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Why replicating South Park's 'crappy' art style is harder than you'd think

Why replicating South Park's 'crappy' art style is harder than you'd think

June 20, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

Jason Schroeder, the Ubisoft game director behind South Park: The Fractured But Whole, has explained what goes into creating the RPG's deliberately duff art-style.

During a recent interview with Kotaku, Schroeder responded to a fan who asked why the game has been stuck in development for so long when it only rocks simple 2D animations and visuals. 

As you'd expect, despite how naff the art style appears on the surface, there's a lot of work that goes into replicating the show's iconic, intentionally 'crappy' look. If the team compromised on quality in favor of speed, fans would notice in an instant. 

"There are no shortcuts," explained Shroeder. "And it's funny that with something that's more like a traditional 3D model-type rig, there's actually a lot of ways that Maya and other programs help. They smooth things out. They give you some of the in-between positions, and you set targets for where those limbs will go.

"Not so with South Park. You have to move those frames. So you're stepping animation all over the place, and if you want to have a unique facial expressions, if you want it to be really expressive, you've gotta animate that too. You've gotta show pain, show effort, show all this stuff."

The full Kotaku interview looks at the process in more detail and is well worth a read. Be sure to check it out.

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