Perry Sees the Messiah

Shiny President David Perry talks about Messiah, and how it could make even Lara Croft hotter.


David Perry, the president of Shiny Entertainment, is a man with a rep. He and his Shiny team have been on the forefront of new gaming technologies ever since he started Shiny.

Now, he and his team have come up with a new technology they call Messiah. It will also be the name of a game Shiny expects to release sometime in the first quarter of 1998.

We recently spoke with Perry to get the word on what the Messiah technology is all about.

The Messiah technology allows for real-time deformation and tessellation (RT-DAT), which means scaling polygons in real time, according to David Perry. The technology allows for 1,000 times more polygons and will have real time interpolation and inverse kinematics as well as volumetric lighting

"It's basically a break down of the characters to polygons," Perry explained. "We know that the game will run full speed if there's that many polygons, and if there's not many things onscreen, we can say that the character can have 470 polygons and the character will be that way."

Translation: This technology will keep the game running really smoothly.

"Games get all choppy when their speeds go up and down, and that affects gameplay and makes it frustrating. In some games, when you turn your character around in one spot, the game speeds up and slows down. That's irritating. This technology will alleviate that," Perry said.

"In Messiah, instead of boxy looking characters, this technology will allow for real smooth breasts and real smooth backsides, and you will also see the skin stretch and the body move. That will be done in software and not actually some cheat or animation. That is the software saying that if your butt was to move up a little bit then the cheek would compress. That's the type of real movement we are looking for. We have built-in tools to tell each little piece of the skin's surface how it should react to different movements and that's what makes this technology exciting."

Messiah would make Lara Croft look about 7,000 times (his number) better than she does now, according to Perry.

"The other thing that it is the meshing of polygons. For example, in games like Battle Arena Toshinden, on the joints of the characters you can see the polygons flickering. There's nothing like that, and with this technology, we can plug in any movement and the body executes that movement correctly.

"This puts us a year ahead of everybody else in the industry. I could do a soccer game or a sports game very easily with this technology. People haven't even thought about what we are doing. Everyone is talking about tessellation and talking about how it will be where everyone is going. The Quake guys are now talking that this will be their next thing.

"We've already got it. Interpolation - everybody says they are going to have it. Interpolation means going from any frame to any frame, which means your game will run really smoothly. We have it running already."

The few details that Perry would reveal about the game are that it will be a PC and PlayStation title, the main character will be a baby, and another of the characters will be a call girl. Perry said a dwarf was motion-captured for one of the key characters.

What an evolution from his Earthworm Jim characters.

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