plus, you donít have to worry about clothing style or make up while you were doing it Ė that task is left to the development team to complete back at the office.
|Damn... that looks like Jet Li!|
Did you need to do any additional training/work to complete some of the moves in the game?
I did not need to do any additional training for Rise to Honour. Most of our work was in designing and developing dozens and dozens of maneuvers for the characters to have available to them in the game.
How long did it take to complete your work with Rise to Honour? The total time we spent working on the game and motion capture was about six weeks. However, the game has been in development for three years now.
Was making a video game more or less challenging that making a movie? I would not say that making Rise to Honour was necessarily more challenging than making a movie. However, I would say that the biggest challenge for me was in learning and adapting to the new environment in which games are developed. It was a very educational experience!
How many different martial arts forms or styles are implemented in the game?
In Rise to Honour, we tried to utilize a wide variety of movements from many different types of fighting, however most of the moves for my character are based on moves I have performed in many of my films. Those are the signature moves that the audience will be familiar with and identify, but we tried new things as well.
|Throwing a punch.|
Did you create any game specific martial arts moves?
Cory Yuen, my good friend who helped with choreography on this project, worked with us to create some new and exciting movements for the game. For Rise to Honour, we were able to try out different types of movements that weíve never been able to achieve on film. I'm excited to see the end result when we launch next year!
What was the biggest challenge with making a video game?
I think the biggest challenge in making Rise to Honour was in learning and adapting to the different environment in which games are made. Since this was my first video game I was able to learn quite a bit.
Did you have any creative control over the content of the game?
There was a definite collaboration on many aspects of the game development, including in the creative direction of Rise to Honour. We spoke extensively about the story; the action; the fighting style; locations of action. I learned many new things and we helped the Sony Team to translate this Hong Kong film style action into a fun, fast-paced gaming experience.
Are you/ Did you taking part in the testing and development process and providing input as the game progresses? What were your impressions / observations?
I've been able to watch and play some of the earlier demonstration versions of Rise to Honour. While I did not partake in any formal testing, I did enjoy seeing the game progress through different stages of development. And of course it is very strange and exciting to be playing a video game and see yourself on the screen! We were involved in the development from the very beginning and itís been a great learning experience. In the process, we suggested ideas andalso had a lot of questions.
How has your personal involvement shaped this project?
While it's still a bit early to say, since the final product has not been released, it is my hope that I was able to lend some valuable insight to the creators of the game. It was my intention to be as involved as possible in the development of Rise to Honour and I hope that my participation adds to the enjoyment of the game.
What do you feel you have specifically bought to Rise to Honour?
I feel that my film and my martial art experience along with a certain expectation of standards in terms of Hong Kong style action have been my greatest contributions
|Jet Li. He's da man... (again)|
Considering your massive influence on the martial arts genre, do you see yourself possibly returning to the video game world, especially if you decide to do a sequel to Rise to Honour?
I very much enjoyed the process of making this game. Itís my hope that I'll have similarly enjoyable experiences in the future.
Were there any specific problems that you found working within this medium that you didnít expect? Were there additional challenges working with a programmer instead of a filmmaker, for example?
There werenít any specific problems working on Rise to Honour that surprised me. Of course, with any project there is a certain amount of unexpectedness in the activities you undertake.
In working with programmers and other members of the team instead of a filmmaker on a movie, there was a different level of technical language used in communicating, but I think we worked it out quite well.
|Taking on the gang.|
Were there other famous martial artists that were involved in the Rise to Honour project?
My good friend Cory Yuen was there with me and is responsible for the choreography in Rise to Honour. As you probably know, he has worked for a long time in the film industry in Hong Kong, both as an action choreographer and director for many films.
When you were planning fights, were there specific weapons in mind that seemed appropriate to your skills, or did you prefer to improvise?
The moves and weapons used were often dictated by the storyline for Rise to Honour.
How much input did you have in the fight sequences?
For the fight sequences, I put on a body suit with all these green balls. Cory, the team and I came up with the movements and I performed them. We made adjustments for motion capture and actively discussed fighting movements for other characters and we were satisfied with the outcome for the fight sequences.
Many people have been watching your films around the world for many years. What do you think about this opportunity to attract newer, younger audiences to martial arts movies and philosophies?
Iíve always been interested in a video game's ability to immerse the user in the experience the game creates. This t is one of the reasons that initially drove me to want to work on Rise to Honour. The process by which such an engrossing game-play experience is created fascinates me and Iím glad I was able to participate in this project.
|More Jet Li action.|
What are some of your favorite moves in the game?
I have yet to experiment with every move of the game, so at this point it is hard to say.
How do you like being the star of a videogame and knowing that others are actually stepping into your shoes as a character?
As an actor, I find the opportunity to immerse the user in the world of my character, Kit Yun very exciting. I believe itís one of the unique properties of the videogame experience that is very difficult to develop in the traditional filmmaking process. While films are a very visual and emotional artistic medium, videogames take it one step further into the realm of a unique personal experience.
Do you think there is room for more Hong-Kong action inspired video games?
Yes, I think there is always room for further development of any artistic medium, including the Hong-Kong action genre.
Would you consider yourself a fan of video games Ė what sort of games do you prefer to play?
I used to play the classic 80s games. In terms of types of games, Iím more of a Tetris, puzzle game kind of guy.
|The game development team.|
Any funny stories you want to share about working on the game? What did you like most about being involved in the development?
Out of the entire development process, I most enjoyed being a part of the team effort and to have met these talented people who love what they do. I also appreciate the opportunity to challenge oneself in a new format and to learn a new form of media/entertainment.
I hope you enjoyed reading this interview. If you have any comments or questions E-mail me at : firstname.lastname@example.org.