Pixar consulted on Gears of War: Judgment

Story director from Toy Story, Finding Nemo animation studio worked with Epic Games on bolstering narrative of upcoming shooter.

Epic Games sought the help of Toy Story and Finding Nemo animation studio Pixar for its upcoming shooter Gears of War: Judgment, Epic production director Rod Fergusson told the GameStop-owned Game Informer magazine recently. Epic attended a one-day workshop led by a story director from Pixar in an effort to learn the secrets of telling a strong story.

Gears of War: Judgment is taking cues from Pixar, Fergusson says.

According to Fergusson, the workshop focused on nailing down character traits, specifically what they fear and what they love. He specifically called out Woody from the Toy Story series, saying Pixar made clear this character had a fear of abandonment, and so every movie was hinged upon that trepidation.

Regarding Gears of War: Judgment, Fergusson said the purpose of attending the workshop with Pixar was to get to the root of the following questions: What are the characters' motivations? How should these be reinforced? And how should Epic and co-developer People Can Fly go about incorporating these motivations into their storytelling?

"We've been trying to improve on storytelling since we started," Fergusson said. "And this seemed like a natural way of getting a little bit of insight into how what we consider to be the best in the industry."

Gears of War: Judgment is the first entry in the franchise set outside the core trilogy, which wrapped up last year in Gears of War 3. It stars series soldier Damon Baird, and takes players back before the events of the original Gears of War games to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day.

Pixar's newest film, Brave, hit theaters on Friday. According to Metacritic data, it is the second-worst-reviewed Pixar film to date, only topping last summer's Cars 2. The animated movie represents several firsts for Pixar. It is the first film from the company with a female in the lead role and the only period movie from the firm.

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Discussion

88 comments
Hatemachine25
Hatemachine25

I think I'd pay to see Buzz and Woody lose it and Go kill crazy after seeing Andy ripped to bits by a Locust Horde, it's got that, Total Destruction of Childhood memories quality to it.

Brebber
Brebber

I am happy about them releasing the prequel to the series. I am happy they are working on their storytelling aspects, shows that they are passionate about this franchise.  But I think most importantly at the moment, for me at least, is to go back and think about the storytelling in the series NOW.  I don't know about anyone else but I thought the storytelling in the first 3 GoW's was phenomenal. The Gears 2, when Dom had to kill his wife, that emotional turmoil in that part was awesome.  In Gears 3 when "ends it"......I don't care what people say, I don't care how it sounds, when Dom did it, I cried a little. You get this connection with these characters already.  The story in these games are awesome now, I look forward to seeing what comes next.

sonicare
sonicare

It's a Bug's Life: Locust Edition.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Well I sure as hell love my Pixar films, so this is only good news.

 

Whether they can make me like Baird or not remains to be seen.  Blonde haired twat.

maderrin
maderrin

How about Evil Doctor Pork Chop secret boss fight? Death by Monkeys!

hadlee73
hadlee73

If they think they got some good stuff out of this workshop, they should try to get permission to put a Woody doll in the background of a ruined building the player walks through, as a secret acknowledgement. I always loved some of the homages we saw appear in games in the early PSone and Xbox days. We don't seem to see them all that much nowadays.

Blackarrow1020
Blackarrow1020

*facepalm* Pixar isn't creating the story, Epic and People Can Fly are consulting with them to try and develop their characters better. People commenting that GoW will be kid friendly or that Pixar will ruin the game, please read the article before you comment, and not just the one sentence in bold at the top.

moviequest14
moviequest14

In a soon-to-come interview with Cliff : ''I feel it's really our duty here at epic , it rests on our shoulders so to speak , to add a new depth to movies. We added incredible depth to our stories with GoW , and movies should only feel obligated to add the depth we have in my...erm.. our games , because that's what the movie-watching audience wants , even if they don't know it  yet , that's what they want''. -Cliff Bleszinski.

RealHarry
RealHarry

A one-day workshop? This isn't the Sims you know. Still if it'll help improve the story-telling in anyway that's fine.

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

So along the way the characters turn into toys, use scream power to recharge a power plant, dive into the ocean to rescue a fish, turn into cars, turn said cars into spies to spy on the locust, then discover themselves by breaking gender barriers? Seems pretty cool.

 

Dammit, I know I'm missing several Pixar films there...

adventurer360
adventurer360

I'm hoping for a great story, just as long as it does not turn into the kid-friendly story Pixar works with.  I expect it won't, but we'll see.

Raxyman
Raxyman

GeoW is the only good reason to own a Xbox right now, i hope Epic still live up to the name. Gears have a story better than most RPGs...

SolidTy
SolidTy

GeoW has always needed a touch of Toy Story meets UP. Finally, EPIC is listening to me. Considering that EPIC isn't actually developing this GeoW this time, it makes sense to bring in outside talent to get people happy with the story... :P

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I am very glad to hear Epic seeking out other resources to improve their games. More devs should do that. I am sure any advice they've received will be carefully considered and used appropriately for their games.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Pixar knows how to tell a good story (except Finding Nemo, that movie was stupid), so this can only mean good things in my opinion.

GameMaster-LN
GameMaster-LN

maybe in the story they will put baird and cole and put the soundtrack "you got a friend in me,you got a friend in me............."

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

Randy Newman will provide the soundtrack for Gears of War :Judgement

I_am_in_despair
I_am_in_despair

Yes, it would be the key to their success, Gear and  Locust realize that they don't need to fight anymore and decide to live together in peace, yeah, that is the Disney way.

moviequest14
moviequest14

 @adventurer360 And that means bad? Up or Toy Story has more story worth than most video games out now... even some of my favorites.

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Raxyman I just realized you said GeoWs has a good story...uh no. It's a macho man festival. It's okay, I own all of them since launch, but the story is terrible.

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Raxyman Epic's not having to live up to anything. While it's their property and they are producing it, this geoW game is made by a new developer.

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

 @Jedilink109 Are you still unhappy that Nemo's father did not transform into a female clownfish after his mate got eaten? Movies do not have to be realistic, you know?

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

 @Philly1UPer 

 

Locusts

Scaring little boys

Assassinating parents

Don't bring them much joy 

 

(joke taken from the Nostalgia Critic)

fightingfish18
fightingfish18

 @moviequest14 Well, the kids type story wouldn't do to well with Gears of War.  Those do have good stories, but not the right type of story for gears :P

Raxyman
Raxyman

 @SolidTy Well, then it's a matter of opinion, becuase GeoW is amazing to me. In every spocalypse or survival game i've never felt like i did in Gears. In the first two games you simply don't know what the hell are them, what to they want, how they came to be, you just have that feeling of fighting to survival and nothing else.

 

Marcus disturbed childhood and Dom's love for his family aren't consistent with a "macho man festival" either. The story isn't groundbreaking, but the way it's told it just FEEL right to me.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

@syafiqjabar @CheeseRa no I just think the movie is bad. It feels like some Dreamworks movie like Over The Hedge or something. I just didn't like it. HOWEVER that director's next film (Wall-E) seemed like the director was apologizing directly to me for Finding Nemo because Wall-E was SO spectacular in my opinion while Finding Nemo was filled with lame jokes and I just thought it was awful. Seriously though, I loved Wall-E and I thought the Toy Story movies were Wally good and I enjoyed the Incredibles (haven't seen it but one time years ago) and I just recently watched Brave which I also highly enjoyed as well. I just feel like Nemo was like their one bad movie. I KNOW most people don't agree, butI just don't really like it. I certainly don't hate it or think its horrible though. That wonderful prestige goes to Epic Movie. Now THAT is one movie that I HATE.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

 @Philly1UPer Um. They have a new IP called Fortnight that they're announcing soon. Gears and Unreal clearly aren't their only remaining properties. 

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Raxyman Next time I hit the bookstore (a few weeks) I'll try and remember to check that out (Ready Player One).

Raxyman
Raxyman

 @SolidTy I can say the same. I didn't know there were people who didn't see GeoW story as interesting or exciting. The best part of all was the clean conversation, that's so damn hard in the internet XD.

 

I already enjoyed the game's story, so the book was mind-blowing to me. Nevertheless i think that Karen Travis is a fine writer, it truly made their past look crystal clear to me. Since the books have less fighting and more political and emotional concerns, you might find interesting.

 

PS: But if you're looking for a good book then i also recommend Ready Player One, most of the covers i've seen look awful (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Ready_Player_One_cover.jpg/220px-Ready_Player_One_cover.jpg), but the book itself is awesome. Some great references from the 80s too. It isn't a VG book on itself, but their presence in the story was remarkable to me.

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Raxyman Maybe I'll check out the books, although I don't read video game books to be honest. I figure for the same price I can pick up something that I may have missed (some great literature is out there that I'm always keeping my eye out for, reading up Philip K. Dick's and Asimov's library right now)...but I can see your points.

 

Will just chalk this up to different strokes for different folks. :P It was nice chatting with you all the same. I learned that some people honestly and truly found the GeoW story to be deep and moving. :P

Raxyman
Raxyman

 @SolidTy Well, then i just guess it's a difference of creation, because the people you know think that the worm was stupid, the people i know thought it was awesome. It seems like a regional cultural difference. I can tell by the kinds of movie you listed. I didn't watched most of them with a clear exception of Schindler's list, and i hated that movie... Don't get me wrong, it is a good movie, but i hate that feeling of weakness and impotence, maybe that's what i like about GeoW. They are FUBAR and they keep fighting and killing, it's about finding a way out.

 

If you ever get curious you can try reading the books, those i can assure you that it's not a macho fest, it gets deeper on each character's backstory, maybe with that info you might sympathize more with GeoW characters, but i'm not sure since, like i said, you and i seem to differ a lot in points of view.

 

I just think you are exaggerating a bit by saying that the Gears story wasn't well written, maybe it didn't moved you, but that doesn't make that part bad, because it did worked on a lot of people. I try to respect opinions as much as i can, but when opinions began being stated as facts, it does get a little annoying. They are consulting Pixar to make the sotry even better, but Karen Traviss alreasy helped on GeoW 2 and 3 stories.

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Raxyman There are thousands of articles like that about GeoW series, I just posted one. Seriously, feel free to google that, I thought this was well known. EPIC hiring Pixar talent indicates they aren't good writers.

 

As far as the GeOW 1-3 trilogy, I'm not trying to convince anyone that I not only played it in this pixar article. I already played this game online with Gamespotters long ago. This is just a discussion in an article that only we are keeping track of.  I own all of the geow games and bought all DLC.. In fact, In geoW 1/2, I have 1000+ gamerscore. geoW3 I have close to a 1000.  I have 113,00 Gamerscore, and GeoW is my favorite 360 franchise.

 

As far as the giant worm, I have a tiny little section to comment, so I can't get in depth. You are the first person I ever met that didn't think that giant worm business was silly. If I remember, I had to saw four hearts, it so gross and stupid...which is why I love geow.

 

Again, I've played these games twice - three times because I enjoy the gameplay and completely over the top macho story.  When I played it co op with friends, we all laugh at the story online and locally as we know EPIC is just joking around. It's a parody of every macho movie I've ever seen.

 

As far as stories, I'm well read college lit guy, so I enjoy stuff like Slaughter House 5, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Catch 22, THE GREAT GATSBY, ...movies like Mr. Holland's Opus, Being John Malkovich, Schindler’s List, The Sting, GoodFellas, North by Northwest, The Shawshank Redemption, 300, etc. I can watch 300 for the manfest it was, like I can enjoy geoW for the same reason.

I won't go into spoilers, but nothing about the Dom and his wife scene was well written. It wasn't earned, and it's hard to empathize with chainsawing steroid warriors. I guess we just travel in completely different circles. :P

Raxyman
Raxyman

 @SolidTy And now that i read. 1 article from a site i've never even heard about backs your opinion. And the site's name is Badass Digest, it's bound to have a macho pose like you think GeoW have.

Raxyman
Raxyman

 @SolidTy Dood, without trying to be annoying. TL:DR...

 

I'll answer to your first comment then.

It was NOT just a macho fest, sorry, maybe you only see it this way and there's no changing it, but it just isn't. That's the most simple way of mocking a story that's not understood. It looks like you are judging from watching Gears of Awesome, the game has a message to everyone, you just don't see if you don't care, if all you want is step on grubs and chainsaw them.

And i gotta hand it to ya, you're first guy i've ever met that said that the worm part was lame. Talking with my friends, in foruns or online i've never saw anyone think like that. And worms eat fungis, bacterias, protozoas. All os that is availiable underground. And what about ending in a helicopter sequence? You wanted to end how? With explosions and QTEs like Call of Duty? They were being evacuated from a explosion area and a flooding city, what did you suggest? Run away and swim? Or it's more realistic to be in a evac by heli?

 

We might not be on earth, but they aren't on an "alien" planet, they were born there, as much as the locusts. Using Sera was a way of making a sci-fi story without needing to explain "When did Earth became like this?". It was a different planet with a different story.

 

********************SPOILER ALERT TO ANY THAT DIDN'T FINISHED THE TRILOGY********************

And you're not convincing that you actually played the game, both humans and locusts were there, the lambent infection started to spread Adam volunteered to find a cure so that the Queen would not decide to take over the surface. THEY invaded, not the humans. It's like imagine if all of a sudden Mexico becames inhospitable (by no one fault), then they decide to take over the USA because they think it's their right. Who's the good and the bad guy here?

 

And even if you didn't have the eye to see and interpret this, if you didn't cared at all when Dom had to shot Maria, who was imprisioned for a great deal of time according to the story (and in a week they broke one of the hardest soldiers the Gears had, Tai Kaliso, what do you think they did to her? If she haves any guilt in infecting the locusts with imulsion...), then you just didn't played the game or can't enjoy a good story.

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Raxyman Daddy! :P

 

http://badassdigest.com/2011/09/19/video-game-review-gears-of-war-3-is-the-best-in-the-big-dumb-series/

 

"

That may seem as cliched as can be but the story’s actually the best of the trilogy thus far, even though it’s still filled with melodrama and cheap attempts at wringing emotion out of these one-note characters. Fans of the single most hysterical moment of this very silly series will be pleased to note that Dom gets a similar scene in this one. In fact, it’s probably even better, being that it’s a big slow-motion moment punctuated by the most eye-rolling choice of music possible. You’ll see.

Look, Epic Games- we understand that you want to change up the excellent action of the series with an stirring story that we get invested in, but you have to stop taking cues from Michael Bay movies. None of these emotional cutscenes are earned and they nearly all fall flat. I mean, even after spending dozens of hours with Marcus Fenix do we even know who he is? He’s got a gruff voice and he’s a good leader, and you’ve heard that he was a war hero till he disgraced himself by abandoning his post trying to rescue his father, but that’s about it. You know nothing of him, and this is the main character! Course, maybe they expect us to read those Gears of War novels… (snicker)

But even though the characters are boring as can be the story of this world is fascinating,..."

 

"...Gears of War 3 is easily the best of the series, but it’s not going to be swaying anyone. At this point you know if you like the game or not, and should base your purchase on that. I love the big stupid series, the same way I love Bad Boys 2. Stupid as shit, fun as hell, and even better when you’re liquored up with buddies."

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Raxyman EPIC was just pooping out crap and making a fun 3rd person shooter. I'm sure they are laughing all the way to the bank every time a new GeoW comes out, but the biggest laughs come from those that post online that these games touched their hearts, that this series is poignant, passionate, and anywhere near intellectual.

 

Again, I'm not bashing the fun gameplay, I own the series. It's fun, but I'll never understand how GeoW has a good story. It's like EPIC looked up every macho man scenario in every movie ever and slapped it into a game, and hoped the audience was so young, they wouldn't realize how much garbage and cliche they slapped in the games. I thought that the games were a parody of macho men and laughed all the way through it. with friends.

 

We quote Marcus & crew all the time and laugh at the sound bites. :P

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Raxyman I respect that you liked it, but all that stuff was cliche and thrown in to a psuedo attempt at a story about macho men. I enjoyed the GeoW trilogy for what it was, a mindless shootathon. Chainsawing a giant worm's heart? How lame. How did such a worm feed before hand? Where was it when the planet was colonized. The first two games end in a helicoptor sequence? it's ridiculous.

 

The worst part was the fact we are on an alien planet fighting what seems to be the Locust home planet. So in essence, we are the bad aliens, and we are fighting their locust homeland security, and we are supposed to be the good guys? How am I going to cry for Dom's love for his family, or even feel an ounce of sympathy for Dom in between Dom Hacking up soldiers with a bloody chainsaw? Wha??!

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @syafiqjabar On August 20, 2007, Epic Games acquired a majority share in People Can Fly.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

@CheeseRa ugh, apparently you didn't actually read my previous comment. I didn't hate the movie by any means, I just don't think it's good in comparison to some other Pixar films. It also has plenty of characters that seem like they were created just so that little kids would repeat their lines over and over months after they've seen the movie (like Darcy or Dorcy the father's girl fish helper, the "cool" turtles, the seagulls, etc). It isn't as obnoxious as crap like Shrek 2 or something, but there's still a lot of problems I have with the film. THANKFULLY it's still not anywhere near as bad as Shark Tales. Holy crap that movie was terrible. Either way, I still don't like it. I'm not insulting people who like it and I don't think it's total garbage or something, I just think Pixar has made films that are significantly better. Specifically Wall-E.